The Contra Costa County Climate Leaders (4CL) program is a network assisting the county and its 19 cities to inform, support and encourage the measurement and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Through education and sharing of best practices we will ensure sustainable, healthy and livable cities.

Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek Accomplishments:

General Plan

  • Walnut Creek adopted its most recent General Plan in 2006 to guide the city through until 2025. It contained specific policies on energy conservation and meeting green building standards, waste diversion and recycling, water conservation and open space preservation. It also implemented sustainability elements related to the GHG emissions inventory.

Climate Action Planning

  • Climate Action Plan approved by council in April 2012.
  • The Walnut Creek Library, which opened in 2010, received LEED Gold certification for sustainable design and conservation of water and energy.
  • EECBG funds were used to install solar as well as LED lighting in several City parking lots.
  • Has had 5 City Departments and organizations designated as Green Businesses by ABAG including the Parks Dept, Vehicle Maintenance, Police Dept, City Hall, Chamber of Commerce and Lesher Arts Center.
  • Green Building Ordinance in progress.
  • Using EECBG funding to help install solar on the City Hall.
  • Conducted GHG Emissions Inventory. Municipal and Community wide inventory completed.
  • Walnut Creek was named the Greenest City to retire in by US in 2011 and 2012.
  • Named as one of the top 10 greenest cities in June 2007 by Yahoo’s Be a Better Planet Campaign & Global Green USA
  • Joined ICLEI‘s Cities for Climate Protection Campaign


  • Supports the adoption of California Green Building Standards.
  • Converted traffic lights to LEDs which has cut energy costs in half
  • Was awarded funding from EECBG to conduct a solar feasibility study with the goal of installing solar panels on several City owned buildings. The study predicted City Hall energy consumption would be cut by 7% saving over $625,000 over 25 years.
  • Adopted low permit fee for solar installation
  • Sustainable and affordable Senior HousingUnits built with solar energy and water heating.

Waste Reduction

  • Passed ordinance requiring the recycling of construction debris
  • Offering curbside pick-up of residential compostable food scraps in starting in September 2007.
  • Adopoted a plastic bag ban ordinance in May 2014.

Water Conservation


Open Space

  • Worked with the City of Lafayette, Muir Heritage Land Trust and East Bay Regional Park District to purchase acreage on Acalanes Ridge! This property can be seen from 12 cities and adjoins thousands of acres of land already preserved as open space.

Community Support

  • Former Mayor of Walnut Creek, Gwen Regalia won the ABAG Award for Distinguished Leadership in promoting sustainability communities and Smart Growth.
  • City shares individual’s inspirational stories to show sustainability in Walnut Creek
  • For current environmental information, Walnut Creek provides the “Going Green Together” page

City of Walnut Creek website

Updated June 2014