First step is to conduct inventories of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and establish regional standards and benchmarks for the cities and region
Regional Purchasing Consortium, Pilot Testing and Product Specification for Clean Technologies to be organized by Local Government Agencies
San Jose, CA | May 24, 2007 — Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network today launched a new regional program to help local government agencies address the challenges of climate protection. To date, 24 cities, counties, and special districts in the Silicon Valley region have agreed to work together through the Joint Venture Climate Change Task Force. A list of the Task Force members appears below.
The mission of the Task Force is to provide a way for the participating city, county and special district agencies to work together on a host of initiatives aimed at the common goal of addressing the Climate Protection challenge. The agency members have decided that early work by the Task Force will include an inventory to determine each agency’s carbon footprint, ways to track and reduce this footprint on an annual basis, form a buying consortium, in order aggregate demand and acquire carbon reduction technologies at the best possible price, education and outreach, and pilot projects to develop and test products that will move the agencies toward a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in Silicon Valley.
At the first meeting on May 10th, the members of the Task Force determined their first step would be to conduct inventories of greenhouse gas emissions from their operations. By standardizing on one approach to doing the analysis, it will be possible to establish regional standards and benchmarks, and thereby set appropriate goals for both the cities and for the region. The Task Force will track and report progress toward the goals.
“I am delighted to see our cities and counties taking a leadership role that will contribute to climate protection and energy efficiency, as well as reduce operating costs,” said Supervisor Liz Kniss, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, and co-chair of Joint Venture. “This program will add to the efforts many of us have been championing in our individual areas and allow us to leverage our experience for a larger impact.”
“In the typical Silicon Valley style, the leaders of our cities and counties see value in collaborating,” said Russell Hancock, President and CEO of Joint Venture. “By working together the members of the Task Force will be able to test new products, increase demand, and stimulate the market for clean technology.”
The buying consortium work of the Task Force will evaluate a variety of solutions, including photovoltaic systems, fuel cells, hybrid and biodiesel vehicles, methane capture equipment, LED lighting, and technologies for making buildings more energy efficient.
“It may take quite a few years to get to the point when we are truly carbon neutral,” said John Maltbie, County Executive for San Mateo County and Joint Venture Board champion for the project. “But climate protection is a long term challenge. We will be aggressive, ambitious, and persistent.”
In partnership with the municipalities, Joint Venture conducted a survey in April to determine how much interest there is among the cities and counties in taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Almost all of the 24 respondents have already installed low power traffic signals and low energy lighting in buildings. Some 62% have already purchased hybrid vehicles; 45% have purchased solar panels to generate electricity, and another 30% plan to buy them in the next 12 months.
“Silicon Valley has a rapidly growing industry cluster in clean technology,” said Tom Werner, CEO of SunPower, a partner in the Task Force. “It’s great to see the public sector taking a leadership role to encourage the widespread adoption of new technologies, and encouraging more entrepreneurs to develop solutions to the global warming crisis.”
“At the end of his talk at our State of the Valley conference in February, former Vice President Al Gore challenged Silicon Valley to lead America to a new energy future,” said Seth Fearey, VP & COO at Joint Venture, and project director for the Climate Protection Task Force. “This Task Force will bring together the leadership of the public sector and the creativity of the private sector to invent and deploy innovative solutions.”
Pacific Gas & Electric Company is also a partner in the program. PG&E will help the cities collect the data they need to calculate their current and past carbon footprint and identify the best opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
About Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network
Established in 1993, Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network provides analysis and action on issues affecting our region's economy and quality of life. The organization brings together established and emerging leaders — from business, government, academia, labor and the broader community — to spotlight issues and work toward innovative solutions.
Additional information about Joint Venture and the climate protection initiative is available at: www.jointventure.org.
A Style Guide
The full and complete name of the organization is “Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network.” After first reference to the organization it is most appropriate to refer to it simply as “Joint Venture.”
Climate Protection Task Force Leadership
John Maltbie, County Executive, County of San Mateo
Susan Loftus, Deputy City Manager, City of San Mateo
Brian Moura, Assistant City Manager, City of San Carlos
Larry Owens, Silicon Valley Power, City of Santa Clara
Darren Deffner, Pacific Gas & Electric Company
Bobby Ram, Director of Global Community Relations, SunPower Corporation
Russell Hancock, Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network
Seth Fearey, Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network
Climate Protection Task Force Membership – First Meeting
City of Belmont
City of Brisbane
City of Burlingame
City of Cupertino
City of Daly City
City of Foster City
City of Fremont
City of Hillsborough
City of Menlo Park
City of Millbrae
City of Morgan Hill
City of Mountain View
City of Newark
City of Palo Alto
City of Redwood City
City of San Carlos
City of San Jose
City of San Mateo
City of Santa Clara
City of Santa Cruz
City of South San Francisco
City of Sunnyvale
County of San Mateo
County of Santa Clara
Santa Clara Valley Water District
South Bayside Waste Management Authority
Town of Los Gatos
Membership in the Task Force is open to all local governments and special districts in Silicon Valley.