Taking Action on Climate Change


December 2017

Taking Action on Climate Change


2018-2020 Sustainability Implementation Plan Icons

City Council Unanimously Approves 2018-2020 Sustainability Implementation Plan

The Palo Alto City Council unanimously approved the 2018 – 2020 Sustainability Implementation Plan (SIP) this week, which is the next phase of the City’s Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (SCAP).

Council previously adopted the overall goal of reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2030. (Currently, GHG levels are approximately 37 percent below that baseline). The SIP outlines proposed measures that could reduce GHG to about 54 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, focusing on key four areas—energy, mobility, electric vehicles, and water.

The 2018-2020 SIP goals (which will guide staff workplans over the coming years) are to:

  • Drive building efficiency and electrification
  • Mitigate the impacts of natural gas use
  • Reduce Single Occupancy Vehicle travel
  • Make it more convenient not to drive
  • Accelerate Electric Vehicle (EV) penetration for both Palo Alto & inbound vehicles
  • Make “Going EV” more convenient and economical than using fossil fueled vehicles
  • Reduce inefficient water consumption
  • Ensure an adequate water supply from sustainable sources
  • Protect canopy, creeks, groundwater and the bay

Staff will return to Council as needed for approval of specific policies, programs and investments, and with key actions related to other SCAP chapters, including zero waste, municipal operations, adaptation and sea level rise, regeneration and the natural environment, culture and innovation, and financing. Click here for the full staff report.


Bay Area's First Electric Refuse Truck Nov 2017

Electric Refuse Truck Paves Way for Another Palo Alto First

There is another “first” for Palo Alto as it gets ready to roll out the Bay Area’s first all-electric refuse collection truck. Contractor GreenWaste of Palo Alto will participate in a one-year pilot, testing the truck on the garbage, compost and recycling collection routes of residential customers. The electric vehicle is also recognized as the first full-size, fully automated side loader collection truck in North America and touts benefits including:

  • Saves approximately 6,000 gallons of diesel per year
  • Reduces GHG emissions 72 tons/year
  • Takes 2.5 hours to fully charge and travels 65 to 75 miles on that charge