City of Beverly Hills | community news
THROUGH Bianca Heyward July 24, 2022
reading time: 3 protocol
On July 20, the Beverly Hills Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) Community Advisory Committee hosted a Climate Action Movie Night at Roxbury Park, featuring the screening of the documentary Ice on Fire, followed by a Climate Action Panel featuring experts and leaders Sustainability. The evening also included food trucks, stalls with a variety of eco-friendly vendors, music and activities. Produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, the documentary examines the effects of climate change and how it is being felt around the world, while examining the need to reduce carbon emissions. Moderated by Wendy Nystrom, Commissioner of Public Works, included Chris Liban, Chief Sustainability Officer at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), Jessica Aldridge, Director of Sustainability and Zero Waste Programs at Athens Services, Executive Director of the US Green Building Council’s Los Angeles Chapter Ben Stapleton and Policy Director at Clean Power Alliance Gina Goodhill.
Panelists were asked about best energy and sustainability practices, how the city is taking steps to meet its climate goals, and simple everyday actions Beverly Hills residents can take to reduce their carbon footprint.
“As they said in the film, one of the best ways to sequester carbon is to put it back into your soil and create healthy, resilient plants,” Aldridge said. “And that’s what you do every time you use that kitchen bucket.”
California Legislature has set reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions and requires the state to reduce emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and achieve statewide carbon neutrality by 2045. The CAAP aims to achieve long-term community goals by providing cleaner energy, reducing air pollution, supporting local economic development, and improving public health.
To meet the requirements of Senate Law 1383, a new statewide mandatory organic waste collection law, every jurisdiction, including Beverly Hills, must provide organic waste collection services to all residents and businesses. All city facilities are encouraged to help reduce methane emissions by collecting and separating their leftover food.
The city is providing residents with 90 gallon “GREEN” green waste collection bins and a kitchen bucket to meet state mandated reduction goals. According to the city, green waste accounts for approximately 40% of all waste generated by Beverly Hills residents. To avoid bugs and odors when composting, Aldridge suggested sprinkling baking soda or spraying the bucket with soap beforehand.
As buildings look for an energy-efficient retrofit to offset carbon emissions, panelists were asked for recommendations related to electrification and water conservation.
“There are four main sources of emissions in our homes, and they are our stove tops, our dryers, our heating and water heating,” Stapleton said. “And that creates emissions in our homes.” According to Stapleton, buildings are responsible for about 48% of our greenhouse gas emissions.
“Things like LED lights, like insulation, some of it’s not a piece of cake, but it all adds up and we really have to take that into account,” Stapleton said. “We can’t just keep finding more ways to use more energy, we need to be more efficient with the energy in our homes. And then as we go about transitioning, right now there are a lot of discounts for things like heat pump HVAC, heat pump water heating, induction cooktops going down in price and there are incentives for that, but that’s going to require infrastructure changes in our homes. “
Stapleton also encouraged the use of more native plants, research into drought-tolerant landscaping, and reducing water use by switching to a drip irrigation system instead of sprinklers.
Beverly Hills is currently enrolled in the Clean Power Alliance’s 100% renewable energy program, which means that the electricity used is sourced from the Clean Power Alliance
“Currently, Beverly Hills receives 50% of that energy under our tariff that we offer, which is 50% clean,” Goodhill said. “But from October it will be 100% renewable energy from sun, wind and other renewable energy sources. So it’s a huge, very exciting step that Beverly Hills is committed to.”
According to Goodhill, Beverly Hills’ transition to 100% clean energy will result in 186.4 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions reductions annually, “the equivalent of planting 1.4 million trees or taking 18,182 cars off the road.” However, the transition to clean energy comes at a cost. Goodhill explained that customers can expect a 3% increase in charges on their bills and no increase in charges for low-income customers.
To learn more, visit beverlyhills.org/BHCAAP.