SSMC’s Sustainability Ideas Bank advances sustainability by aggregating solutions that have proven successful elsewhere and sharing them with local leaders, cities and businesses. Most ideas include contact information so leaders can talk directly with others who have implemented these solutions.

The Ideas Bank has just been updated! Read our press release.

This resource is designed to make it easier for local leaders, cities and businesses to address climate change and other issues related to sustainability by removing the need to research the feasibility of ideas and for attorneys to draft new ordinances and policies. Instead, local leaders can quickly adopt solutions that have already proven successful elsewhere.

The Sustainability Ideas Bank is a continuously evolving resource that reflects progress that has been made on new challenges as they arise. We welcome your suggestions for solutions to add to the Ideas Bank. Please send them through our online form or by email to

We are grateful to the donors, volunteers and interns who have helped develop and support this project. Click here to see a list of past contributors, or here for an introduction to the summer 2023 intern cohort. Find out what interns think of the program, or click here to see a video of some previous interns from Stanford.

Sustainability Ideas Bank 2023 Entire 202-page file (3.3 MB PDF) Links below jump to each section.

Table of Contents (150 KB PDF)
Introduction (67 KB PDF)

Affordable Housing (415 KB PDF)
Business License Tax Helps Housing
Campaign Contribution Regulation
Housing Impact Fees
Limited Equity Housing Cooperatives
Mandatory Rent Registry
Missing Middle Housing
Renter Equity Programs
Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act
Other Solutions to Explore
– Exemplary Inclusionary Housing
– Minimum Lease Terms

Climate Change (201 KB PDF)
Carbon Sequestration with Algae
Youth Climate Ambassadors Program

Ecology and Biodiversity (437 KB PDF)
Beekeeping Regulation
Corporate Conservation Programs
Green Cleaning with Engineered Water
Integrated Pest Management Policy/Ordinance
Pollinator-Friendly Solar
Rooftop Gardens and Green Roofs
Urban Tree Planting
Wildlife Corridors
Another Solution to Explore
– Environmental Impact Scores for Food (Ecolabelling)

Energy (477 KB PDF)
Community Microgrids
Induction Cooktop Loaner Program
Leaf Blower Regulation
Low-Carbon Concrete
Reach Codes
Rubberized Asphalt Concrete
Smart Glass for Commercial Building
Streetlight Electric Vehicle Charging
Zero Percent Loan (On-Bill Financing)
Other Solutions to Explore
– Ban on New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure
– Home Electricity Assessment Toolkit

Finance (192 KB PDF)
InVEST Toolbox
Sustainable 401(k) Investments for Employees

Food and Agriculture (246 KB PDF)
Green Mondays
Regenerative Farming
Another Solution to Explore
– Default Vegetarian Option

Social Equity (366 KB PDF)
Clean Air for All
Cottage Food Laws
Equitable Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies
Police Reform
Public Housing Renovation
Tiny Homes and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
Urban Community Gardens
Other Solutions to Explore
– Clipper START Card

Transportation (676 KB PDF)
Alternative Transportation Incentives
Anti-Idling Ordinance
Eliminate Off-Street Parking Minimums
Encouraging Employee Bike Use
Expanded Teleworking Options
Local Commuter Benefits Ordinance
Plastic Roadways
Quick-Build Street Design
Seamless Transit Principles
Shuttles for Employee Commutes
Slow Streets
Transportation Management Associations
Other Solutions to Explore
– Banning New Gas Stations
– Shared Micromobility

Waste (523 KB PDF)
Centralized Waste Bins
Deconstruction Waste Management
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
Food Waste Tracking
Responsible Recycling of e-Waste
Single-Use Plastic Foodware Ban
Other Solutions to Explore
– Corporate Waste Audits
– Right to Repair Act

Water (540 KB PDF)
Floating Islands
Flood Insurance Community Rating System
Landscape Design Assistance
Rain Barrel Rebate
Rain Garden Rebate
Recycled Water Ordinance
Satellite Water Treatment Facility
Streamlined Residential Gray Water Use
Other Solutions to Explore
– Comprehensive City Water Conservation
– On-Site Water Reuse for Businesses
– Permeable Pavement Rebate

Contributors (62 KB PDF)