San Jose, CA Green Vision

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San Jose, CA, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Adopted on 10/30/07

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Over the past fifty years, San José has transformed from the Valley of Heart’s Delight to the Capital of Silicon Valley. From canneries and packing plants, we’ve moved to semiconductors and instant communications. We’ve attracted and welcomed ideas and talent from around the globe. Our residents, companies, and universities constantly move forward and solve the next challenge. We’ve become known as the world’s center for innovation and entrepreneurship with ideas and inventions that have changed the world.

San José’s spirit of innovation is inspiring entrepreneurs to develop the technologies that will ensure reliable, clean energy sources, reduce carbon emissions, minimize the use of non-renewable power, and mitigate harmful impacts on the environment.

We believe that ensuring a sustainable future for current and future generations requires new waves of Clean Technology innovation. Without Clean Tech innovation, communities will become more polluted, the effects of global warming will increase, and our consumption of fossil fuels will continue our dependency on foreign oil. Here in San José, local companies are already incubating and producing many of these technologies. They are leading the world in solar technology, alternative fuels, new transportation systems, efficient lighting, and energy monitoring systems innovation. They are transforming San José into a world center of Clean Tech innovation with thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars of new investment.

San José has also long been a leader in environmental stewardship. Our residents participate in and support the City’s efforts to recycle garbage, conserve water, reuse wastewater, protect our foothills, and develop responsibly. San José successfully pioneered many commonplace environmental activities, from curbside recycling to our urban growth boundary. Building on our community’s history of technological innovation and environmental leadership, San José will advance our Green Vision.

San José’s Green Vision is a comprehensive strategy that will show the world how environmental responsibility makes financial sense and stimulates economic opportunity. We will lead the nation in becoming more energy efficient, producing and using electricity from clean renewable sources, creating green buildings, diverting waste from landfills, creating greener street systems, delivering recycled water, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

This vision includes 10 bold goals that will serve as a roadmap to reduce the carbon footprint of the tenth largest city in the nation by more than half.

On October 30, 2007, the San José City Council adopted the Green Vision, a fifteen-year plan to transform San José into a world center of Clean Technology innovation, promote cutting-edge sustainable practices, and demonstrate that the goals of economic growth, environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility are inextricably linked. We hope you will join us as we strive to make the Green Vision a reality and ensure that San José remains a sustainable community for generations to come.

Green Vision Goals
Within 15 years, the City of San José in tandem with its residents and businesses will:

1. Create 25,000 Clean Tech jobs as the World Center of Clean Tech Innovation
2. Reduce per capita energy use by 50 percent
3. Receive 100 percent of our electrical power from clean renewable sources
4. Build or retrofit 50 million square feet of green buildings
5. Divert 100 percent of the waste from our landfill and convert waste to energy
6. Recycle or beneficially reuse 100 percent of our wastewater (100 million gallons per day)
7. Adopt a General Plan with measurable standards for sustainable development
8. Ensure that 100 percent of public fleet vehicles run on alternative fuels
9. Plant 100,000 new trees and replace 100 percent of our streetlights with smart, zero emission lighting
10. Create 100 miles of interconnected trails

Successfully realizing this vision will require a focused direction for action and a means of regularly measuring progress. By pushing the limits of what is possible, we will all achieve our vision and inspire change globally.