Posts tagged ‘Gavin Newsom’

San Francisco Launches Global Sustainable Tourism Initiative in U.S.


Mayor Newsom to introduce resolution at US Conference of Mayors

San Francisco, the birthplace of the United Nations, will be the lead US city to partner with the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria Partnership, a coalition of more than 40 international conservation, development, and travel industry organizations to implement sustainable tourism principles. The City will work with the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau to encourage and promote local businesses that protect cultural heritage and the environment.

“San Francisco is proud to support sustainable tourism here and abroad. As a city at the forefront of the environmental movement, we understand the need for tourism that brings economic benefits to communities without damaging the environment or harming local culture,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who will introduce a resolution, with the support of Miami and Baltimore, encouraging member cities to endorse the Criteria at the US Conference of Mayors this weekend. Miami and Baltimore, in addition to San Francisco, have committed to adopt the criteria for use in their respective cities.

“The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is pleased that San Francisco has taken the lead in moving the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria to the next level. This initiative will help to ensure that tourism will benefit, not harm, the environment and local communities”, said Amy Fraenkel, Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for North America. “We are hopeful that cities across the U.S. will join in this effort by signing onto the resolution and adopting the criteria.”

The Partnership, initiated by the Rainforest Alliance, the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Foundation, and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), spent 15 months developing 37 Criteria, with the aim of harmonizing elements from more than 60 existing sustainable tourism certification systems from around the world. Sustainable tourism, in contrast to “green” or “eco” tourism, addresses cultural and socio-economic impacts of tourism in addition to environmental ones.

“We commend Mayor Newsom and San Francisco for leading the way in sustainable tourism,” said Erika Harms, Executive Director of Sustainable Development for the UN Foundation. “It is exciting to see how cities are utilizing the criteria and we encourage other cities to follow the lead of San Francisco, Miami, and Baltimore to help us preserve unique city destinations for future communities and travelers to enjoy.”

More than 25 restaurants, bars, and hotels have been recognized as San Francisco Green Businesses for meeting the City’s rigorous environmental standards for waste reduction, pollution prevention, and energy and water conservation. Tourism businesses which implement the Criteria and are recognized San Francisco Green Businesses or are Greenopia-rated will be listed as participating in an upcoming Sustainable Tourism Program in San Francisco.

“San Francisco’s 16.4 million visitors last year spent $8.52 billion — generating over $527 million in taxes for the City of San Francisco. The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau looks forward to promoting this endorsement and encouraging our members to support the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria,” according to Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria Partnership:
Resolution introduced at the US Conference of Mayors:
San Francisco Green Business Program:
San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau:


February 4, 2010 at 12:47 PM Leave a comment

San Francisco vs Amsterdam in Green City Rivalry

December 2, 2009 by Glenn Chapman

Click Image for full story

San Francisco and Amsterdam set an online stage for an environmental rivalry regarding which city is more nature-friendly. Mayors of the major US and Dutch cities on Tuesday kicked off a green match-up while joining technology titan Cisco in a call for urban centers worldwide to rally to fight global warming and other environmental woes.

December 2, 2009 at 3:43 PM Leave a comment

San Francisco’s new mandatory composting ordinance

Know Your Bins

Know Your Bins

San Francisco will be implementing a mandatory composting program in mid-October.  This program will require all residential and commercial buildings to separate organic materials from non organic and dispose of them in a green bin for pickup and removal.  The purpose of the program is to work toward the goal of diverting 75% of San Francisco’s waste from landfill by 2010, and 100% by 2020.  These are important and difficult goals, and are in line with California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, requiring California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 (AB32).  Landfills are a large source of methane gas (a potent green house gas) and other pollutants.  Turning our organic waste stream into compost puts waste back into useful circulation, much as nature does in non-industrialized environments.  This soil-enriching compost can be used for agricultural purposes, returning nutrients to the soil.

Read the full story HERE

October 21, 2009 at 9:40 AM Leave a comment

S.F. composting, recycling becomes law Wednesday

Alexa Franz, a fifth-grade teacher who rents an apartment in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights, had a little surprise when she went to take out her recycling recently – a new, shiny green composting cart.

“It kind of just appeared one day,” said Franz, 25. “I was taking the recycling out, and there it was.”

Welcome to the new reality in San Francisco, where landlords and property owners are scrambling to comply with a mandatory composting and recycling law that takes effect Wednesday.

The law, the most comprehensive in the country, is an aggressive push by Mayor Gavin Newsom to cut greenhouse gas emissions, return carbon to the soil, and have the city sending nothing to landfills or incinerators by 2020.

Mandatory Composting and Recycling in SF

Mandatory Composting and Recycling in SF

The ordinance, with some exceptions, requires every residence and business to have three separate color-coded bins for waste: blue for recycling, green for compost and black for trash.

Failing to properly sort refuse could result in a fine after several warnings. But city officials say fines, starting at $100 and potentially escalating to $1,000, will not come for months and will initially be levied only if homeowners repeatedly refuse to even sign up for composting bins, which are supplied to residents at no extra cost.

There is a moratorium on fines until at least July 2011 for tenants and owners of multifamily buildings or multi-tenant commercial properties to get people used to composting.

Demand for the wheeled green bins has soared since the ordinance was signed in June, said Robert Reed, a spokesman for the city’s waste collection companies, both subsidiaries of Recology, formerly Norcal Waste Systems.

“We’re delivering over 100 green carts a day,” Reed said. “A year ago that would have been 15 or 20 a day.”

Recology has doubled the number of trucks delivering the carts in the past year and has hired more customer service workers to handle requests, he said.

In June, only 22 percent of the city’s roughly 9,000 large apartment buildings composted. Since then, the number has jumped to 37 percent, Reed said.

“That’s progress,” he said.

The amount of material turned into “San Francisco gold,” compost that cuts down on methane emissions from landfill, returns carbon to the soil and is prized by farmers and vintners for its rich nutrients, has grown in the past year from 400 tons a day to about 500, Reed said.

“You can see that this is already working very effectively,” Reed said.

Landlords are concerned tenants could ask the rent board to lower their rent by arguing that mandatory trash sorting amounts to a decrease in services, a theory city officials rejected because the new requirements apply universally.

One downside to the composting push is how long it takes to get a green cart. The wait is currently two to three weeks.

But don’t sweat that Wednesday deadline if you’ve already requested a composting cart.

City officials plan on engaging in extensive outreach, rather than fines, at least through the new year, said Jared Blumenfeld, head of the Environment Department.

“It’s about a dialogue,” Blumenfeld said. “As we’ve always promised, we are not going to start off fining people. … Really our focus is to make sure tenants have the tools they need to recycle.”

For more information, visit

How to get composting and recycling carts

Residential customers in San Francisco can get composting or recycling carts at no additional charge. To request a cart, call your waste disposal company.

Recology-Sunset (formerly Sunset Scavenger): (415) 330-1300

Recology-Golden Gate (formerly Golden Gate Disposal & Recycling): (415) 626-4000

Starting today, Recology also plans to accept online requests for composting carts at Your account number is required to order one online.

If you’re a tenant and you want a composting cart, contact your landlord. If the landlord refuses to act, call the city’s Department of the Environment: (415) 355-3700.

Additional information can be found at:

E-mail John Coté at

October 20, 2009 at 11:25 AM Leave a comment

As of October 21, 2009 Ordinance takes effect

The Universal Recycling and Composting Ordinance requires everyone in San Francisco to separate their refuse into recyclables, compostables and trash. No one may mix recyclables, compostables or trash, or deposit refuse of one type in a collection container designated for another type. All properties are required to maintain and pay for adequate refuse service.

October 8, 2009 at 4:52 PM Leave a comment

University of San Francisco: unplugged

USFUNPLUGGED is brought to you by the Environmental Safety Community Outreach Liaison’s of USF. Here to educate, assist and encourage, we want you to get involved with the GREEN movement taking place on campus!

Unplugged Rewind