City of Seattle
United States

Population: 662400
Area of jurisdiction: 369.2 km2

Commitments

  Community Government
Absolute base year GHG reduction target: 58% by 2030 (2008) 30% by 2020 (2008)
Baseline scenario (BAU) GHG reduction target: n/a n/a
Fixed-level GHG reduction target: n/a n/a
Carbon intensity reduction target: n/a n/a
Renewable energy target: n/a 15% by 2020
Energy efficiency target: n/a n/a
Government and Community: CO2(e) targets

Performance

Community GHG Emissions
Total ( n/a ):  0 tCO2e
Government GHG Emissions
Total ( 2012 ):  0 tCO2e

Other available GHG inventories: 2008, 2010

Mitigation actions

Seattle Climate Action Plan
The Seattle Climate Action Plan, adopted in June 2013, focuses on city actions that reduce greenhouse emissions and also support vibrant neighborhoods, economic prosperity, and social equity. Actions are focused on areas of greatest need and impact: road transportation, building energy and waste. The plan also includes actions that will increase our community's resilience to the likely impacts of climate change. Start year 2013
Sector  
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File download
Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
The City is providing the infrastructure needed to support electric vehicles and is ready for electric vehicles to plug into the electric grid. Seattle is one of a handful of cities participating in the nation’s largest electric vehicle demonstration, the EV Project . With the help of millions in federal stimulus dollars, the City of Seattle is collaborating with Puget Sound local governments, businesses, non-profits, and electric vehicle enthusiasts, to create a robust regional charging infrastructure for EVs. Start year  
Sector Transport
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File  
Residential Food Composting
Waste management is conducted by Seattle Public Utilities, which is funded by rate-payers and general municipal funds. Seattle Public Utilities offers a comprehensive recycling program and a food and yard waste collection program. Recycling rate was 53.7% in 2010. The City requires all residential homes to compost food waste. Start year  
Sector Waste
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File  
Waste Collection Efficiency
Waste management is conducted by Seattle Public Utilities, which is funded by rate-payers and general municipal funds. All waste management decisions are conducted using an asset management framework, which means that decisions are made in a transparent manner fully informed by knowledge of life cycle triple bottom line costs and benefits. Efficiency of waste collection has been improved through: - SPU switched to CNG fueled waste pickup trucks based on results of cost-benefit analysis - Weekly compost pickup, reducing waste going to landfill. Start year  
Sector Waste
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File  
Waste Reduction Ordinances
As of July 1, 2010, the City of Seattle's food service packaging ordinance (Ordinance 123307) requires that all take-away containers must be recyclable or compostable. City of Seattle has a Zero Waste Strategy with the goal to reach 60% recycling of municipal solid waste (MSW) by the year 2012, and 70% by 2025 (Resolution 30990). All Styrofoam is banned in Seattle as of July 2009. Start year 2009
Sector Waste
Type Regulatory
Status In progress
File  
Seattle 2030 District
The City of Seattle is a key member of the Seattle 2030 District. The Seattle 2030 District is an interdisciplinary public-private collaborative working to create a groundbreaking high-performance building district in Downtown Seattle. The district seeks to meet the performance goals set by the Architecture 2030 Challenge for Planning, and to dramatically reduce environmental impacts of building construction and operations, while increasing Seattle’s competitiveness in the business environment and owner’s return on investment. Start year  
Sector Buildings
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File  
Transit Oriented Development
Transit-oriented development a major component of Seattle's citywide planning efforts, and is mandated through the City of Seattle's Comprehensive Plan, Transit Master Plan, Transportation Strategic Plan, and the Complete Streets Ordinance, which Start year  
Sector Other Emissions
Type Regulatory
Status In progress
File  
Pedestrian Master Plan
City of Seattle recently completed both a Bicycle Master Plan and a Pedestrian Master Plan, and is working on implementing the plans. Start year  
Sector Transport
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File download
Bicycle Master Plan
City of Seattle recently completed both a Bicycle Master Plan and a Pedestrian Master Plan, and is working on implementing the plans. Start year 2007
Sector Transport
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File download
District Energy Pilot
District Energy pilot project; passed Resolution 31354: “A RESOLUTION establishing the City’s intent to seek a private sector partner to assist it in exploring possible models for expanding, upgrading, and/or developing district energy systems in certain areas of Seattle.” Solar Market Transformation: This project uses American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds to 1) Develop a financial and ownership model that addresses all legal, technical and logistical requirements to community solar; 2) Install the first Community Solar Project in Seattle (estimated 30-60 kW); 3) Market the program and enrolling participants; and 4) Establish a Solar Revolving Fund that will re-invest revenue generated by the first Community Solar Project into future Community Solar Projects and other city-owned solar energy systems. Start year 2012
Sector  
Type Assessment/Research
Status In progress
File download
Large Commercial Energy Financing
CPW for Large Commercial launched in November 2010 and provides competitive financing and new rebates for energy upgrade programs in large commercial buildings served by Seattle Steam. In addition, $1.3 million in grant funding leverages an additional $10 million in private financing and existing utility rebates for energy upgrade projects. Projects include: · Washington Athletic Club (WAC) has signed a contract for nearly $1 million in energy efficiency upgrades. MacDonald Miller will be hiring from Seattle Vocational Institute’s training program to implement this project. · The University of Washington has approved energy upgrades for 2 Unico properties downtown, the IBM Tower and the Rainier Tower. These upgrades leverage $200K in CPW incentives for a project total of $1.5M. CPW Residential offers a built-in affordable loan option to qualifying homeowners that offers several key advantages. The CPW loans cover up to 100% of the cost of the home energy upgrade with no money down. The CPW loan is also repaid conveniently on homeowners' Seattle City Light bill. Start year 2010
Sector Buildings
Type Fiscal/Financial mechanism
Status In progress
File  
Downtown LEED Building Incentive
Downtown zoning legislation has incorporated a LEED incentive into updated rules for the central office core and adjoining areas, including Denny Triangle and a portion of Belltown. These changes provide greater heights and/or greater maximum floor area for commercial and residential buildings. City of Seattle's Department of Planning & Development offers a suite of green permitting incentives aimed at streamlining permitting for applicants pursuing sustainable development projects. Start year  
Sector Buildings
Type Regulatory
Status Completed
File  
Transit Accessibility
Accessibility to public transit systems a major component of Seattle's citywide planning efforts, and is mandated through the City of Seattle's Comprehensive Plan, Transit Master Plan, Transportation Strategic Plan, and the Complete Streets Ordinance (Ordinance 122386), which directs Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to design streets for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and persons of all abilities, while promoting safe operation for all users, including freight. Start year  
Sector Transport
Type Regulatory
Status In progress
File  
Community Power Works
Community Power Works: Community Power Works (CPW) is a three-year initiative that will provide innovative incentives to spur building retrofits. The City of Seattle is the prime sponsor of Community Power Works, and was awarded a $20 million Better Buildings grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to achieve deep energy efficiencies within a target area in Central and South Seattle. In the residential sector, Community Power Works will provide a suite of new and existing tools to catalyze home energy retrofits, including: (i) a Carbon Reduction Incentive Fund; (ii) a revolving loan fund; (iii) Seattle City Light pilot residential incentives; (iv) Energy Performance Score home energy audit subsidies; and (v) Puget Sound Energy residential incentives. To date, The CPW Residential program has offered 910 homeowners have applied to be part of the CPW for Home program. 732 homeowners have completed a home energy assessment. 125 homeowners have either completed energy upgrades to their home or have upgrades in progress, including 18 homeowners who completed their work through HomeWise, the City of Seattle’s low-income housing retrofit program. CPW is partnering with HomeWise to upgrade 600 multifamily units; 145 have already been upgraded. Commercial Sector: CPW for Commercial aims to complete energy efficiency upgrades to 675,000 square feet in the Large Commercial, Hospital, and Small Business sectors. Powerful Neighborhoods: Partnership with community groups to do community outreach and provide direct install of CFLs and distribution of water efficient showerhead and aerators. Start year  
Sector Buildings
Type Fiscal/Financial mechanism
Status In progress
File  
Building Energy Benchmarking and Reporting
The Seattle Building Energy Benchmarking and Reporting legislation (Ordinance 123226) requires commercial and multifamily building owners to conduct annual energy performance tracking through the U.S. EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager, a free and secure online benchmarking tool. Applies to buildings over 10,000 sf including multifamily of 5 units+. Goal is to reduce energy consumption in Seattle's existing building stock by 20%. Start year  
Sector Buildings
Type Regulatory
Status Completed
File  
Green Purchasing Program
The City of Seattle has a Green Purchasing Program, which is the City's commitment to promoting environmental stewardship and reducing greenhouse gas emissions when buying goods, materials, services, and capital improvements. The Green Purchasing Program provides prioritized focus and resources to City departments for product and service acquisitions, and centralized controls that encourage and assure compliance. This objective is aggressively directed through the Climate Action Plan, Mayor’s Executive Orders, City ordinances and resolutions, City wide procurement policies and acquisition procedures, resources and standards. In addition, City Purchasing contracts include boilerplate language that: - Prohibit idling of delivery vehicles, - Mandate use of 100% PCF paper for City work - Mandate duplexing of document production - Mandate provision of services using toxin-free chemicals in pesticide or facility management service contracts, - Mandate at least EPA product standards, Energy Star, Green Seal, EcoLogo, and other standards as applicable. In selection of bids or proposals, the City often requires bidders to describe the environmental benefits that their product offers. The City will often score and evaluate such responses as part of vendor selection. The City has included environmental scoring for such products as computer hardware, cleaning chemicals, paint, copier equipment, and paper products. The Green Team sponsors quarterly workshops for City staff and other regional businesses and public agencies on topics, such as FSC lumber contracts, toxin reduction in LEED facility maintenance, biodiesel fuels and lubricants, recycled paper, and paper waste reduction. The City has retained a policy to share contracts with other local governmental agencies, to allow our GPP initiatives and products to be shared and distributed beyond the City. These include such products as 100%-recycled content paper; EPEAT Silver standard Desktop Computers; copier equipment, FSC Certified lumber, slag cement, remanufactured laser cartridges, and green janitorial products, deconstruction and salvage contracts that “recycle” buildings instead of demolishing buildings. Start year  
Sector Other Emissions
Type Organizational/Governance
Status In progress
File  
Sustainable Buildings and Sites Policy
The Sustainable Buildings and Sites Policy for municipal facilities in Seattle calls for new construction and major renovations 5,000 square feet or greater to meet LEED Gold, as well as key performance requirements for energy and water efficiency, waste diversion and bicycle facilities; for Tenant Improvements 5,000 square or greater (with MEP) to meet LEED Gold, as well as water efficiency and waste diversion requirements; for small projects, either new construction, renovations or tenant improvements, to utilize Capital Green in project planning and development; and for all new and existing sites projects to follow best management practices. The policy updates Seattle's Sustainable Building Policy passed in 2000. Seattle is one of the top cities in the nation for LEED facilities and the City of Seattle is one of the largest single owners of LEED facilities in the world. This achievement was spurred by the City's adoption of the Sustainable Building Policy in 2000. Start year  
Sector Buildings
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File  
Paper Cuts Program
City of Seattle has a Paper Cuts program to reduce paper use by City employees. Start year  
Sector Waste
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File  
Green Fleets Action Plan
City is finalizing the 2014 Green Fleet Action Plan to reduce GHG emissions by 42% in City fleet operations by 2020. This equates to an approximate reduction in petroluem fuel use by 1,000,000 gallons annually. Expanding procurement of electric vehicles and investing in electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Use locally-sourced waste derived biodiesel. Evaluating and using other low-carbon and sustainable alternative fuels including potentially CNG sourced from landfill or digester methane. Improving operational efficiencies through the use of advanced vehicle technology (e.g. GPS enabled systems for route planning, idle control equipment) Start year  
Sector Transport
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File download
LED Street Lighting Upgrades
Seattle City Light is leading a new national effort to promote the installation of energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) street lights with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. The Municipal Solid State Street Lighting Consortium will share information, performance results and residents’ feedback about LED street lights with participating communities from coast to coast. The City of Seattle installed 5,000 LED streetlights in 2010 and will install a total of 40,000 during the next five years. Start year  
Sector Facilities
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File  
Seattle City Light Zero Carbon Generation
Funded through dedicated utility funds. Seattle City Light was the first large utility in the United States to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions in 2005. Most of SCL’s electricity is supplied by renewable sources, like hydropower and wind, and the emissions from the remaining sources are offset by SCL’s investment in carbon-reduction projects. In addition, SCL is committed to meet all new electric demand with conservation and renewable sources. In 2010, the release of more than 665,935 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere was avoided because of Seattle City Light programs. This impact will continue for the next 16 years, as long as the conservation measures installed continue to save energy. Start year 2005
Sector  
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status Completed
File  
Clean Energy Procurement
Funded through dedicated utility funds. Seattle City Light must meet the renewable energy targets set by the I-937 ballot measure passed in the State of Washington in 2006. I-937 established a statewide renewable portfolio standard, setting targets for the percentage of retail demand that must be met with renewable power and setting a conservation target for each qualifying electric utility. The renewable power target is 3% in 2012, 9% in 2016, and 15% in 2020. For the conservation target, each qualifying utility must achieve no less than 20% of its cost-effective conservation every two years. Start year 2006
Sector  
Type Organizational/Governance
Status In progress
File  
Capital Green Checklist - Building Retrofits
All city departments that manage facilities track energy use and have employed energy saving retrofits and efficiency measures, such as new boilers, lighting upgrades, pool covers, and other energy conservation measures. Capital Green Checklist: Checklist tool to evaluate sustainability design options for small City facilities projects. Start year  
Sector Buildings
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File  
Landfill Gas Capture
Funded through dedicated utility funds. City of Seattle has 7 closed landfills and the two largest of the landfills have complete methane capture and flare systems. Start year  
Sector Waste
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File  

Adaptation actions

Climate Research on City-owned Watersheds
SCL is working with University of Washington who is using an ensemble of model output from GCMs downscaled for the Skagit and Boundary watersheds to compare simulated historic temperature, precipitation, and hydrology with conditions in the 2020s, 2040s, and 2080s climatic conditions. Skagit flows are managed according to a likely worst-case drought scenario (1/20 year drought). Probability of drought occurring is updated every 5 years. Skagit and Boundary project operations also factor in flood- control, recreation, and endangered fish species protection in determining reservoir water levels and in-stream flows downstream of the projects. SPU: State of the Art Reservoir Management and Streamflow Forecasting (SEAFM) SPU developed a computer modeling system that continually simulates the current hydrologic state of the watershed and uses the latest climate forecast from the National Weather Service to produce probabilistic streamflow forecasts up to 12 months out. Tool is helpful in risk management and long range planning. SPU has worked with the UW Climate Impacts Group to research the climate impacts on hydrology in Seattle’s watersheds through a series of Global Climate Model downscaling studies. (2002-2008). SPU has used this information to assess impacts on SPU’s supply and demand and to evaluate the effectiveness of adaptation options. Start year  
Sector Terrestrial Ecosystems
Type Assessment/Research
Status In progress
File  
Seattle RainWatch
Improves preparation for and response to storms by integrating city rain gauge data with National Weather Service radar forecasts to provide 60-90 minutes rain forecasts at neighborhood scale. Acts as an early warning system by sending email alerts out to system operators when accumulation or forecast thresholds are exceeded. Start year  
Sector Infrastructure
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status Completed
File  
2009 Flood-prone Areas Mapping
2009 Flood-prone areas mapping: SPU released new flood-prone areas maps for Thorton Creek and Densmore neighborhoods based on 2006 and 2007 storm data. Environmental Critical Areas Regulations: Addresses how development should take place in the City’s wetlands, areas important for fish and wildlife, riparian corridors (such as creeks), geologic hazard areas (such as landslideprone, steep-slope and liquefaction-prone areas), flood-prone areas, and abandoned landfills. Start year  
Sector Terrestrial Ecosystems
Type Assessment/Research
Status Completed
File  
Stormwater Code Update
Stormwater Code update: Tightens flow control and water quality standards across the city. Requires projects to implement green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) to the maximum extent feasible. Residential RainWise: The program provides incentives to Seattle residents to install rain gardens or cisterns techniques to reduce the amount of water that flows from roofs and pavement to combined sewer on residential property. SPU is including a scaling factor in the design of drainage and wastewater infrastructure to accommodate potential changes in the intensity of precipitation. Start year  
Sector Infrastructure
Type Regulatory
Status In progress
File  
Disaster Preparedness Materials
Disaster preparedness materials: Key fact sheets with tips to help you prepare for and manage a disaster such as floods, power outages, hypothermia, and more. Seattle Hazard Identification and Vulnerability Analysis: Assessment of hazards that pose the most risk for Seattle. Currently incorporating climate change into the vulnerability analysis. Emergency Preparedness Plans: All Hazards Mitigation Plan; City of Seattle Disaster Readiness and Response Plan; Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Program; Emergency Operations Center Monitors weather service; Provides support for nursing home and residential care facilities that are at risk during brown outs or heat waves. FFD Emergency Management program: Provides logistics support to the Emergency Operations Center, including coordinating resource requests for equipment, supplies, facilities and people utilized in disaster response, aiding the community in recovery, and working with the County and State in setting up emergency distribution channels. For example, during the extreme heat event in the summer of 2009, FFD coordinated with Public Health to purchase portable air conditioning units for affected nursing care facilities. Start year  
Sector Human health
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status Completed
File  
Community Communication Network
Community Communication Network: The Community Communication Network is a partnership between Public Health – Seattle & King County (Public Health), community-based organizations (CBOs) and community leaders in order to ensure essential health-related information reaches vulnerable residents during emergencies. Vulnerable Population Action Team (VPAT) The Community Communication Network is a partnership between Public Health and community-based organizations and community leaders in order to disseminate essential health-related information in an emergency to hard-toreach, vulnerable residents. Environmental Justice Network in Action: A partnership between SPU, community based organizations (CBO), non-profit and government agencies to assess environmental health needs of low income, people of color, and immigrant and refugee communities and to increase capacity to deliver and evaluate programs and services. Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare (SNAP): SNAP is the city's program to assist residents in their efforts to Get Ready, Get Connected and Get Strong for any potential emergency Classes offered to help neighborhoods conduct emergency planning. King County Healthcare Coalition The King County Healthcare Coalition develops and maintains a comprehensive system that assures coordination, effective communications, and optimal use of available health resources in response to emergencies and disaster for all hazards. Health Care for Homeless: A network of community health centers, public health centers, mental health agencies, substance abuse programs and Harborview Medical Center identifies medical health, mental health and substance abuse problems and links people to the care they need. Public Health Reserve Corps: The Public Health Reserve Corps (PHRC) is a community-based group of local medical and non-medical workers who can serve as volunteers during a public health emergency. Start year  
Sector Human health
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status Completed
File  
Water Conservation
Seattle Public Utilities and its wholesale customers have a target of reducing consumption by 15 mgd by 2030, which would be a nearly 13% reduction of 2011 demand. From 2000-2010, SPU and its wholesale customers reduced demand by 20% through a comprehensive conservation program, system improvements and changes in water use by customers due to price signals (i.e., rates) and changes in code. SPU has evaluated the effectiveness of operational adaptation options -- options that entail changes in operations -- and have determined that such changes have great potential to address reductions in supply. Note: Actions to reduce vulnerability should read: 1) Setting aggressive water conservation targets; 2) identifying and assessing the effectiveness of adaptation options. Initiative characterization: 1) relies on programmatic investments to encourage behavior change, price signals to reduce consumption 2) evaluation of system flexibility and resiliency. Start year  
Sector Water Resources
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File  
Inundation Mapping
Developed inundation maps for City of Seattle showing several different sea level rise scenarios. Developed sea level rise planning methodology for capital projects. Pilot testing methodology with projects vulnerable to sea level rise. Climate Impacts Planning Tool (also helps reduce other impacts from climate change): An excel-based tool that filters through and summarizes the regional climate impact projects in three key areas: temperature, precipitation, and sea level rise. By inputting a few key project parameters, type of project, project location, and project lifespan, capital project managers can use the tool to identify key climate impacts early in the planning process. SPU has created an inventory of assets that would be inundated under different sea level rise scenarios at different timesetps and is initiating a risk assessment process for the infrastructure that is identified in the inundation inventory. Start year  
Sector Coastal zones/Marine Ecosystems
Type Assessment/Research
Status Completed
File  
Seattle Community ReLeaf
Seattle Community ReLeaf: Engages community members in the stewardship of urban trees by helping them plant trees on residential property. Provides free trees, training, watering bags, and long-term follow-up. Trees For Neighborhoods Program: In 2010, the program provided 1,000 trees to residents of the City of Seattle. Altogether, we gave out 75 fruit trees, 400 small trees, and 525 medium to large trees. Green Seattle Partnership/ Urban Forest Restoration Program: Public/private partnership between City of Seattle and Cascade Land Conservancy to create a sustainable network of healthy forested parkland through community engagement. Seattle Green Factor: Green Factor requires new development in commercial zones to increase the quantity and quality of planted areas in Seattle. Green Factor projects have included green roofs, increased tree planting, permeable pavement, innovative vegetation along the sides of buildings, and rain gardens, all of which reduce the heat island effect, reduce stormwater runoff, improve air quality, and provide habitat for birds and other wildlife. Since the start of the program, over 200 projects have been permitted in Seattle and half of these projects have included green roofs. Green Factor is proposed for multifamily residential zones, industrial zones, and the South Downtown planning area. SPU is including a scaling factor in the design of drainage and wastewater infrastructure to accommodate potential changes in the intensity of precipitation; SPU’s Green Stormwater Infrastructure program is focused on using green infrastructure, such rain gardens, permeable pavement, and green roofs, to manage stormwater. In comparison to conventional approaches, GSI may provide a more flexible and adaptive approach to managing the uncertainty of changes in precipitation. Start year  
Sector Terrestrial Ecosystems
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File download