About Sustainability

Sustainability is commonly defined as the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Everything we do and use takes resources, whether it be trees, oil, food, energy, or land. Some of these resources, like trees and food are renewable, because more can be grown. Other sources are not renewable, or finite, like oil, water, and land. Non-renewable resources must be used sparingly so as to ensure that they are not depleted. Even renewable resources cannot be used faster than they can be replenished or we could run out.Being sustainable means using things and acting in a ways that can be maintained over time.

Being sustainable, or “green” means minimizing our impact on the planet by strategies to use less energy and less water, generate less solid waste, generate less pollution and greenhouse gases, while planting more trees, improving water quality in our bays and rivers, increasing and improving access to open space and maintaining a healthy community.

With so many issues in today’s society from global warming and high fuel prices, to poverty and unemployment, sustainable decision-making seeks to consider environmental, social, and economic components. Meaning, the environmental benefit will not necessarily trump all other considerations, nor will the financial costs of doing something override all the other benefits.And central to all this, will our actions improve social equity?

Sustainability is essential to Long Beach’s future. A green, clean Long Beach is essential to the quality of life, economic development, culture and public and environmental health of our citizens, businesses and neighborhoods.

Sustainable cities are places where people enjoy living, working, and raising their families, where sustainability is the economic engine that helps drive jobs and services and where the environment and citizen health is protected, ensuring a great quality of life now and into the future.

This website organizes the City’s approach to sustainability under the categories of Buildings & Neighborhoods, Urban Nature, Waste Reduction, Water, Energy, Transportation, and Eco Products & Services in order to demonstrate a comprehensive approach to sustainability that recognizes the need to integrate a variety of factors into one truly sustainable city.

Sustainability saves money, resources, makes healthier and happier communities, and just makes sense.It is our responsibility to change the traditionally accepted ways of thinking and acting and begin to reduce our consumption, produce less waste and pollution, and not compromise our environment. Although the issues may seem overwhelming, there are real actions that each one of us can take every day to make a positive contribution to our City and the planet. Please explore our website for more information and resources so you can get involved too!