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Renton's Future Clean, Bright, and Green

April 29, 2011

For more information contact:

Alex Pietsch, Administrator, Community and Economic Development 425-430-6592 
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director 425-430-6569

"Clean Economy Strategy" Lays Groundwork for Continued Steps to a More Resource-efficient City

Renton, WA: The Renton City Council recently approved the city’s first Clean Economy Strategy that establishes key steps to keep Renton thriving in a more resource-efficient way while lessening its impact on the environment. Implementation of these strategies will ultimately decrease greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, reduce business and household operating costs, increase energy efficiency, and move the city towards becoming a more environmentally-friendly community.

The strategy builds on what Renton has been doing over the last decade through partnerships and a commitment to addressing global climate change. In a recent survey of 39 cities in King County, Renton was rated as one of the most “active cities” in its efforts to foster local greenhouse gas reductions.

“We’re proud of the efforts Renton has made and remain dedicated to the ‘green’ agenda we have instituted, which has positioned us as a leader in these efforts,” said Mayor Denis Law. “We will continue to promote and implement innovative social, economic and community initiatives that will help provide a healthier environment for our residents and businesses.”

An example of Renton’s dedication began several years ago when the city stepped up to sign the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement, committing to advance climate protection policies and actions. In addition, the city has played an integral role in developing regional certification standards to improve fleet efficiency through the Evergreen Fleets Advisory Committees.

More importantly, Renton is leading by example with an impressive list of actions underway that include city partnerships, policies and programs. Highlights from the list of accomplishments include work done by the city with Puget Sound Energy to provide residents with “home energy reports” designed to help them measure their energy efficiency and identify ways to save money, conserve energy and protect the environment. The city’s Solid Waste Utility also provides a valuable program that has ultimately resulted in an impressive 70% of single family homes utilizing offered recycling options.

While successful steps have been taken, the Clean Economy Strategy provides direction in how to develop a more resource-efficient future. Strategy development was conducted with the assistance of Cascadia Consulting Group, a Seattle-based environmental consultant. Working together, efforts were made to define and build on what is currently being done by the city in its own operations and facilities with its “green” practices and activities. Local employers were also interviewed as part of the process to identify their achievements in resource efficiency and sustainability efforts. A primary first step will be to formalize a “Green Team” of city staff to work on efficiencies for city operations and be an example for the community and businesses considering ways to reduce waste and pollution while increasing the bottom line.

While the Clean Economy Strategy is a long-range plan that will take time and funding to fully implement, the city now has 22 identified recommendations that provide clear direction and will help advance the city towards developing a conceptual framework for green growth that includes goals such as:

  • Reducing operating costs for both the city and community through energy-saving and resource-efficiency measures.
  • Further understand green house gas impacts and identify cost effective steps to reduce emissions and save energy.
  • Capitalize on opportunities for funding and investment, including federal grants, state infrastructure funding and other investments in the region.
  • Identify new initiatives for a competitive, clean local economy and fulfill Renton’s commitment to stay “ahead of the curve.”

The recommended actions are all designed to rely on clean and renewable energy sources and move governments, businesses, and citizens alike to minimize pollution and waste. For more information on the Creating a Clean Economy in Renton Strategy and ways you can help keep Renton “green” visit rentonwa.gov or call 425-430-6580.