California Sustainability Alliance
The California Sustainability Alliance is an organization funded by the California IOUs
Investor-owned utility
An investor-owned utility or IOU is a business organization, providing a product or service regarded as a utility , and managed as private enterprise rather than a function of government or a utility cooperative...

 to bring together key stakeholders needed to overcome the obstacles of sustainability. The Alliance was designed in 2008 to help meet the State’s aggressive climate
Climate change in California
California has taken legislative steps towards reducing the possible effects climate change by incentives and plans for clean cars, renewable energy and stringent caps on big polluting industries.- Scoping Plan :...

, energy and other resource and environmental goals by increasing and accelerating sustainable measures and strategies. The Alliance specifically focuses on energy efficiency
Efficient energy use
Efficient energy use, sometimes simply called energy efficiency, is the goal of efforts to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services. For example, insulating a home allows a building to use less heating and cooling energy to achieve and maintain a comfortable temperature...

, climate action, “smart growth
Smart growth
Smart growth is an urban planning and transportation theory that concentrates growth in compact walkable urban centers to avoid sprawl and advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, including neighborhood schools, complete streets, and mixed-use development with a...

” principles, renewable energy
Renewable energy
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

 development, water use efficiency
Water efficiency
Water efficiency can be defined as:# The accomplishment of a function, task, process, or result with the minimal amount of water feasible;# An indicator of the relationship between the amount of water required for a particular purpose and the amount of water used or delivered.Though the two are...

, waste management
Waste management
Waste management is the collection, transport, processing or disposal,managing and monitoring of waste materials. The term usually relates to materials produced by human activity, and the process is generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health, the environment or aesthetics...

, and transportation management within California.


The Alliance's main functions include sharing and developing toolkits, resources and pilot programs that aid in the planning and implementation of sustainability initiatives within California. These tools and resources target the alliances focuses (energy efficiency, climate action, smart growth, renewable energy, water efficiency, waste management and transportation management) and include:
  • California Local Energy Efficiency Program (CALeep): Designed to help California’s local governments plan and implement highly effective energy efficiency initiatives in their communities.
  • Emerald California Pilot Program: Emerald Cities is designed to help local governments adopt ‘reach goals’ that go beyond simply complying with State environmental mandates and implement sustainability programs that support California’s environmental priorities. The Alliance is the lead implementer of this California Department of Conservation
    California Department of Conservation
    The California Department of Conservation is a department within the government of California, belonging to the California Natural Resources Agency. With a team of scientists, engineers, environmental experts, and other layabouts, the Department of Conservation administers a variety of programs...

     pilot program.
  • Green General Plan Toolkit: Recognizes five key sustainability principles that local governments may wish to consider in developing their green general plans
    General plan
    A general plan is the policy of acceptable land uses in each jurisdiction. Each city and county adopts and updates their General Plan to guide the growth and land development of their community, for both the current period and the long term...

    : strategic emissions reduction, smart land use & planning, responsible resource use, integrated transportation, and innovative waste management.
  • Green Leases Toolkit: This toolkit supports tenants and landlords in developing their own green leasing policies and requirements, measuring and comparing the green attributes of different buildings, developing specific lease language and communicating policies and requirements to the market.
  • Local Government Operations Protocol Toolkit: A tool for accounting and reporting Greenhouse gas emissions across a local government’s operations. It was adopted by the California Air Resources Board (ARB)
    California Air Resources Board
    The California Air Resources Board, also known as CARB or ARB, is the "clean air agency" in the government of California. Established in 1967 in the Mulford-Carrell Act, combining the Bureau of Air Sanitation and the Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board, CARB is a department within the...

     in September 2008 for local governments to develop and report consistent and accurate GHG inventories and to help meet California’s AB 32
    Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006
    The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, or Assembly Bill 32, is a California State Law that fights climate change by establishing a comprehensive program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all sources throughout the state...

     GHG reduction obligations.
  • Local Government Resources Toolkit: This resource helps cities and counties identify and locate tools and funding sources to help their communities set and meet sustainability goals.

Sustainability Showcase Awards

In the winter of 2008/2009, the California Sustainability Alliance began recognizing organizations through the creation of their Annual Sustainability Showcase Awards. The Alliance awards are given to organizations within California that have successfully implemented sustainable policies, programs, practices and technologies.

The 2008 winners included:
  • Inland Empire Utility Agency, recognized for their innovation in integrated resource management and best-in-class projects ranging from energy efficient water operations and renewable energy usage to their LEED Platinum headquarters.
  • Thomas Properties Group
    Thomas Properties Group
    Thomas Properties Group is an American real estate company based out of Los Angeles, California. Incorporated on March 9, 2004, they own properties in California, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Texas....

    , recognized for its leadership in greening California's real estate which included their partnership with the State and Consumer Services Agency to make the California Environmental Protection Agency
    California Environmental Protection Agency
    The California Environmental Protection Agency is a state cabinet-level agency within the government of California. Cal/EPA is composed of six departments, boards and offices responsible for environmental research, regulating and administering the state's environmental protection programs, and...

     headquarters building. one of the greenest in the country.
  • University of California
    University of California
    The University of California is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-tier public higher education system, which also includes the California State University...

    , recognized for its excellent environmental leadership and customer-initiated partnership through which students, employees and administrators are successfully collaborating through the Policy on Sustainable Practices to address climate change, sustainable transportation, green buildings, and waste reduction through all ten campuses.

The 2009 winners included:
  • Jones Lang LaSalle
    Jones Lang LaSalle
    Jones Lang LaSalle, Inc. is a multinational financial and professional services company specializing in real estate. Global headquarters are located in Chicago, with an operational remit covering the Americas regional market...

    , recognized for their efforts to minimize buildings' environmental impacts by creating real value energy and sustainability for their clients and within their own operations.
  • Los Angeles Housing Partnership, recognized as a leader within the affordable housing industry due to its early adoption of sustainable practices, energy efficiency, renewable resources, water efficiency, smart growth and more.
  • Town of Los Gatos
    Los Gatos, California
    The Town of Los Gatos is an incorporated town in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population was 29,413 at the 2010 census. It is located in the San Francisco Bay Area at the southwest corner of San Jose in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains...

    , recognized for their employee and community commitment to promote and implement sustainability programs and practices.
  • City of Santa Monica
    Santa Monica, California
    Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, US. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is surrounded on three sides by the city of Los Angeles — Pacific Palisades on the northwest, Brentwood on the north, West Los Angeles on the northeast, Mar Vista on the east, and...

    , recognized as an early adopter of sustainable practices throughout all aspects of their local government and awarded the 2009 Grand Prize Winner by the Alliance.
  • County of San Diego
    San Diego County, California
    San Diego County is a large county located in the southwestern corner of the US state of California. Hence, San Diego County is also located in the southwestern corner of the 48 contiguous United States. Its county seat and largest city is San Diego. Its population was about 2,813,835 in the 2000...

    , recognized for building strong sustainable communities by working with their internal departments as well as partnering with local utilities and organizations to maximize adoption of sustainability best practices.
  • Sonoma County Water Agency
    Sonoma County Water Agency
    The Sonoma County Water Agency is the government agency responsible for managing the water resources of Sonoma County, California...

    , recognized for their commitment to provide carbon-free water by 2015 and for all of their sustainable programs and best practices that are helping them achieve this goal.
  • Los Angeles Community College District
    Los Angeles Community College District
    The Los Angeles Community College District is the community college district serving Los Angeles, California and some of its neighboring cities. In addition to typical college aged students, the LACCD also serves adults of all ages. Indeed, over half of all LACCD students are older than 25 years...

    , recognized for working with leading environmental organizations and for developing innovative sustainability policies, including LACCD Builds Green campus projects, that place them on the forefront of social and environmental responsibility.
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