San Francisco Department of the Environment

Mayor Lee Launches Climate Action Strategies To Meet City's Bold Greenhouse Reduction Goals

Date: 04/22/2015
Contact: Mayor’s Office of Communications, 415-554-6131

New “Zero-50-100-Roots” Campaign Shows City’s Commitment to Tackle Climate Change

In celebration of the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, Mayor Edwin M. Lee today launched the new “Zero-50-100-Roots” campaign aimed towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reinforcing the City’s leadership in addressing climate change. The “Zero-50-100-Roots” campaign demonstrates San Francisco’s commitment to send zero waste to the landfill, reach 50 percent sustainable travel, use 100 percent renewable energy and pull carbon dioxide out of the air.

The City recently reported that its 2012 greenhouse gas emissions were at an unprecedented 23 percent below 1990 levels and that the City is on track to reduce emissions below 1990 levels by 25 percent by 2017 and 40 percent by 2025.  President Barack Obama recognized San Francisco in March as a Climate Action Champion for its steadfast leadership on Climate Change.

“San Francisco has successfully reduced greenhouse gas emissions even while our economy and our population have been growing, but California’s severe drought is a reminder that the effects of climate change are being felt sooner by our residents and with greater impact than expected,” said Mayor Lee. “San Francisco’s new ‘Zero-50-100-Roots’ campaign showcases our City’s commitment to providing real solutions to climate change and pushes a climate action agenda that helps San Francisco reach our ambitious goals for a more sustainable future.”

“The Mayor’s leadership combined with innovative policies and with community participation has allowed San Francisco to bounce back from a challenging economic crisis, witness a boom in new job growth while never losing sight of the values that make it such a unique and innovative City,” said Department of the Environment Director Debbie Raphael. “These climate action initiatives illustrate how San Franciscans can become active participants in helping the City reduce our emissions.”

Zero Waste

Material that can be either recycled, reused or composted ending up in the landfill has substantial negative climate effects. Organic material sent to the landfill for example produces methane, which traps up to 100 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide within a 5 year period, and 72 times more within a 20 year period.

San Francisco has reduced by half the amount of material sent to landfill. This reduction is attributed to residents and businesses working together to achieve the City’s goal of Zero Waste by 2020.

The three time World Series Champion San Francisco Giants are best in class in their efforts to achieve Zero Waste. AT&T Park brings together sellout crowds of more than 41,000 fans on game days and generates approximately 32,000 pounds of materials, of which 22,000 pounds will be composted and over 7,000 pounds will be recycled. Overall that is a 95.7 percent diversion rate because of the Giants’ focus on Zero Waste.

“The Giants are proud that our continued efforts, most recently recognized by our LEED Gold EBOM certification, to make AT&T Park the greenest and most sustainable ballpark in the country complements the Mayor’s focus on confronting the issues of climate change and ensuring that San Francisco is one of the most sustainable cities in the country,” said Giants President and CEO Larry Baer.

To further the City’s goal of Zero Waste, the Golden State Warriors, currently in the NBA playoffs after posting the 10th best regular season record in NBA history, announced the team’s support of Mayor Lee’s Climate Action Plan.

“We’re the new kids on the block, and we’ve got a ways to go before we make our move to San Francisco,” said Warriors President and COO Rick Welts. “But we’re designing our new sports and entertainment center to be state-of-the-art when it comes to sustainability. We see what our neighbors at AT&T have done to pursue Zero Waste goals, and we want to bring those best practices to the NBA.”

50 Percent Sustainable Trips

Achieving 50 percent of all travel by sustainable modes is another key goal of San Francisco’s Climate Action Strategy. To achieve this level of sustainability, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency was tasked with increasing use of all non-private auto transit modes and set a deadline of meeting this shift by 2018. Investments in transit alternatives along with more San Franciscans walking, biking, ridesharing and riding public transit has helped San Francisco achieved its goal three years ahead of schedule.

“The people of San Francisco deserve modern, reliable transportation services that support the quality of life and economic vitality of the city,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin. “By investing in new, high-performing, quiet and green electric trolley and hybrid buses, we are poised to better accommodate the 280,000 new residents, 191,000 new jobs, and 92,000 new homes projected for San Francisco by 2040.”

This milestone is a testament to the City’s commitment towards safe communities and sustainability, but to maintain and grow this level of sustainable travel requires continued investment, improved efficiency and greater transit infrastructure. Mayor Lee and the Board of Supervisors have pledged to support financial strategies to overhaul the entire Muni fleet with new electric trolley and bio-diesel hybrid buses that will reduce or completely eliminate San Francisco’s reliance on fossil fuels, and which will demonstrably cut harmful emissions and provide the type of transportation options that help keep San Francisco moving and the local economy growing.

100 Percent Renewable Energy

Mayor Lee and Board President London Breed’s announcement in January calling on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to develop a new CleanPowerSF program will further decrease greenhouse gas emissions from residential and business customers through sourcing more energy from renewable sources like the sun and wind.

CleanPowerSF follows a string of solar successes. The SFPUC has installed 19 solar arrays since 2004 – a total of 7.9 megawatts of generation. In 2015, the SFPUC will install an additional 5 new solar systems on top of City buildings and the first of these projects was completed last month with a solar array on top of Thurgood Marshall High School able generate up to 87 kilowatts.

The SFPUC’s GoSolarSF initiative has also helped to incentivize and install more than 10.8 megawatts of solar arrays on San Francisco homes, businesses and non-profits. That is more than 3,300 new solar installations since 2008.

Additionally, in April, the SFPUC began serving clean Hetch Hetchy Power to new residents and businesses in the Hunters Point Shipyard. At full build-out for the first phase of the development, the SFPUC will be serving 1,500 residents with nearly 3 megawatts of clean, greenhouse gas-free Hetch Hetchy Power. Like CleanPowerSF, each new Hetch Hetchy Power customer decreases San Francisco’s already low greenhouse gas emission profile.

“For nearly 100 years, the SFPUC has been supplying clean, greenhouse gas-free electricity to San Francisco – some of the cleanest energy available in the nation,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. “Through our municipal solar program and our GoSolarSF incentive program we’re expanding our renewable energy portfolio and solarizing San Francisco one rooftop at a time.”

Zero-50-100-Roots Campaign

While action at the national and international levels continue to stagnate, San Francisco continues to lead by setting goals and rolling out programs to challenge the environmental and health impacts of climate change. It is for this reason that the City launched the “Zero-50-100-Roots” campaign. By setting clear goals and providing the strategy, tools and resources needed to achieve them, the Mayor is asking all of San Francisco to commit to taking action. 

Mayor Lee with City departments, business and community leaders today kicked off the “Zero-50-100-Roots” campaign by boarding a Muni bus, wrapped and branded with the campaign’s message to remind San Franciscans that they have a role in helping the City reach its climate goals.

The City also created a website to get San Francisco’s public and private sector and diverse communities more involved in the fight against climate change. For more information, go to: www.sfclimateaction.org.

Our home. Our city. Our planet.