Tracking environmental sustainability in Shoreline

Sunday, April 29, 2012

On April 16th, the City of Shoreline launched a new website to track indicators of environmental sustainability over time. 

Using money from the federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, staff worked with consultants to design a unique system for measuring and communicating Shoreline’s efforts to create an environmentally sustainable community. 

After years of aligning internal policies and processes with recommendations from the Environmental Sustainability Strategy, adopted in 2008, this website is meant to serve as a bridge to community involvement and as a model for other organizations.

The site is organized by the five focus areas from the Sustainability Strategy: 

  • Climate Protection
  • Natural Habitat
  • Resource Conservation
  • Built Environment
  • City Initiatives

For each of these categories, there are multiple performance measures. For example, Climate Protection includes information about both the City and community carbon footprints; Resource Conservation includes information about water consumption and efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle; and the Built Environment includes information about the number of certified green buildings in the city, and the square footage of bike or pedestrian trails constructed.

Under each of the performance measure categories, there are several indicators that are measurable on an annual basis. The site is organized so that each indicator has its own page, containing information about what it measures, why it matters, a graph that shows the baseline measurement and will depict progress over time, links to City projects and additional resources, and what individuals can do.

For example, under the performance measure of Habitat Health, the site will report on the number of Certified Backyard Habitats in Shoreline, and provide information about how to become a certified household, so over time the goal is to have an increasing number of backyard habitats that provide healthy homes for our animal residents. Colored leaves indicate whether the City is making strong or limited progress towards its goals, whether improvement is needed, or if the category is informational only.

Some additional content is still being added to the website, so check back often for new information, or periodically over time to see how Shoreline is doing with efforts to protect climate, habitats, and resources, and incorporate natural features and connectivity into the built environment, and how your household can get involved.

Explore the site, and call Miranda Redinger at 206-801-2513 with any questions.


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