This week the City of Chula Vista received the Environmental Protection Agency's Organizational Leadership Award for reducing greenhouse emissions. Only two other organizations nationwide — the University of California, Irvine, and the Sprint telecommunications company — received the award.
The EPA said that Chula Vista is a city government “that not only [has] their own comprehensive GHG [greenhouse gas] inventories and aggressive emissions reduction goals, but also exemplify leadership in their internal response to climate change, through engagement of their peers, competitors, partners, and supply chain, and addressing climate risk in their enterprise strategies,” according to an official statement.
Chula Vista was singled out by the EPA for implementing "climate mitigation and adaptation strategies" throughout the city government and the community. In 2000, the city adopted a “Climate Action Plan” that resulted in lower utility costs, improved air quality, and reduced traffic congestion, according to spokesperson Diane Howell.
Environmental resource manager Brendan Reed said the city’s “Conservation Section” spends $300,000 every year “but most of this is reimbursed through grants and other external funding sources.” Chula Vista keeps implementation costs low by “piggy-backing on existing city programs and plans within the city,” Reed said; for example, by “working with our Housing Division to brainstorm ways to better integrate ‘green’ home retrofits into their services for low-income families.“