San Francisco Department of the Environment

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Letter from the Director

Dear Friends,

We are proud to serve the City of San Francisco—often viewed as one of the greenest cities in North America. At the Department of the Environment, our vision for a more sustainable future is expressed simply as “0-50-100 Roots”: we must achieve 0 waste, take at least 50% of our trips sustainably, and use 100% renewable energy while reducing consumption. And if those goals are about being less harmful to the planet, our “Roots” goal is about healing the planet by planting trees and promoting soil health to absorb carbon and restore natural systems.

At the Department of the Environment, we are working every day to help San Francisco be a sustainable and healthy city for all of its residents; human, plant and animal. We know we will face pressing challenges. Many residents and families struggle to find safe and affordable housing and good jobs to pay their bills. At the same time the threat and impact of climate change has never been more real for San Francisco and the world. With rising sea levels and more unpredictable weather patterns, we must simultaneously prevent more harm to our environment, as we prepare our City to grow and thrive.

In creating this document, we took time to reaffirm our collective values and make them the pillars of our work. We are committed to helping all San Francisco residents and businesses access our programs and services. We are committed to ensuring that all communities have a strong voice in shaping our work, especially those most impacted by environmental harms. We will continue to collaborate with partner agencies and organizations to deliver quality programs and remain a trusted resource for action and impact. And we will remain bold leaders and innovators on urban sustainability and climate change, working to protect our planet while prioritizing the needs of our residents and businesses.

San Franciscans face many collective challenges, but we have the benefit of living in a community of diverse and talented residents and we are endowed with a spirit of action and innovation.

This strategic plan outlines our five-year roadmap for the Department’s work on sustainability and climate change, including key strategies for meeting our goals. But in order for us to truly make the changes we believe are necessary, all San Franciscans must be a part of the solution.

So consider this strategic plan my invitation to participate, a guiding document for what is possible, strengthened with your collaboration, so that all may thrive in San Francisco. If not here, where? If not now, when?


Deborah Raphael, Director

Our home. Our city. Our planet.