The City of Long Beach Office of Sustainability works to create a more sustainable community by engaging with individuals, neighborhoods and government to equitably reduce our impact on the environment and protect our local natural resources. Sustainability reports to the City Manager’s Office and supports the Sustainable City Commission, an advisory body to City Council.
Read our 2022 Work Plan to learn more about what our office has planned for this year.
The elements in our logo were inspired by elements of Willow Springs Park – a habitat restoration project our office worked to create in partnership with Parks, Recreation & Marine. The leaves are willow leaves representing the native trees and plants that grow in the park. The brown represents the hillside and the seeds planted in the soil there to grow. The blue represents the spring that once provided our city with water, and that is now recreated with captured rainwater that flows to wetland restoration areas after it rains. This park is meant to be a testing and demonstration area for sustainable practices, and we hope it will inspire Long Beach residents for years to come.
Beyond the park, the three logo elements also represent the natural resources that need to be cultivated and protected in order for Long Beach to thrive. Clean air and water, an abundance of trees and native plants, and healthy soil to support our trees, parks, gardens, and urban farms. The three elements come together to form a leaf, which has become a universal symbol of environmental sustainability.
We envision a city with a culture of sustainability where people work together at both neighborhood and city-wide levels to protect and enjoy our natural environment.
Long Beach Sustainability’s mission is to provide policies and programs that
Advance environmental stewardship,
Support local sustainability practices &
Create a more livable and resilient Long Beach.
What is sustainability?
Sustainability means ensuring we can meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability recognizes that resources are limited, and should be used wisely with consideration for long-term priorities and consequences for humans and the environment.
Sustainable practices support environmental, human, and economic well-being. Sustainability supports human well-being by encouraging equitable access to natural resources and increasing public health for our most vulnerable communities. Sustainability is also good for businesses and the economy, saving money and resources, while also creating new opportunities for innovation and green jobs.
Other terms to know:
Equity - When everyone can reach their highest level of health and potential for a successful life, regardless of their background and identity. We don’t want to confuse equity with equality. Equity is when everyone has what they need to be successful, while equality is treating everyone the same. Equality seeks to promote fairness, but it can only work if everyone starts from the same place.
Environmental Justice - The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental protections. The aim of environmental justice is to improve and maintain a clean and healthful environment in a way that benefits those who have historically lived, worked, and played closest to the sources of pollution and environmental degradation.
Green Economy - An economy that promotes a triple bottom line, which aims to sustain and advance economic, environmental, and social well-being. A green economy fosters economic growth in a socially equitable way while protecting the environmental resources and natural system services that human well-being relies on.
Mitigation - Actions taken to address the causes of climate change and reduce human impact on the climate system; it includes strategies to reduce greenhouse gas sources and emissions.
For example, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced through the adoption of energy-efficient components and systems including buildings, vehicles, appliances, and electric grid systems, and switching to renewable energy sources including wind, solar, hydropower, and geothermal.
Adaptation - Actions taken to help communities and ecosystems adjust to and cope with actual or expected climatic changes and their impacts, by utilizing beneficial opportunities and alleviating potential challenges. There are three types of adaptation strategies – structural, natural, and community-based.
For example, thinking about sea level rise, structural adaptations might include levees, seawalls, or floodwalls. Natural adaptations could include wetlands, reefs, or living shorelines. Community-based adaptations could include safety procedures in at-risk areas, public campaigns, or volunteer programs.
Resilience - The capability to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from climatic hazards, chronic stresses, and acute shocks while protecting social well-being, the economy, and the environment. Both climate mitigation and climate adaptation are essential in creating a climate resilient city; a city that effectively manages risks, protects and improves its quality of life, and strives to maintain its livability and vibrancy.