25 10, 2022

2022 Indicators Report Launch Event

2022-11-11T20:29:02-05:00

Building Electrification in San Mateo County, IR 2022 Launch Event Sustainable San Mateo County’s 26th annual Indicators Report was unveiled November 10 at a free in-person event hosted by Genentech. This year, we took a deep dive into examining San Mateo County's progress on building electrification, with a special look at the existing building stock. SSMC's Indicators Report Program Manager, Sarah Cassanego, shared some of the key findings and highlights of our Indicators Report, along with recommendations for next steps. Read the 2022 Indicators Report Read our press release Program: Welcome address: Jeannie Linam, Climate Action and Resilience Manager, [...]

2022 Indicators Report Launch Event2022-11-11T20:29:02-05:00
27 04, 2022

High Voltage, Low Impact Buildings: Building Electrification Efforts in San Mateo County

2022-06-18T13:32:37-05:00

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released earlier this month warned that to stay within 1.5 °C of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025 or earlier before declining. The report gave the effort to decarbonize buildings through electrification more urgency, but scientists have long known the risks of using natural gas indoors. Electrified buildings can draw power from renewable sources, but natural gas remains many buildings’ primary energy source in San Mateo County, despite its large greenhouse gas footprint and associated hazards. Three expert speakers shared their knowledge about building electrification during our April 2022 [...]

High Voltage, Low Impact Buildings: Building Electrification Efforts in San Mateo County2022-06-18T13:32:37-05:00
3 03, 2022

Turning Organic Waste into Gold

2022-03-08T14:17:35-05:00

During February’s Happy Hour we unpacked the state’s new composting law (SB1383) with the help of three local experts in the field: Joe La Mariana, Executive Director of Rethink Waste, Monica Devincenzi from Republic Services and Gordon Tong, representing San Mateo County's Office of Sustainability. Monica started off the evening by sharing some historical context on waste management. She explained that each county is supposed to have at least one active landfill within its borders with a minimum of 15 years of waste capacity. San Mateo County has one active landfill site, Ox Mountain in Half Moon Bay, which is [...]

Turning Organic Waste into Gold2022-03-08T14:17:35-05:00
23 11, 2021

Focus on Biodiversity

2021-11-23T11:35:48-05:00

For the October Sustainability Happy Hour, we looked at biodiversity (the variety of life found within a particular ecosystem or habitat) in the Bay Area. We were joined by two knowledgeable experts, Sophie Christel from Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and Annie Burke from TOGETHER Bay Area. They shared strategies being employed by groups across the region to address the many challenges to biodiversity, exacerbated by climate change. Sophie Christel kicked off the evening explaining that the Bay Area is one of only 34 biodiversity hotspots on Earth. The region’s diverse geology and topography, combined with the coastal influence, creates [...]

Focus on Biodiversity2021-11-23T11:35:48-05:00
20 10, 2021

Conclusion and Acknowledgments

2021-10-20T13:46:01-05:00

Conclusion The current housing crisis did not happen overnight. It is rooted in 250 years of shameful local practices, harmful actions and outright racial discrimination. Sadly, profit and resistance from homeowners opposed to change have too often been more important than social equity. It’s time to focus our attention on making more affordable housing available in every city in San Mateo County. For the sake of our quality of life, and to build a mutually beneficial relationship that restores our ecosystems, more housing must be found immediately. ABAG’s alarming Regional Housing Needs Allocation numbers, recent state legislation alleviating some of [...]

Conclusion and Acknowledgments2021-10-20T13:46:01-05:00
20 10, 2021

Impact of Climate Change on Housing

2021-10-21T17:44:37-05:00

Climate change impacts every aspect of life, and the housing crisis is no exception. In order to solve the housing crisis and make sure homes are resilient, climate change needs to be taken into consideration. Wildfires Due to climate change, precipitation will likely decrease and higher temperatures will increase, elevating the chances of wildfires and their destructive consequences. A significant portion of San Mateo County is located in the wildland-urban-interface (WUI), which is defined as zones where fire-prone forests coincide with human habitation. More than 35 percent of terrain in the county has a high likelihood of fire ignition.29 As [...]

Impact of Climate Change on Housing2021-10-21T17:44:37-05:00
19 10, 2021

Leading Forces

2021-10-20T16:14:34-05:00

Key trends that shape the jobs-housing balance and exacerbate accessibility to housing and transportation provide insights into finding sustainable solutions for the future. The following factors are playing an important role in how these challenges have been evolving and will likely continue to evolve and shift in the future. School Quality School quality has played an incredibly large role in where people choose to live on the Peninsula. In a recent Nextdoor survey of Burlingame and Hillsborough residents, 68 percent said that school quality was a factor that drew them to their neighborhood, as compared to diversity (14.3 percent), [...]

Leading Forces2021-10-20T16:14:34-05:00
1 10, 2021

Air Quality for All

2021-10-01T15:36:58-05:00

At Sustainable San Mateo County’s Happy Hour on July 20 titled “Air Quality for Equality”, attendees discussed disparities in air quality in San Mateo County and the wider Bay Area. Guest speaker David Canepa, who serves on the county’s Board of Supervisors and sits also on the Board of Directors at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, correlated these disparities to racial and socioeconomic differences and highlighted some of the work the county is doing to combat these impacts. Ulysses Vinson, director of SMC Labs, explained how his firm is partnering with an air quality company, Clarity, to monitor [...]

Air Quality for All2021-10-01T15:36:58-05:00
17 07, 2021

San Mateo County Gets Ready for Wildfire Season

2021-07-17T23:01:08-05:00

In 2020 alone, while nearly 2.5 million Californians were infected by COVID-19, nearly 10,000 fires burned 4.2 million acres across the state (The New York Times 2021, Cal Fire 2020). That is more than one football field’s worth of land burned for each Californian infected by COVID-19. Fire preparedness is pivotal to preserving the health of our surrounding ecosystems and communities. As a local resident, I wanted to learn more about what work is being done to prepare for wildfires this year. I reached out to Samuel Herzberg, a Senior Planner at the San Mateo County Parks Department, and Portola [...]

San Mateo County Gets Ready for Wildfire Season2021-07-17T23:01:08-05:00
30 06, 2021

Just How Bad Is the Drought?

2021-06-30T20:33:25-05:00

On June 22, Santa Clara County’s Board of Supervisors declared a local emergency due to this year’s extreme drought conditions. To date, 2021 ranks as the second driest year for California, with 1977 being the driest year on record. Yet San Mateo County hasn’t asked residents to cut back water use. Why? At our June Happy Hour, Tom Francis explained that San Mateo County’s water reserves are in much better shape than many jurisdictions in the state. As Water Resources Manager at the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA), Tom tracks water levels closely. He said 85 percent [...]

Just How Bad Is the Drought?2021-06-30T20:33:25-05:00
Go to Top