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March 10, 2010 > Cities of Hayward and Richmond join Green Cities California

Cities of Hayward and Richmond join Green Cities California

Submitted By Carol Misseldine

Green Cities California (GCC) welcomed the cities of Hayward and Richmond as its newest members on March 1, 2010. GCC is a coalition of California's highest performance jurisdictions relative to environmental protection.

"We are proud these two sustainability leaders have joined our ranks," said Carol Misseldine, Coordinator of Green Cities California. "Their sustainability expertise will serve GCC's mission of accelerating the adoption of sustainability policies through collaborative action."

Hayward adopted a Climate Action Plan (CAP) in 2009. City of Hayward Senior Planner Erik Pearson highlighted the establishment of innovative financing programs for energy efficiency and renewable energy as high-priority focus areas for the city's CAP, regarded as a model by many Bay Area cities in the process of developing their own environmental protection policies.

Richmond is one of the first cities in the nation to develop an Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Element (EECE) for inclusion in their General Plan Update. City of Richmond Environmental Manager Jenny Oorbeck noted the EECE addresses energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable business development and reduction of climate change impacts.

The standards for GCC membership are high, by design. Pre-requisites include the adoption of a local sustainability plan, the United Nations Urban Environmental Accords, and the Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Other criteria include an agreement to convert all paper purchased for city operations to 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper and to end the use of city funds for bottled water.

A recent GCC collaboration commissioned the development of a Master Environmental Assessment (MEA) on single-use bags to provide support to jurisdictions that want to adopt policies encouraging use of re-usable bags. Release of the final MEA is expected in early March.

GCC's website showcases best practices adopted by its members and is intended as a way of sharing them with jurisdictions across the country.

For more information, contact Erik Pearson, Senior Planner, 777 B Street, Hayward or call (510) 583-2410. Also visit www.ci.hayward.ca.us (City of Hayward) and www.GreenCitiesCalifornia.org (Green Cities California).

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