Sustainability Division

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The Sustainability Division oversees and administers various environmental programs. These programs are designed to offer conservation tips and valuable insights aimed at safeguarding and improving the environment. Explore our webpage for valuable environmental tips and resources to reduce your carbon footprint and help maintain our city's position as a leader in sustainable practices.


Sustainability has always been an important part of life in South Pasadena. Here are a few ways South Pasadena has established itself as a leader in sustainable practices:

Recognitions, Programs, and Affiliations

Tree City USA South Pasadena has proudly held the title of a Tree City for more than 25 years. This recognition is a testament to the community's unwavering dedication and commitment to preserving the environment. It is an achievement that demonstrates the community's commitment to maintaining a tree board, implementing a community tree ordinance, investing in urban forestry, and celebrating Arbor Day.

City Water Conservation Program For the past several years, the City has offered rebates and water conservation programs for its residents and business owners contributing to an 18% water use reduction between 2013 and 2018.

Certified Green Zone City In 2016, the City became the first in the nation to be certified as a Green Zone City by the American Green Zone Alliance. The certification ensures that grounds maintenance on municipal properties - spanning 41 acres - are serviced exclusively with low-noise, zero-emission, electric machinery. This equipment prevents South Pasadena from creating 31 tons of pollutants every year.

Clean Power Alliance In 2019, South Pasadena joined the Clean Power Alliance and chose to select 100% Green Power as the default option for our community.


Environmental Ordinances

Plastic Bag Ban In 2014, the City banned plastic bags, two years before it became state law.

Expanded Polystyrene Ban In 2016, South Pasadena City Council voted to ban the sale and use of expanded polystyrene - a petroleum byproduct that is neither readily recyclable nor biodegradable. The ban applies to restaurants, retail vendors, food packagers, food providers, and City vendors.

Gas-Powered Leaf Blower Ban In 2021, City Council adopted an ordinance banning the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in the City.The toxic pollutants from gas-powered leaf blowers are known to cause health issues including dizziness, asthma attacks, headaches, and heart and lung disease for both operators and bystanders.

Green Action Plan

What is the Green Action Plan?

Green Action Plan(PDF, 3MB)

 Sustainability is an important aspect in the City of South Pasadena’s way of life as exemplified by the City’s participation in the Clean Power Alliance, the adoption of the expanded polystyrene ban ordinance, and the inclusion of sustainability in the City’s Strategic Plan. To further strengthen the City’s commitment to sustainability, City staff have composed five definitive goals and actions to be taken in the form of the South Pasadena Green Action Plan (Green Plan).

The five goals are:

Goal I: Work towards making South Pasadena a Plastic-Free City

Goal II: Enhance Water Conservation Projects and Programs

Goal III: Increase Organics Diversion from Landfill

Goal IV: Mitigate Impacts of the Urban Heat Island Effect

Goal V: Prepare for the Consideration of Future Sustainability Initiatives

The creation of the Green Plan was a collaborative effort between City staff, the Natural Resources and Environmental Commission (NREC), and South Pasadena residents and businesses. The short-term initiatives in this plan will act as stepping stones for the Climate Action Plan (CAP). 


Climate Action Plan

What is the Climate Action Plan?

Climate Action Plan(PDF, 11MB)

The City of South Pasadena adopted the City’s first Climate Action Plan (CAP) on December 16, 2020, a strategy for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with statewide targets. The CAP set a baseline for past and current GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions and intends to facilitate the reduction of GHG emissions throughout South Pasadena through the implementation of the Southern California Association of Governments’ (SCAG) 2016-2040 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy: Towards a Sustainable Future (RTP/SCS). In a way that is practical, efficient, and beneficial to the community and enhances South Pasadena’s desirable characteristics and qualities.

The foundation for developing emission reduction and climate adaptation measures is based on the City’s existing work as detailed in the extensive plans and programs comprising the City’s sustainability goals and vulnerability analysis. In the long term, the CAP will also help achieve multiple community goals such as lowering energy costs, reducing air pollution, supporting local economic development, and improving public health and quality of life.

For more information on the CAP, click here.



Local Gardens