The County is well positioned to take action to minimize the impact of its own operations on the climate. Solutions that protect the climate, such as making the switch to clean energy, and building and fleet electrification, also save taxpayer dollars over time, reduce air pollution, and improve public health. In response to the accelerating climate risks, on October 3, 2023 the County approved a Roadmap to 2030 Carbon Neutrality for County Operations and adopted a Resolution that sets a goal to achieve carbon neutrality in County operations by 2030. You can learn more in the press release.
The Roadmap sets objectives by 2030 to:
- Reduce natural gas use by 50% in buildings and facilities
- Cut employee commute carbon emissions by 74%
- Cut fleet carbon emissions by 75%
- Divert 100% of organic waste
- Complete studies and establish carbon sequestration targets and plan by 2024
The County’s Sustainability Master Plan, adopted in 2021, also includes goals and targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from County operations. The County’s progress towards these goals can be found in the Sustainability Data Dashboards. More information about sustainability projects for County operations can be found at Facilities and Fleet Sustainability. The County has also completed emission inventories for government operations for the years 2015, 2019, and 2020.
The County has completed a number of studies related to reducing emissions from specific sectors of County operations. These include:
- Facility Electrification Assessment (2023)
- Municipal Building Waste Characterization Study (2022)
- Greening the Fleet and Operations Study (2020)
- Transportation Demand Management Implementation Guide (2019)
The County has a history of leadership in sustainability. In 2007, the County signed the Cool Counties Climate Stabilization Declaration and committed to developing Climate Action Plans to meet established greenhouse gas reduction goals. In 2017, the County adopted a Resolution affirming its commitment to the Paris Climate Accord, and in 2018 made a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from County operations, facilities, fleet and equipment below 2010 levels with a 13.5% reduction every five years from 2020 onwards to achieve carbon neutrality for County of Santa Clara operations by 2045. In 2019, the County also adopted a Climate Emergency Declaration that called for urgent action to address the climate crisis.