San Francisco Department of the Environment

Environment Now's Work


Environment Now is a project-based green careers program designed to develop career pathways in the environmental field while supporting SF Environment's programs and initiatives. Staff gain on-the-job green skills by working on a variety of projects including:

SF Energy Watch
SF Energy Watch helps businesses save money on their energy bill by offering free energy assessments and installation of energy-saving equipment at a reduced cost. Environment Now team members visit targeted businesses, identify energy-saving opportunities in the business, and encourage businesses to sign up for a free assessment.

SF Home Improvement and Performance
The Home Improvement and Performance program provides incentives for energy efficiency upgrades in homes, with the goal of making them healthier, more comfortable, and more efficient. Environment Now staff conduct targeted outreach to homes that would benefit from upgrades, and provide translation services for contractors.

Integrated Pest Management
Environment Now staff are assisting on a project to bring integrated pest management (IPM) practices to residents in Housing Authority-owned buildings. Staff are visiting residents to educate them about IPM before and after an IPM specialist works on pest issues in their apartment.

Construction and Demolition
The Environment Now team educates contractors and transporters about requirements for San Francisco’s Construction & Demolition (C&D) ordinance. Since all C&D debris must be recycled or reused, the team provides information about how C&D materials can be handled and where they can be taken.

Zero Waste Residential
San Francisco has set an ambitious goal for Zero Waste by 2020, which requires residents and businesses of the city to properly sort their recyclable and compostable material.  In support of this goal, Environment Now has launched targeted outreach campaigns to educate the residents of the city.  By reaching new audiences using an effective face-to-face method, the city has seen a historic increase in composting volume.

Zero Waste Commercial
Environment Now works with large and small businesses, helping them create tailored, effective zero waste plans in their place of business and training their staff as needed.

Zero Waste Events
All events in San Francisco must comply with the mandatory recycling and composting ordinance. Environment Now staff work with event producers to ensure that events are zero waste, providing needs assessment, technical assistance, and training as needed.

Community Engagement

One of the major strengths of our program is our ability to strategically communicate information by well-trained staff. Below are a few examples of how Environment Now works in the community.

Door-to-Door Canvassing: Environment Now staff go door-to-door to target homes that would benefit most from services like energy efficiency upgrades, integrated pest management, or the planting of street trees. 

Phone Banking: Staff reach out to city residents to inform them of new Zero Waste initiatives and Toxics Reduction programs. Calls are made in Cantonese, Spanish, Tagalog and English to reach as many residents as possible.

Event Tabling: Staff bring SFE materials to community events to promote programs to event attendees. For example, Environment Now staff attend elementary school events to meet with parents about clean transportation options, such as biking, walking and carpooling to school.

Public Speaking: Environment Now staff have presented at conferences and events to share their experience and expertise. Staff have spoken at events such as the California Resource Recovery Association Annual Conference and the Green Festival. 

Behavior Change Education

Needs Assessments: Environment Now team members visit targeted businesses and events to help them with either energy-saving and/or zero waste strategy.

Service Level Auditing: Environment Now staff audit waste systems to maximize waste diversion on our way to Zero Waste. These audits allow the team to help city businesses reduce their waste by increasing recycling and composting services, often times saving money in the process.

Trainings: As environmental specialists, Environment Now team members are often called upon to train the staff of businesses and volunteers. EN has trained employees at AT&T Park, Outside Lands Music Festival, Kragen Auto Parts Stores and many others.