Riverside: An Emerald City

To further Riverside’s commitment to an environmentally stable future, the Clean and Green Sustainable Riverside Action Plan was developed. Successful implementation of the Action Plan will ensure sustainable growth while preserving the health of the local environment for generations.

Riverside has a climate commitment to achieve the U.S. Conference of Mayors target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 7% below 1990 levels by 2012. In February 2009, Riverside was praised as one of the greenest cities in the state by California Department of Conservation Director Bridgett Luther when she officially designated Riverside as the first “Emerald City.”

Riverside’s participation in the Emerald City pilot program, in coordination with the Green Action Plan, focuses on: energy efficiency and conservation; greenhouse gas emission reduction efforts and air quality measures; waste reduction and recycling; urban design; urban nature; water efficiency, conservation, and recycling; and healthy communities. With the commitment of the Mayor and City Council, City staff and the business and residential communities, Riverside is becoming a clean, green and sustainable community.

What Actions Is Riverside Taking to Use Renewable and Solar Energy?

Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) realizes the important role that renewable energy technologies will play in our future. The current goal is to reach 33% of renewable energy generation by 2010 and 50% by 2013. Solar generation projects continue to grow as RPU provides photovoltaic (PV) rebates for residential and commercial customers. An estimated 1,100 kilowatts of clean energy is generated through this program every day. An additional 1,500 kilowatts of PV power is planned for the near future.

What Actions Did Riverside Take to Conserve Water?

In 2008, the City approved the Riverside Recycle Water Project which will use highly treated wastewater rather than high quality potable (drinking) water to serve the agricultural and irrigation needs throughout the City. This plan will provide nearly 5 billion gallons of recycled water each year by 2015, and more than 13 billion gallons per year by 2030.

What Actions Is Riverside Taking to Support Environmentally Preferable Purchasing?

In March 2009, the City adopted an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy. It provides the City the opportunity to give preference to environmentally superior services and products where quality, function, and cost are equal or better.

What Actions Did Riverside Take to Build Green?

The Inland Empire is one of the fastest growing regions in the state and nation. In February 2009, the City showed its commitment to green building by implementing a policy for all new municipal facilities in excess of 5,000 square feet to be built to LEED standards. On a community-scale, the City is implementing the General Plan 2025 policies to ensure new growth meets pedestrian-friendly, high-density, mixed-use and transit-oriented development goals that utilize fewer natural resources.

The City of Riverside will soon establish the 1990 greenhouse gas emissions baseline for the City by the end of 2009 and take additional steps to reduce the City’s overall GHG emissions.

City of Riverside
3900 Main Street
Riverside, CA 92501

“It is time for Riverside to take the lead as a Sustainable City. With the community’s involvement, we can, and should become a Clean and Green City and an example of what’s possible.” - Ron Loveridge
Mayor of Riverside

Green Actions:

  • Adopted Clean and Green Sustainable Riverside Action Plan, January 2007
  • Greening power supply with renewable energy sources, 50% by 2013
  • Increasing recycled water for agriculture and irrigation use, 2008
  • Adoption of environmentally preferable purchasing policy, March 2009
  • Implementing green building policy, February 2009

Environmental Benefits:

  • Actual/Measured:
    -Since 1999, Riverside Public Utilities customers saved enough kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity equivalent to taking 23,691 cars off the road
    -87 million kilowatt hours of electricity saved by community use of fluorescent light bulbs
  • Projected/Future:
    -More than 5 billion gallons of recycled water used annually by 2015

Estimated Annual Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions:

  • 34,800 metric tons CO2e from lighting retrofits