2022 Environmental Sustainability Annual Report

2022 
Environmental Sustainability 
Action Plan Annual Report

The Environmental Sustainability Action Plan (ESAP) serves as the City’s roadmap to realize an environmentally sustainable community, enhance our natural systems, and achieve zero net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.  As part of the ESAP, we committed to pause each year and review our progress and course-correct as needed to progress towards our goals more quickly. This report captures the top implementation highlights of 2022, status updates for key performance indicators relative to the 2011 baseline, and a summary of work underway.

In Redmond’s ongoing commitment to inclusion, this report has been designed to be easily translatable into other languages and accessible to those with differing visual abilities.

Contents


Letter from Mayor Birney

Mayor Birney

As I reflect on the second full year of Environmental Sustainability Action Plan (ESAP) implementation, I’m struck by the inspirational climate leadership of Redmond businesses, the partnerships we’ve cultivated to accelerate our progress, and the commitment from the community to create a more sustainable Redmond. Together, our efforts are creating a healthy and thriving environment for all generations.

The solutions to meet our environmental and sustainability goals are here, and we’re taking action to reduce emissions to net zero, increasing resiliency, expanding our tree canopy and habitat, and supporting our community members who are most vulnerable to climate change impacts. 

Some of our actions taken in 2022

    • We’re making steady progress towards our goals, including a 10% reduction in GHG emissions over our baseline year. 
    • We doubled down on our commitment to sustainable, dense housing with a $4 million commitment to support the Together Center. Housing solutions are key to creating a resilient, low-carbon community.
    • I penned an op-ed supporting the passage of House Bill 1099 requiring cities to integrate climate change considerations into our compressive plan updates. 
    • We broke ground on critical infrastructure projects like the Redmond Senior & Community Center, which integrates solar and other climate-friendly design practices to create a healthy, green building for our community to gather. 
    • Together, we planted more than 2,000 trees and plants in our parks and natural areas. 
    • Thousands of you took part in community engagement efforts – from RidWell recycling events to Redmond 2050 – we're implementing these programs and policies in partnership with you!

2022 also ushered in once-in-a-generation federal investments to combat climate change, and we're working to ensure our community can access these resources to accelerate our progress toward a sustainable future.

We’re making steady progress toward our goals, and we know there’s so much more work to be done. I extend my deepest gratitude for your continued support in our shared mission to preserve and protect our environment. Together, our efforts help create a healthy and thriving environment for all generations. Let's keep moving forward for a better tomorrow.

PoetryMap-Icon-paddles

Angela Birney
Mayor of Redmond



What We're Working Towards


Redmond’s environmental sustainability goals and targets were developed through an iterative process that considered regional targets, existing City planning documents, community and City staff input, and analysis of what is achievable through the identified strategies and actions. Those goals were adopted through the ESAP in 2020, which the City has been working to implement since its adoption. 

Key ESAP Goals

City Operations Goals (by 2030)
Community Goals (by 2050)
Goal Icon_Carbon-freeCarbon-free
Goal Icon_Carbon-freeCarbon-free
Goal Icon_Zero WasteZero Waste of Resources
Goal Icon_Tree Canopy40% Tree Canopy Coverage
Goal Icon_Zero WasteZero Waste of Resources
Goal Icon_Renewable Energy100% Renewable Electricity
Goal Icon_Fossil Fuels80% Reduction in Fossil Fuel Consumption
Goal Icon_Electricity45% Reduction in Electricity Consumption
City Operations Goals (by 2030)
Goal Icon_Carbon-freeCarbon-free
Goal Icon_Zero WasteZero Waste of Resources
Community Goals (by 2050)
Goal Icon_Carbon-freeCarbon-free
Goal Icon_Zero WasteZero Waste of Resources
Goal Icon_Tree Canopy40% Tree Canopy Coverage
Goal Icon_Zero Waste100% Renewable Electricity
Goal Icon_Fossil Fuels80% Reduction in Fossil Fuel Consumption
Goal Icon_Electricity45% Reduction in Electricity Consumption

The ESAP also identifies key performance indicators to help the city monitor progress towards its goals. Those metrics are tracked and updated via the city’s online data dashboard on an annual basis.


Climate Emergency Declaration

Redmond City Council adopted a Climate Emergency Declaration (Declaration) in October 2020, establishing an ambitious goal of zero net greenhouse gas emissions for city operations by 2030. The Declaration highlights 13 key objectives to rapidly implement solutions. Redmond is committed to leading by example, demonstrating climate and environmental solutions within city operations to showcase the benefits and lessons learned from early and meaningful action.

leaf icon Look for this leaf icon throughout the report to learn which efforts support the Declaration.

2022 Implementation Highlights

Climate and Energy   Sustainability Solid Icon Climate

Metrics

10%

Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions from 2011 Baseline


55%

Reduction in Municipal GHG Emissions from 2011 Baseline

25%

Reduction in Community Energy Use from 2011 Baseline


15%

Reduction in Municipal Energy Use from 2011 Baseline

557

Rooftop Solar Systems

Key:
Positive Change
Neutral/No Change
Negative Change

Highlights

Annual Report_Highlight Image_Clean Energy

Powering City Operations with Clean Energy leaf icon

2022 marked the first full year of the City’s participation in PSE’s Green Direct program, which sources clean, renewable electricity for 84.5% of City operations

Annual Report_Highlight Image_Climate Resilience

Preparing for a Climate Resilient Future leaf icon

The City completed a Climate Vulnerability Assessment (Assessment) and Index. This is a foundational effort to inform future climate resilience efforts and priorities.

The Assessment found that extreme heat and extreme precipitation are Redmond’s primary vulnerabilities and identified possible strategies to prepare for intensifying climate impacts. Findings from the Assessment are being integrated into the City’s long-term strategic planning efforts, including the Redmond 2050 Comprehensive Plan, to proactively increase our community’s resilience to climate change. 

Our dedication to climate preparedness did not go unnoticed. The U.S. Conference of Mayors recognized Redmond for our exceptional work in climate preparedness planning!

Annual Report_Highlight Image_RSCC

Building a Green Senior and Community Center leaf icon

In its ongoing commitment to sustainability, the city broke ground on its most efficient building to date on June 2, 2022. The 100% electric building will feature rooftop solar that will provide about 50% of the energy needed to operate the facility. With a keen eye on environmental impact, the Redmond Senior & Community Center (RSCC) is striving for LEED Gold certification, ensuring top-tier efficiency in its mechanical and plumbing systems. The selection of building materials prioritizes resilience and longevity, with a focus on local sourcing wherever feasible to minimize transportation-related emissions. The RSCC is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2024. 

Annual Report_Highlight Image_Heat Pump

Helping Residents Increase Comfort and Go Electric

Residential energy use accounts for about 20% of Redmond’s GHG emissions, and many homes in Redmond were built before the modern energy code was adopted. To address these emissions, the City and its Eastside partners officially launched the Energy Smart Eastside (ESE) heat pump program in July 2022. The pilot program is heavily focused on Redmond’s low-income and vulnerable community members. This includes a partnership with Imagine Housing and King County Housing Authority, which resulted in 18 low-income units being upgraded to heat pumps and weatherized. 

The ESE program hosted nine workshops and educated more than 500 community members on the Eastside about the benefits of heat pumps. Moving into 2023, ESE will focus on deploying a low-income, full-cost coverage heat pump installation program for households earning 50-80% of the area median income (AMI). A market rate incentive for those earning 80-150% AMI will also be launched to further incentivize the adoption of sustainable heating and cooling efforts.

Redmond Heat Map Thumbnail

Community Climate Action Through the Eastside Climate Challenge

Redmond community members concluded their first full year of the Redmond Climate Action Challenge, which now has more than 190 households engaged. The program also expanded to three other Eastside cities to create the Eastside Climate Challenge. The jurisdictions coordinate education and outreach efforts and host joint workshops to reduce staffing needs and support regional action. 

Annual Report_Highlight Image_Energy Smart

Partnerships for Climate Solutions 

The cities of Redmond, Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, and Mercer Island formalized their collaboration on climate and sustainability work with an interlocal agreement to support joint contracting, grants, and collaboration of climate programs. This provides economies of scale benefits and distributes programmatic administration across the five jurisdictions while also positioning the region more competitively for grants. Joint programs currently underway include the Energy Smart Eastside campaign and the Eastside Climate Challenge.

Transportation and Land Use Sustainability Solid Icon Transportation

Metrics

37%

Reduction in Vehicle Miles Traveled


57%

Mode Share

48%

Reduction in Vehicle Miles Traveled Per-Capita


22%

Reduction in City of Redmond Fleet Fuel Consumption

Key:
Positive Change
Neutral/No Change
Negative Change

Highlights

Housing Solutions are Climate Solutions

Research shows that creating more housing near transit and diversifying housing options is a powerful climate solution. In 2022, the city redoubled its commitment to ensuring housing stability for everyone by contributing $4 million to the Together Center project, which will create 280 affordable housing units in the heart of Downtown Redmond. In addition, the city’s zoning requirements added 153 more units to the City’s affordable housing portfolio. 

Annual Report_Highlight Image_Med_Affordable Housing

Planning for an Inclusive and Sustainable Future

Land use policies and concentrating density near transit provide tremendous potential to reduce community emissions, vehicle miles traveled, and improve the quality of life for Redmond community members. In 2022, the city made significant progress in overhauling the City’s long-term vision for growth, as outlined in the Redmond 2050 Comprehensive Plan. Halfway through the four-year project, the Redmond 2050 team published a draft environmental impact statement, developed a preliminary preferred growth alternative with sustainability and resilience as key pillars, and community engagement on drafts for housing, transportation, economic vitality, parks, and Overlake policies. Redmond 2050 is central to advancing and institutionalizing numerous actions within the ESAP, including complete neighborhoods and reductions in parking minimums.

Annual Report_Highlight Image_Med_Community Design

Creating More Transportation Options leaf icon

Light rail is coming to Redmond, and four new stations are scheduled to open in the next two years. The city is working to improve travel choices to prepare for light rail and reduce the need for trips in cars. In support of this vision, Redmond continued its pilot partnership with Lime eScooters. In 2022, more than 26,544 riders took 46,896 trips and traveled more than 58,500 miles, demonstrating the benefits of this first/last mile solution. Learn more about the city’s transportation efforts. 

Annual Report_Highlight Image_Med_Transportation

Greening Redmond’s Vehicle Fleet leaf icon

The City updated its Green Fleet Policy, an internal policy that prioritizes the procurement of electric and hybrid vehicles. Supply chain issues significantly delayed the purchase of additional EVs, with order deliveries more than two years out. Despite this, the City added one EV and one plug-in electric vehicle in 2022, with more on order. In total, the City has seven electric vehicles, seven plug-in hybrid vehicles, 39 hybrids, and 38 propane medium-duty trucks. 

Electric Charging Station

Sustainability Solid Icon WasteMaterials Management and Waste

Metrics

43%

Community Waste Diversion Rate

219

Commercial and Multi-family Complex Organic Services Participants

25%

Organic Waste Diversion
(8,171 tons)

Key:
Positive Change
Neutral/No Change
Negative Change

Highlights

Ridwell Styrofoam Recycling

As the City works to reduce the waste sent to the landfill and increase access to recycling services, Redmond continued its innovative partnership with Ridwell, a Seattle-based company that recycles items typically sent to the landfill. The City hosted three events in 2022 for hard-to-recycle items like Styrofoam and holiday lights. In total, 3,142 households participated due to the convenience and accessibility of the front porch pick up, and together you recycled:

  • 941 cubic yards of Styrofoam
  • 2,400 pounds of film plastic
  • 1,285 pounds of holiday lights

Annual Report_Highlight Image_Med_Behavior Change for Waste Reduction

One of the most impactful waste reduction strategies is also the simplest: use less and waste less from the start. A standout element of Redmond’s solid waste programming is the detailed education and outreach work to shift behaviors and help community members consider consumption practices and recycle right. In 2022, the city leveraged multiple programs to empower community members, including:

  • 22 Sustainable Living classes (19 virtual and three in-person) and staffed eight events. 1,454 people directly engaged with Sustainable Living outreach, learning how to reduce waste, use safer cleaning practices, find alternatives to plastics, and more. 
  • Supported 219 customers and conducted 14 technical assistance site visits to commercial, educational, and multifamily participants to identify efficiencies, waste reduction opportunities, and generate cleaner organic materials. This one-on-one support is important as just one contaminated recycling or compost bin can send an entire load to the landfill.
  • The City hosted one repair event in partnership with King County and three shredding events to further support the community in their waste reduction and diversion efforts.

The City continued development of new Zoning Code language to establish standards for solid waste collection and storage in new construction. As density increases, these new requirements will help ensure future developments create adequate space for waste, recycling, and composting collection. 

Annual Report_Highlight Image_Med_Code Amendments

The City’s signature event recycled and composted half of the materials generated at the 2022 Derby Days, a 3% increase in diversion from 2019. The City worked with vendors to use compostable service ware to further reduce waste. 

Annual Report_Highlight Image_Med_Derby Days Reduced Waste

Did you know Redmond has an extensive library of recycling videos covering topics from how and where to dispose of unusual or unique items to what goes in which bin?  Seven new videos were added to the Recycling Video Library, bringing the total to 18. Check them out and learn how to recycle right.

Annual Report_Highlight Image_Med_Recycling Video Library

Sustainability Solid Icon Natural SystemsNatural Systems and Water

Metrics

38%

Tree Canopy Coverage

59,000 feet

of Stream Complexity with Good Ranking

100%

Pollution Prevention Site Visits

Key:
Positive Change
Neutral/No Change
Negative Change

Explore our reports

Highlights

In the City’s ongoing commitment to building a sustainable network of healthy urban green spaces and natural areas, staff and volunteers planted more than 1,390 trees and 360 plants. Trees were planted in parks and along stream buffers to support healthier streams. Buffer plants provide shade, bank stability, downed wood, leaf litter (supporting aquatic insects), and other vital habitat functions while also contributing to Redmond’s overall tree canopy. 

Annual Report_Highlight Image_Med_Green Redmond

Stormwater runoff from parking areas and streets carries sediment, oils, metals, and other harmful pollution impacting salmon and our surface and groundwater. In 2022, Redmond launched a street-sweeping project in two priority watersheds to increase street-sweeping frequency. The project will run for two years and collect water quality data to determine if street-sweeping is an effective tool to improve water quality. A portion of this work is grant-funded and will support water quality monitoring for the tire contaminant 6PPDQ, which is deadly to salmon. Redmond’s leadership in this space will be leveraged by the state to inform policies on regulating this emerging contaminant.

 

Annual Report_Highlight Image_Med_Street Sweeping

Redmond is fortunate to source 40% of its drinking water from groundwater, and it works to proactively protect these supplies through various initiatives, including Temporary Construction Dewatering policies. Temporary Construction Dewatering is a construction method that temporarily removes groundwater or surface water from an excavated site to build sub-surface structures, footings, or utilities. Work continued through a cross-departmental team to identify policy changes to alleviate tension points between compact growth and water resource management. These recommendations are being implemented through the Redmond 2050 process. 

Annual Report_Highlight Image_Med_Aquifer

Controlling stormwater runoff flow is critical to minimize the risk of flooding and protect streams from erosion and habitat destruction. In 2021, the City began a pilot of an innovative web-based technology called Continuous Monitoring Active Control (CMAC) in two ponds in Monticello. The City also worked in partnership with King County to retrofit two additional King County-maintained sites. Two additional Redmond sites are being constructed in 2023. Approximately 26% of the watershed will be served by these facilities.  These retrofits are being monitored to determine if managing older stormwater detention ponds using the CMAC technology will better protect Redmond streams from the impacts of high-energy, “flashy” flows during storm events.

Annual Report_Highlight Image_Med_Watershed

City staff visited 149 business Redmond businesses in 2022 to proactively provide technical assistance to help businesses reduce pollution risks to our aquifer and waterways. Because of these visits, six spill kits were distributed, 548 gallons of hazardous materials were placed in secondary containment, and 172 gallons of materials were removed from Redmond and properly disposed of. The City also conducted site visits to an additional 30 high-risk sites and businesses with hazardous waste to further protect our streams and waterways. 

Annual Report_Highlight Image_Med_Pollution Prevention

The City celebrated the first year of the Adopt-a-Drain program. Since its inception, 143 Redmond residents and businesses have signed up to adopt 233 drains in Redmond. Together, Redmond participants have reported removing nearly 600 pounds of debris from their storm drain grates. Keeping storm drains clear of leaves and debris helps prevent localized flooding and protects streams and lakes from pollution.

Adopt-a-Drain

What's Next:
2023 - 2024 Priorities

Climate and Energy

  • City Facilities Decarbonization Strategy

  • Expansion of Energy Smart Eastside

  • Development of a new Climate Resilience and Sustainability Element

Transportation

  • Transportation Master Plan Adoption

  • Adoption of Redmond 2050

  • East Link Light Rail Starter Line

  • City Operations Fleet Study and Electrification Strategy

  • Local Road Safety Action Plan

Materials management and Waste

  • Construction and Demolition Recycling Policy

  • Soliciting and selecting a solid waste, recycling, and organic waste hauler

  • Sustainable Purchasing Policy and City events waste reduction efforts

  • Regional and state policy advocacy

  • Behavior change programs to reduce waste and contamination

Natural Systems and water

  • Fish barrier removals

  • Avondale Road – Bear Creek project habitat restoration project

  • Expansion of Street Sweeping pilot project to Monticello 

  • PFAS regulations

  • Stormwater and Surface Water System Plan

Implementation Status by Action


Review an action-by-action status of all near-term and in-progress actions. In total, 75% of all (168) ESAP actions are underway and 91% of ongoing and near-term (0-5 years) actions underway.