Propelled by the philosophy that “what gets measured, gets managed,” SSMC began tracking sustainability metrics for local cities and our county in 1997. We have been celebrating sustainability champions since 1999. The growing impacts of climate change and widening inequality in income and opportunity have prompted us to become more proactive in advocating for sustainable programs and policies. In 2019 we started the Sustainability Ideas Bank to equip local cities with proven sustainability solutions. In 2021 we created the Sustainability Dashboard to track metrics each year for all cities in San Mateo County.
SSMC celebrates sustainability champions with prestigious awards every spring. In addition to our Sustainability Awards, we collaborate with the San Mateo Chapter of the American Institute of Architects to present Green Building Awards to sustainability building owners, architects and builders. The SSMC Board also recognizes exemplary contributors to our work with the Ruth Peterson Award, named in honor of SSMC’s founder. In 2020 we presented Reach Code Awards for the first time. In 2023 Peninsula Clean Energy will present its All-Electric Leader Awards for the third time at our annual awards celebration.
Our Indicators for a Sustainable San Mateo County reports provide fact-based information on local trends impacting our economy, environment and society. Each year this report takes a deep dive into one sustainability topic and examines its ramifications for San Mateo County. These reports raise awareness of sustainability in the county and improve our ability to make sound decisions for the benefit of future generations.
Our Sustainability Dashboard tracks progress in 11 sustainability focus areas with 30 metrics for all 20 cities in San Mateo County, so local leaders and residents can track progress toward sustainability goals. City leaders have the opportunity to include comments in a Narrative that accompanies each year’s data. While sharing the data with city leaders, we also suggest proven solutions from our Sustainability Ideas Bank that have been successfully implemented by other cities.
Sustainability Ideas Bank
The Sustainability Ideas Bank offers proven, impactful sustainability solutions to local cities and businesses that have been implemented successfully elsewhere. Why reinvent the wheel when you can benefit from the experience of others? Each solution includes resources and contact information so people can get questions answered by those who have paved the way.
SSMC’s monthly Happy Hours bring people together and build community. At these informal gatherings, held online, you’ll meet experts on a wide variety of sustainability topics and explore solutions to current issues. You can ask questions and suggest ideas. We encourage everyone to bring a green drink to Happy Hours.
To help accelerate sustainability, SSMC advocates for programs and policies that align with our values, and we partner with other organizations to magnify our mutual efforts. Recent efforts have included advocacy for equity in local mass transit with the Transportation Equity Allied Movement Coalition (TEAMC) and supporting electrification of buildings and electric vehicle infrastructure with the Campaign for Fossil Free Buildings in Silicon Valley. In 2020 we affirmed our support for working with communities of color and helping to eliminate racism with a Racial Equality Proclamation.