City Plans & Policies

The City of Mountain View has adopted several ordinances, resolutions, and other policies to achieve its sustainability goals. Together with state-wide legislation, these policies support the City's environmental sustainability work.


Strategy and Governance

Sustainability Program AssessmentThis assessment was conducted by Cadmus, a consultant who reviewed existing programs, plans, and documents, interviewed internal and external stakeholders, and researched benchmark cities to assess the Sustainability Program. 

Sustainability Strategic PlanThis plan used the findings from the Sustainability Program Assessment to form three options for how the City could choose to move forward in its response to achieving sustainability goals. The plan was developed by the consultant Cadmus.

Climate Action Plans

Climate Protection Roadmap (CPR) - This 2015 plan identifies strategies and mechanisms to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.

Municipal Operations Climate Action Plan (MOCAP) - This 2015 plan identifies strategiesClimate Protection Roadmap and actions to reduce municipal operations greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program (GGRP) - This 2012 plan mitigates the environmental impacts of the 2030 General Plan to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The GGRP identifies 5 strategies and 20 measures that will enable the City to achieve the 2020 and 2030 emissions reductions goals mandated by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD).

Environmental Sustainability Action Plans

To focus its sustainability efforts, the City has developed three 3-year tactical EnvironmentalGreenhouse Gas Reduction Program Sustainability Action Plans (ESAPs) that specify policies, programs, and projects to implement across all sustainability areas within the community and municipal operations. Each ESAP is developed through an extensive stakeholder engagement process with the City Council, city staff, and the public.

Environmental Sustainability Action Plan 1 (2008-2011) - ESAP-1 was based on the 2008 Environmental Sustainability Task Force recommendations (see below) and identified 25 initiatives for completion.

Environmental Sustainability Action Plan 2 (2011-2014) - ESAP-2 identified 32 initiatives for completion.

Environmental Sustainability Action Plan 3 (2016-2019) - Adopted in September 2016, ESAP-3 identified 35 initiatives for completion.

Environmental Sustainability Task Force Reports

The Environmental Sustainability Task Force 2 (ESTF-2) was a Council Advisory Body of appointed community members that ran from September 2017 to June 2018. ESTF-2 developed 36 recommendations for specific actions the City can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. You can find more information on ESTF-2, including its Final Report, here.

Originally, in February 2008, the Mayor convened an initial Task Force of more than 60 residents and business leaders to help the City shape its short- and long-term sustainability goals. Concluding its work in September 2008, the Environmental Sustainability Task Force proposed more than 89 recommendations across 11 topic areas, which became the foundation for Mountain View's sustainability activities.

City Policies

Divestment from Fossil Fuel Companies

In December 2018, the City Council voted to divest all previous City investments from fossil fuel companies, by way of adopting a resolution stating, “No investment is to be made in entities that engage in the direct exploration, production, refining, or marketing of fossil fuels.” The move was recommended by staff as a way to not only reduce City funds being used by the companies, but to redirect those funds into economically sustainable sources with long-term growth opportunities. Read the Council report here.

The recommendations were made as part of the Investment Review Committee (IRC)’s Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2017-18. The IRC, made up of the three Council members that sit on the Council Finance Committee and two members of the public, provides input about the City’s investment policies and practices. The Committee meets annually to review the City’s investment portfolio.

Green Building

Standards for Public Projects - Adopted in 2009, this policy requires that new public construction or renovation projects exceeding 5,000 square feet be built to LEED Silver certification or better.

Standards for Private Projects - Effective August 2011, the Mountain View Green Building Code (MVGBC) amended the State-mandated California Green Building Code (CalGreen) to include local green building standards and requirements for private development.

Green Purchasing

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy (EPPP) - Adopted in 2008, this policy encourages City departments to purchase the most environmentally responsible products and services that meet performance needs, are competitively priced, and are readily available.

Bottled Water Administrative Instruction - Adopted in 2009, this policy prohibits the City from purchasing single-serving or delivered bottled water for meetings, public events, and other City business where tap water is available.

Recycling and Zero Waste

Recycling and Zero Waste - The Public Works Department provides information about recycling, composting, and zero waste policies and resources to the community. Key policies include:

  • Reusable Bag Ordinance - Adopted in 2013, this policy prohibits retail stores and other
    places of business from distributing single-use plastic carryout bags and mandates that businesses sell paper or reusable bags for a nominal fee. As of 2015, a similar State law was enacted.
  • Polystyrene Foodware Ordinance - Adopted in 2014, this policy prohibits the sale or use of polystyrene "foam" food service containers.

Water Conservation

Water-Use Restrictions - The Public Works Department provides information about current water conservation and restriction policies to the community.