Our top moments of 2018

Dec 12, 2018 - 9:06 am

Group photo of the members of the Office of Sustainability team. There are 11 people in the picture in front of a bright, multi-colored background.

A look back at some of our office's favorite moments and accomplishments from the past year

Our Bright Green Future Grants Program funded 28 projects at Austin-area schools

This year, 28 projects were funded to help students and teachers take steps to ensure a bright green future for Austin. These projects created community gardens and wildlife habitats, conserved water, provided green infrastructure to manage stormwater runoff, diverted waste from the landfill, and improved air quality by getting students out of cars and onto bikes.

Funding for the projects was provided by our office, Austin Resource Recovery, and the Watershed Protection, Public Works, and Austin Transportation Departments. See which schools were awarded>

We released a Climate Resilience Action Plan

Climate Resilience is the ability to effectively manage both immediate shocks and long-term stressors related to climate change and weather extremes. Released in April 2018, the Climate Resilience Action Plan provides an overview of climate projections for Austin, an assessment of potential extreme weather impacts to City-owned assets and operations, and strategies to mitigate those impacts. See the plan>

34 new Austin Green Business Leaders joined the program

Many local businesses are helping to protect the environment, reduce their carbon footprint, and make Austin a more livable place by reducing waste, using alternative transportation, conserving water and energy, offering employee health programs, and giving back to the community. In 2018, 34 new businesses joined the program, increasing the total number of Green Business Leaders to 247 member businesses with more 40,000 employees and nearly 20 million square feet of office space. See which businesses joined this year>

We “went live” for the Austin Public Library’s Talk Green to Me series

Our staff joined forces with the Austin Public Library to feature three talks at the new Central Library. All three were open to the public and broadcast live on Facebook. The topics were: The State of the Food System, Green Features of the New Central Library, and Climate Change in Austin.

A new State of the Food System Report was released by our office

On National Food Day, October 24, we released our second State of the Food System Report for Austin. The report shares some of the progress that has been made toward achieving a healthy and just local food system, covering everything from farm-to-fork. It also shares some of the “good news” and “areas of concern” in our community concerning healthy food access. Read it here>

Austin’s first ever Climate Change Awareness Month was declared in October

Mayor Steve Adler proclaimed October as Climate Change Awareness Month in Austin, kicking off a series of awareness-related activities and events. As part of the effort, our office hosted the Mayor’s Carbon Reduction Challenge using the Rethink/ mobile app and surpassed our greenhouse gas reduction goal by over 30,000 pounds of CO2. During October, we also hosted a Reddit AMA session, live-streamed the Project Drawdown simulcast at the Alamo Drafthouse, and celebrated our community challenge winners with a Proclamation at City Hall.

Our team volunteered at a Mobile Pantry in Del Valle

Committed to giving back and giving thanks, our team decided to lend a hand in our community. We chose to volunteer with the Central Texas Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry at Del Valle High School. Since our office works to address food insecurity in Austin, it was important for us to help those in need and see the need first-hand. Read about our experience>

Urban Roots’ expansion to the City’s Winnebago property was approved by City Council

An effort over five years in the making that involved countless City staff from various departments resulted in a new home for Urban Roots. City Council approved the lease at the City-owned Winnebago property on Nov. 29, ensuring that sustainably grown food, youth leadership development, open space, and equity all have a place in Austin’s future. Read more>

We highlighted 12 Net-Zero Heroes in our community

One of our favorite things to do is highlight people in our community that are taking action to be more sustainable in their everyday lives. This year, we featured stories about 12 Austinites — all doing their part to keep our community “green”. See all of our 2018 Net-Zero Heroes>