City Plans & Policies

The City of Mountain View has adopted several ordinances, resolutions, and policies that complement statewide legislation and help 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.

Sustainability Action Plan 4 (2019-2022) - Adopted in October 2019, SAP-4 identifies 81 new 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 recommended 36 specific actions the City can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Find more information, including the final report, on the ESTF-2 webpage.

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

Carbon Neutrality Resolution

In April 2020, the City Council passed a resolution for Mountain View to become a carbon neutral city by 2045. This means that in addition to achieving the adopted 2045 greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target of 75% below 2005 levels, Mountain View has committed to balancing any remaining GHG emissions with carbon sequestration projects (such as planting trees or restoring wetlands) and/or carbon offsets. For more information, read the Council Report and Resolution.

Divestment from Fossil Fuel Companies

In December 2018, the City Council voted to divest all previous City investments from fossil fuel companies, by 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 for more information.

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.

Electric Vehicle Action Plan

Finalized in December 2021, the Electric Vehicle Action Plan is a high-level plan identifying strategies, policies, and programs to support electric vehicle adoption and deployment of EV charging infrastructure. 

Green Building

Standards for Public Projects - In June 2020, the City Council approved a new green building policy for City facilities. This policy requires a minimum of LEED© Gold certification for new facilities, as well as a consideration of the incremental cost and benefits for achieving LEED© Platinum certification during the design phase. For existing facilities, the policy requires City staff to analyze opportunities for electrification when major building systems are upgraded or equipment is replaced. Additionally, it require new City facilities to incorporate on-site renewable energy systems to the extent feasible, with consideration of energy storage opportunities. 

Standards for Private Projects - The Mountain View Green Building Code (MVGBC) amends the State-mandated California Green Building Code (CalGreen) to include local green building standards and requirements for private development. The MVGBC is regularly updated to meet adopted CalGreen requirements as part of the tri-annual California Building Code updates.

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:

  • Zero Waste Plan 2019 - Adopted in October 2019, this plan describes actions the City can undertake to meet the goals adopted by the City Council in 2018 as part of a Zero Waste Policy, specifically to increase diversion of materials from landfill from the current 78 percent to 80 percent by 2020 and 90 percent by 2030. 
  •  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.