How Are We Doing?
Can the City of Shoreline be forevergreen? The metrics included here are indicators of the five focus areas defined by the City's Environmental Sustainability Strategy. In each area, there are multiple indicators to show how we're doing. See the Site Map or About Us for site information. Visit the Environmental Services page for more information on City programs designed to create an environmentally sustainable community!
The City is committed to reducing its carbon footprint through energy efficiency and promotion of renewable energy. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas produced by burning fossil fuels that degrades the ozone layer and contributes to adverse climate change. Estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and their sources for City operations and the Community as a whole have been calculated through carbon inventories conducted for 2009 and 2012. Test your knowledge of climate change and how it affects the community of Shoreline.
Since energy conservation can reduce the amount of fossil fuel needed to operate buildings, provide transportation, and run industrial processes, the City will continue to reduce energy use in its own operations and assist the Shoreline community in reducing their own energy needs. Greener buildings, fuel efficient management of the municipal vehicle fleet and equipment, and development of amenities for non-motorized transportation will help reduce the City’s carbon footprint and operating costs. It will also promote community health and responsible stewardship of natural and financial resources.
The City of Shoreline joined King County and several of its cities to enhance the effectiveness of King County local government climate and sustainability efforts through the King County – Cities Climate Collaboration and Pledge.
City Carbon Footprint
The City’s carbon footprint is directly generated from day-to-day municipal operations. It is comprised of the emissions from the electricity and natural gas used to heat and operate buildings, streetlights and traffic signals, and the fuel consumed by the City’s vehicle fleet. Carbon footprints are expressed in terms of equivalent carbon dioxide (CO2e), which is a measurement that compares emissions of various greenhouse gases (GHGs) based on their potential to contribute to global warming. While carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most commonly referenced GHG, there are actually many different gases that contribute to climate change in varying degrees. Learn more about climate change on the EPA's web site.
Transportation is by far the largest source of carbon emissions in Washington. Transportation has such a large impact because our electricity primarily comes from hydropower rather than from coal as in much of the rest of the country, and even much of the rest of the western region.
% LED Light Bars
LED lights last twice as long and are 80% more energy efficient than conventional light bars, allowing engines to turn off while keeping the warning lights on. Of the City's vehicles with light bars, 59% are LED equipped, with more to follow.
Community Carbon Footprint
The carbon footprint of the Shoreline community is comprised of emissions from the electricity, natural gas, and heating oil used by residents and businesses, the fuel consumed by vehicles within the city, and the solid waste output of the community. Carbon footprints are expressed in terms of equivalent carbon dioxide (CO2e), which is a measurement that compares emissions of various greenhouse gases (GHGs) based on their potential to contribute to global warming. While carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most commonly referenced GHG, there are actually many gases that contribute to climate change in varying degrees. Learn more about climate change on the EPA's web site.
When looking at the community’s carbon footprint, it’s important to compare the size of each sector that produces emissions. Approximately 90% of Shoreline is comprised of residential single- and multi-family homes, and 10% are businesses. As the largest sector, the residential area is responsible for 66% of the total CO2e emitted, while the commercial and industrial sector emits 34% of the CO2e.
Home Energy Audits
Low cost energy audits performed by SustainableWorksLearn More
A healthy ecosystem is an interconnected community of plants and animals, including humans and their physical surroundings. All living members should be able to get the resources they need to survive without compromising the ability of other populations to survive as well.
Our natural areas are community treasures; they are highly valued recreational and aesthetic resources that remind us of our link to the natural world. Functioning ecosystems also provide a number of services that humans would otherwise have to engineer. Threats to urban ecosystem health include: reduction in tree canopy, degradation of surface water quality, declining forest health, fragmentation of upland habitat, and degradation of stream and wetland habitats.
The City works with community volunteers, non-profit organizations, schools, research institutions, businesses, and other governments to provide effective management and stewardship.
Surface Water Quality
Storm Drains Adopted
Local residents are protecting water quality by keeping adopted storm drains clear of debris and leaves.Learn More
All plants and animals have unique requirements for their habitat or home that need to be met if they are going to thrive. Healthy habitat includes sources of food, access to water, a place to raise young, and a diverse mix of species to support the ecosystem web. Because of the complex relationships between plants and animals and the unique requirements of each species, measuring the healthy habitat requires looking at several types of indicators to get insights into the overall picture. Learn more about biodiversity in King County.
The simplest and most cost-effective way to conserve resources, both water and raw materials, is to use less. There will be less solid waste to manage, less water to treat, and less energy and chemicals required. Resource conservation also provides opportunities for businesses and residents to reduce their expenses because increasing efficiencies generate cost savings. It also allows them to utilize their purchasing power to support innovative technologies, product design and manufacturing techniques, and strategies for material reuse.
The City supports resource conservation through:
- educational programs;
- purchasing more resource-efficient fixtures and supplies;
- incorporating native plantings and natural stormwater techniques;
- operating in a LEED Gold certified City Hall; and
- sponsoring events that promote community stewardship.
We are fortunate in the Pacific Northwest to have abundant water in our rivers, lakes, and streams to support fish and wildlife as well as our need for drinking water. As temperatures grow warmer, our mountain snow may melt earlier in the year or precipitation may fall as rain instead of snow, reducing the available water supply to meet the high demand for water in the summer. Average warmer weather or drier summers can increase demand and the urgency to conserve water.
Shoreline’s drinking water originates in the Tolt River watershed, due east in the Cascade Mountains. Two utility districts currently provide water service to the City’s residents and businesses - Seattle Public Utilities and Shoreline Water District.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
# BigBelly Solar Compactor Sets
Solar-powered garbage and recycling cans compact materials to reduce maintenance trips.Learn More
The City of Shoreline promotes efficient and environmentally sensitive building and land use practices on private and public land.
Green building encompasses the whole built environment, and includes all stages of development, from site-planning to construction to operations and maintenance to demolition or deconstruction.
Green infrastructure includes the network of parks, shorelines, creeks, urban forests, civic spaces, sidewalks and trails that connect neighborhoods, landscapes, plants and animals. Green infrastructure also includes elements designed to mimic nature for the benefit of both humans and the larger ecological system.
Efforts related to this focus area help create a built environment that reconciles impacts from past practices, conserves energy and resources, supports a livable community and healthy ecosystems, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions and the community’s carbon footprint.
Green infrastructure is the network of natural areas, parks, urban forests, civic spaces, and rights-of-way that comprise a fabric of natural habitat throughout the City. It provides essential environmental services, such as storm water management, pollution prevention, cleaner air, erosion control, carbon storage, natural cooling for our homes, streams, and wetlands. Although green infrastructure encompasses both built and natural environments, the indicators below measure only those elements of green infrastructure created in the built environment.
Storm Drains Labeled
Stencil and medallion labels help keep pollutants out of our waterways through education.Learn More
Green buildings are intended to be more environmentally sustainable and resource efficient throughout the building's lifecycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition or deconstruction. They can be new construction or retrofitted existing stock, commercial or residential, but common characteristics include efficient use of energy and water, improved indoor air quality, and materials that reduce waste, pollution, and environmental degradation.
Trees add beauty and wildlife habitat anywhere they grow, but that is not all they do. They clean the air, slow down and clean surface water, prevent erosion, provide shade, and remove and store carbon from the atmosphere. All of these environmental services provided by trees reduce the need for conventional infrastructure, such as storm drains and flood control devices.
One way to measure the abundance or absence of trees is to measure the area of the City that is covered by their branches. When added together this total area is referred to as the tree canopy.
It is the responsibility of the City to develop and maintain a complete transportation system that allows people, goods and service providers to travel using a variety of modes, including automobiles, transit, bicycling and walking. Poor quality or non-existent bicycle and pedestrian amenities can be a deterrent to residents walking or bicycling for transportation, connecting to transit and traveling to schools and parks, as well as for recreational purposes. Transportation infrastructure includes streets, sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails, as well as the signage, bus stops, park and rides, and other supporting systems that make multi-modal transportation possible. Learn more in the Transportation Master Plan.
Shoreline’s environmental sustainability programs are part of the “forevergreen” campaign.
The City will establish and reinforce sustainability as a consistent and unifying factor in its policies, programs, operations and outreach to the community. Its day-to-day business strives to be a model of the environmental goals identified in the Shoreline Environmental Sustainability Strategy. In other words, the City intends to “walk the talk.”
In research conducted to develop the Environmental Sustainability Strategy, we learned that successful strategies thoroughly integrated sustainability into policy making and the initial stages of program or project design. We add this consideration to conventional ones of cost, staff availability, and community priorities. In many cases, initiatives that promote sustainability can provide long term savings and reduced liability, in addition to protecting the environment.
All the City Initiatives in this focus area overlap with the other four focus areas, and reinforce the integrated nature of the environmental sustainability. Objectives include increasing capacity and technical expertise, and leveraging and directing the resources of the larger Shoreline community in support of key sustainability objectives.
Charged with implementing the Shoreline Environmental Sustainability Strategy, the City’s multi-departmental Green Team has taken the lead on drafting several different policy initiatives to standardize and formalize green operational practices.
The City’s values statement now includes:
Sustainability - Exemplify and encourage sustainable practices in our operations and our community.
The Green Team’s efforts also include developing Green Office Policies & Procedures, Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Guidelines, and policies to integrate environmental sustainability into Citywide decision-making processes.
Over 80% of the Sustainability Strategy’s recommendations are completed or ongoing, with only eight of the recommendations tabled for future consideration.
The City of Shoreline offers a variety of events and programs that are designed to provide educational opportunities to the community on environmental sustainability. The Environmental Services Division of the Public Works department is the lead on most of these events, which include Earth Day and recycling events.
The City’s environmental programming also includes Environmental Mini-Grants, which can be used for a wide range of neighborhood projects, including starting community gardens or habitat restoration.
Many of the programs and projects that promote environmental sustainability can be identified by the City’s “forevergreen” logo.
# Event Participants in 2012
Shoreline's environmental outreach events reach thousands of residents every year.
Operations & Maintenance
Smart Restroom Fixtures
Water use is reduced approximately 43% through dual flush toilets, low flow urinals, low flow showerheads, and automatic sensor controlled lavatory faucets. The automatic sensor utilizes the flow of water to recharge the battery in the sensor.