At the October 16th County of Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors meeting, the county received a Gold Beacon Award presented by Elisabeth Bertrand, Special Projects Director for the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG), in recognition of the leadership role it is taking in addressing climate change. Santa Cruz County is only the 3rd county to ever receive a Beacon Award, and the first county to ever receive a Gold Beacon Award from The Institute for Local Government.
The County also received four Beacon Spotlight Awards, for reducing electricity and natural gas use at county facilities through energy efficiency projects, for reducing agency Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and for implementing sustainability best practices.
“The Gold Beacon Award is a wonderful recognition of our collective efforts as a County to meaningfully and pro-actively respond to climate change. All of these actions – from leading the establishment of Monterey Bay Community Power to implementing other countywide strategies for reducing energy use – demonstrate our community values of environmental stewardship and sustainability,” said Supervisor Bruce McPherson.
The County is receiving these awards as a result of its numerous ongoing sustainability initiatives. These include: the completion of energy efficiency and conservation projects, the implementation of the County’s Climate Action Strategy, the adoption of the Zero Waste Plan, the promotion of alternative commuting opportunities, extensive climate-friendly purchasing activity and finally the county’s leadership role in bringing carbon neutral electricity to residents and businesses, as part of Monterey Bay Community Power.
The Beacon Program is a statewide program that provides support and recognition to California counties and cities that are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy, and adopt policies and programs that promote sustainability.
It is sponsored by the Institute for Local Government and the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative (SEEC). The SEEC is an alliance to help cities and counties reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save energy between three statewide non-profit organizations and California’s four Investor Owned Utilities, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and Southern California Gas Company.
This award is a tremendous achievement, and helps showcase the leadership position that the County of Santa Cruz has chosen to take on sustainability and climate change related issues.