The San Francisco Department of the Environment (SF Environment) creates visionary policies and innovative programs that promote social equity, protect human health, and lead the way toward a sustainable future. We put our mission into action by mobilizing communities and providing the resources needed to safeguard our homes, our city, and ultimately our planet.
The past year, many accolades came our way—from being named Greenest City in North America to receiving a United Nations award for best green building policies of any city in the world. We envision a future where all buildings are green, all jobs have green components, and sustainability is embedded in everything we do. To move our vision forward and continue modeling the behavior we want to see, SF Environment has moved to a new space designed to achieve LEED Platinum where we can serve more residents, businesses and visitors.
The Biodiversity program collaborates with partners on nature conservation strategies and policies. We facilitate sustainable restoration and stewardship of our wild lands and wildlife habitats, and educate the public about our living natural heritage and local ecological stewardship opportunities.
SF Environment improves air quality by making it easier for people to walk, bike, and use transit or rideshare instead of driving. We also promote electric cars and other clean vehicles and fuels and have made the City’s fleet one of the greenest in the nation.
SF Environment’s Climate team develops and implements policies and practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, focusing on areas that will have the greatest impact--transportation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and solid waste management. We work with city agencies, businesses, and residents to develop comprehensive strategies for tackling climate change.
Eco Products and Services
All City departments are required to buy from an approved list of environmentally preferable, or “green,” products. To make this process easier, SF Environment created the SF Approved List to share the best green purchasing information with City staff and everyone else interested in alternatives to toxic products.
San Francisco is committed to meeting its energy needs through energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy resources while creating jobs and saving money. By providing incentives and technical assistance to commercial and residential building owners, we work toward energy self-reliance, improving air quality, and reducing greenhouse gases.
SF Environment’s Environmental Justice program addresses air quality, energy infrastructure, and health concerns in low-income San Francisco communities and helps build healthier, more sustainable neighborhoods. We provide support to local community projects that improve air quality, reduce the use of toxic products, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy, increase access to healthy foods and community gardens, and create green jobs.
By integrating planning, development, and green building construction efforts, San Franciscans are aligning the built environment with the natural world. We’re minimizing energy consumption and resource depletion, and improving air and water quality by supporting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification programs and other green building initiatives.
Green Business Program
The San Francisco Green Business Program recognizes business in San Francisco that go above and beyond to implement greening measures for zero waste, energy efficiency, water reduction, and pollution prevention for their business. The program connects businesses with all the available free rebates, resources, services, audits, and technical assistance offered by various City departments.
Green Jobs/Environment Now
SF Environment develops and implements programs and policies that support the growth of a robust green economy. We prepare our local workforce for opportunities in the green economy with Environment Now, a green jobs training program that provides leadership development and on-the-job training to workers from the city’s most underserved neighborhoods.
School Education Program
The School Education Program provides outreach and curriculum to all San Francisco public and private schools and teaches K-12 students how to protect nature through topics such as zero waste, urban gardening, and water pollution prevention.
SF Environment provides information on environmentally friendly alternatives to toxic products. We also offer a range of opportunities for residents to conveniently and safely dispose of toxic products while ensuring the City itself uses the least toxic products possible.
Urban Forestry and Urban Agriculture
San Francisco fosters public awareness of the crucial importance of urban nature by initiating community gardens and urban farms, the Landmark Tree Program, re-landscaping projects, and park and recreational areas in densely populated areas of the city.
SF Environment imagines a world in which nothing goes to landfills or incinerators. We provide residents, businesses, and city agencies with the information and tools they need to waste less and recycle more, bringing the city ever closer to the goal of zero waste by 2020.
Task Forces, Working Groups, and Initiatives
- Biodiesel Access Task Force
- Biofuels Permit Working Group
- Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force
- Municipal Green Building Task Force
- Urban Environmental Accords
The Environment Commission sets policy for SF Environment and advises the mayor and Board of Supervisors on environmental matters. Appointed by the mayor, the seven-member commission develops policies and programs in recycling, toxics reduction, environmental justice, energy efficiency, commute alternatives, climate change, and the city's urban forest. The Environment Commission has a Policy Subcommittee and an Operations Subcommittee.
Urban Forestry Council
The Urban Forestry Council advises City departments, including the Board of Supervisors and the mayor. Its tasks are to develop a comprehensive urban forest plan; educate the public; develop tree-care standards; identify funding needs, staffing needs, and opportunities for urban forest programs; secure adequate resources for urban forest programs; facilitate coordination of tree-management responsibilities among agencies; and report on the state of the urban forest.
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
The Board of Supervisors is the legislative branch of the City and County of San Francisco. The Board consists of eleven members. Each member is elected on a non-partisan basis from a district where he or she lives. Visit the San Francisco Board of Supervisors page to read official notices and policies related to the Board of Supervisors and SF Environment.
Contact SF Environment using our Contact form, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 415.355.3700. To reach a specific program or staff member, please refer to our staff directory. SF Environment's mailing address is 1455 Market Street, Suite 1200, San Francisco, CA 94103.
Employment, Volunteering, and Interning
- Job Openings at SF Environment
- Green Jobs in San Francisco
- Volunteering with SF Environment
- Intern at SF Environment
Grants, Requests for Proposal, and Request for Qualification
Department Gift Reports
- List of Gifts for Fiscal Year 2012-2013
- Gift to Agency Reports (California Form 801)