Today, the Office of Sustainability & Environment released the third update of Seattle’s environmental progress report showing that Seattleites continue to be leaders in environmental actions including taking transit, conserving energy, and reducing waste.
First released in 2014, Seattle’s environmental progress report assembles key citywide environmental metrics in one place. The report highlights Seattle’s progress towards goals in environmental categories such as climate, building energy, transportation, food, trees and green space, and healthy environment and includes outcomes by race and impacts to people of color where possible, to track progress on the City’s commitment to eliminate racial disparities in environmental outcomes.
“For Earth Day I am pleased to share information showing how broad and deep Seattle’s commitment to environmental progress is,” said Jessica Finn Coven, director of the Office of Sustainability & Environment. “This work doesn’t just live with one department. Multiple City departments are doing really great work in moving us toward a more sustainable and more environmentally just city. And we know our most exciting efforts are spearheaded by the thousands of Seattleites who take action to protect our environment every day.”
Some of the key findings include:
- Seattle’s “Drive Alone Rate” in Center City is now just 25%. This continues an encouraging trend of more people using transit to commute to work as opposed to driving alone.
- Seattle’s Fresh Bucks food access program saw a big boost in usage in 2018 over 2017—due to additional funding from the Sweetened Beverage Tax—with Fresh Bucks being used 47,305 times to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables in 2018.
- The amount of stormwater Seattle manages through nature-based methods increased 35% since 2016. Seattle now manages 260 million gallons of polluted stormwater annually through green stormwater infrastructure.
Seattle’s environmental progressis updated every two years to track progress over time. The report was developed by the City’s Office of Sustainability and Environment, which works to develop innovative environmental solutions that foster equity, vibrant communities, and shared prosperity.