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South Pasadena Green Action Plan

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On the move towards sustainability...

The South Pasadena Green Action Plan (Green Plan) was reviewed and passed unanimously by City Council on November 20, 2019. 

Master Fee Schedule 2019



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). The CAP is a longer term sustainability plan that will aim to reduce the City’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and is expected to be completed by the end of the 2020 calendar year. For more information on the CAP, click here.


Throughout the year, the NREC discussed many sustainability programs and initiatives that would conserve our natural resources and benefit the community and environment. In addition, several community members and councilmembers have come forth with their environmental concerns and expressed the urgent need to address them as a City. Finally, current environmental events such as the depletion of natural resources, higher temperatures, the overflow of landfills, and China’s National Sword policy have made it clear that implementing sustainable practices in the City is critical.

Although the City’s CAP is expected to be completed by the end of 2020, the NREC, City staff, and South Pasadena residents believe that waiting any longer to take any action would be detrimental to our community and our environment. While we wait for the completion of the CAP, the Green Plan will allow us to focus on the most important environmental issues in our City and take action now.


The sustainability initiatives discussed throughout the year varied in subject, environmental impact, and resources needed to implement them. City staff consolidated, prioritized, and organized these initiatives into five overarching goals based on the City’s most pressing needs. Each goal includes strategies (“plays”) and specific actions (“moves”) for achieving these objectives. The goals address plastic reduction, water conservation, organics diversion, heat island mitigation, and preparation for future sustainability initiatives.

The Green Plan incorporates the S.M.A.R.T. method of goal-making: each move is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound. Each move in the Green Plan also includes the sector and stakeholders involved, deliverables, and an estimated completion time. Some of the moves listed are important to complete, but can only be completed if additional resources are available (such as staff and/or funding). There are a total of 5 goals, 16 plays, 41 moves, and 22 contingent moves.

In preparation of the Green Plan, City department representatives reviewed and provided feedback on the moves during a City Staff Green Plan Workshop. In addition, the plan was presented to the NREC during their public meeting and shared with the Chamber of Commerce. Feedback was collected and incorporated into the Green Plan accordingly. The collaborative approach in the composition of this plan will ensure that it is successful.


The Green Plan was reviewed and unanimously approved for adoption by City Council on November 20, 2019 at their regular City Council meeting. The tentative timeline of the completion of all moves in the Green Plan is January 2020 to June 2021. Quarterly updates on the progress of the plan will be presented during NREC public meetings.