8 Reasons Why Seattle is One of the Most Sustainable Cities in the US
8 Reasons Why Seattle is One of the Most Sustainable Cities in the US13th May 2022
The Emerald City of Seattle is a trailblazer in sustainability. With luscious green forests and striking mountainous surroundings, the community of Seattle works hard to protect and promote its green practices. As the Emerald City has become increasingly sustainable, doubling its economy while halving carbon emissions, almost all of its electricity stems from hydropower. With a closely-knit business centre, Seattle is also one of the most walkable cities in the United States. With natural beauty comes breath-taking views, one of the many reasons why sustainable Seattle is an ideal location to stay when looking for business accommodation with SilverDoor.
Sustainable Seattle envisions a thriving future for the city, working to build initiatives that deliver economic, environmental, and community benefits as well as promoting equality for residents. Founded in 1991, S2 is a leader within the sphere of sustainability in Seattle. With over 30 years’ experience, this organisation focuses on community-led initiatives that produce climate-resilient communities across the city. S2 also partners with the Evident programme which examines existing data sets alongside community research projects to collect sustainability data that will ensure effective practices for the future.
Over 80% of the power distributed across sustainable Seattle is generated from clean, carbon-free hydroelectricity. The city is committed to reducing Seattle’s carbon footprint, offering incentive schemes and discounts for residents that commit to energy efficient sources over fossil fuels. Seattle City Light has also committed to increasing the city’s solar capacity and has supported over three thousand residents and businesses through the instalment process. Additionally, the Washington goal to be 100% carbon free by 2045 will see the creation of many more employment opportunities due to the investment and implementation of a new infrastructure, featuring wind turbines, solar farms, and transmission lines.
Ranked in the Top 15 cities worldwide for canopy coverage by the World Economic Forum, research shows that sustainable Seattle takes extensive care of its green space. Managing a 6,441-acre park system of over 480 parks, 12% of the city’s land is devoted to providing healthy and natural vegetation. Here, 97% of Seattle residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park or publicly owned green space, helping to support the community with their urban connection to nature.
Transport is the largest source of carbon pollution in Washington, contributing to around 22% of total pollution and 45% of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. To combat this, a Clean Car Law has been introduced and in November 2021 a zero-emission vehicle standard was adopted that requires a percentage of all vehicles sold in the state to be zero-emission. Cars that do not pass emission standards cannot be registered and therefore cannot be driven in the state of Washington in an attempt to encourage sustainability in Seattle. Seattle has also increased its electric forms of public transport, adding two lines of streetcars and a Light Railway system for commuters and residents.
Interweave is sustainable Seattle’s community-led sustainability accelerator. The programme helps community organisers dedicate time and resources to creating an equitable and sustainable region. S2 is a specialised support framework that works alongside Interweave to reduce the time spent navigating expensive administration and technical hurdles so that individuals can focus on the initiatives that matter. Uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between organisations, freelancers, and projects, both Interweave and S2 are working hard to prioritise Seattle’s minority groups and help to build vibrant futures for individuals as well as the city.
The Green Business Program is a free resource by Seattle Public Utilities that provides recycling and conservation assistance to all Seattle businesses. In an attempt to encourage conscious recycling in sustainable Seattle, the city ordinance requires that recyclable and compostable materials be kept out of waste and violating businesses can be fined for every violation. Seattle Good Business Network has also launched the Washington Materials Marketplace to help encourage sustainability in Seattle. This online platform aims to create a closed-loop, collaborative network of organisations, businesses and entrepreneurs where hard-to-recycle materials become another organisation’s raw materials.
Tech Industry Employment
Ever since Seattle natives Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft, technology employment has been a staple of the region. After joining forces with Amazon Web Services, plans have been made to add 100,000 US employees to the company in the next eighteen months. With over 25,000 employees supported through the industry, sustainability in Seattle is a key focus with such an influx of potential employment prospects. Equality and diversity in the workplace are key concerns for organisations such as S2 and Interweave and therefore will be monitored by such organisations to ensure minority groups are supported with access to equal opportunities.
The concerted effort to encourage sustainability in Seattle is largely attributed to the protection of the health and wellbeing of the city’s residents as well championing equality. Seattle has developed the Equity and Environment Agenda; a strategy that addresses social disparities in an attempt to ensure that all Seattle residents benefit from these environmental solutions.
Planning on visiting sustainable Seattle? Check out our portfolio of serviced apartments! If looking to invest in this conscientious city, have a read of our blog, Investing in the US? 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Seattle.