What is Eco-City Alexandria?
Eco-City Alexandria is a collaborative strategic effort to achieve sustainability throughout the City of Alexandria. Eco-Cities work to harmonize their natural resources and environmental assets with existing policies, regional realities, and economic and business markets while engaging the community in a collaborative and transparent decision making process.
Alexandria City Council adopted the Eco-City Charter in June 2008 and was the first Environmental Charter adopted in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Charter defined Alexandria’s commitment to ecological, economic, and social sustainability. The core values and ten guiding principles formed the basis for the City’s first Environmental Action Plan in 2009.
The Alexandria City Council unanimously adopted the updated Environmental Action Plan (EAP) 2040 in July 2019. The EAP is a comprehensive roadmap and affirms Alexandria’s commitment to lead by example for a thriving, sustainable community.
Sustainability News and Updates
Energy Awareness Month
October marks Energy Awareness Month, where communities, businesses, and governments around the United States bring attention to the importance of sustainably managing energy use. Energy is completely intertwined into our way of life. Energy is used to produce the food we eat, pump the water we drink and use in our homes and businesses, power our electronics that connect us to others, and provide us the products we use every day. This energy has typically been provided by burning fossil fuels, which pollutes our air and water and contributes to a warming world.
During October 2019 Energy Awareness Month, the City of Alexandria is providing resources and events for the community to learn more about sustainably managing energy use and creating a positive impact on our Eco-City. To learn more visit the Energy Awareness Month webpage.
Alexandria City Council Adopts Environmental Action Plan 2040 and Green Building Policy
On July 9, the Alexandria City Council adopted the Environmental Action Plan (EAP) 2040, an update to Eco-City Alexandria’s comprehensive roadmap for creating a thriving, sustainable community. This action followed City Council’s unanimous adoption of a Green Building Policy on June 22.
- News Release: Alexandria City Council Adopts Environmental Action Plan 2040 and Green Building Policy
- Environmental Action Plan (EAP) 2040
- Environmental Policy Commission Letter of Support
Environmental Action Plan 2040
The Environmental Action Plan 2040 updated the 2009 EAP 2030 and includes emerging technology, evolving infrastructure needs, and new approaches to reducing the City and community’s impact on the environment. The EAP 2040 is a guide for environmental decision-making and reflects the needs of the community, changing technologies, and global, regional and state issues.
To learn more about our progress in meeting the targets of the EAP, visit the Environmental Action Plan dashboard!
City departments report on sustainable performance using key indicators.
In March 2019, the City hosted the Eco-City Summit, a forum for community members to offer input on draft recommendations for an update of the Environmental Action Plan (EAP).. Community members who attended were able to give feedback on the recommendations for all 10 topics of the EAP. Missed the event? Watch the opening remarks and the event's keynote speech, “7 Secrets to Living Your Most Sustainable Life,” given by Diane MacEachern, founder and CEO of Big Green Purse. Also, read the sustainability pledge distributed at the event and learn more about Eco-City Academy,
See EAP Update Education and Outreach Events for additional details.
EAP Education and Outreach Events
EAP Phase Two Update Timeline
- October 13, 2018
EAP 2040 Phase 1 Adopted
Alexandria City Council unanimously adopted the City's EAP Phase One Update after a year of collaborative work involving City staff, the Environmental Policy Commission, stakeholders, and the public
- October to December 2018
Synthesize staff, EPC, and community member ideas into Phase Two Update
- November 14, 2018
EAP 2040 Phase Two Open House
Douglas MacArthur Elementary School from 7 to 9 p.m
Watch a video of the meeting on Facebook. The evening included a presentation on past and present initiatives addressing the remaining five focus areas, and a discussion of potential short, mid- and long- term goals for all 10 sections.
- December 12, 2018
EAP 2040 Phase Two Eco-City Steering Committee Public Meeting
City Hall, Sister Cities Room 1101 from 6 to 7 p.m.
The Eco-City Steering Committee's December 12, 2018 Draft Document.
- December 2018-January 2019
Online Feedback Form
- March 9, 2019
Eco-City Summit and presentation of full EAP 2040 Update
- April 2019
Deadline for public comments on full EAP 2040 Update
- April 27, 2019
Alexandria Earth Day 2019 Tent Talk presentation and information booth
- May/June 2019
City Council Legislative Meeting and Public Hearing
EAP Update Resources
Awards and Honors
City of Alexandria Receives Highest Certification for Virginia Municipal League’s Go Green Government Challenge
For the eleventh consecutive year, the City of Alexandria has been recognized by the Virginia Municipal League (VML) with its platinum-level certification for being a green and sustainable government. The platinum distinction, announced yesterday evening, is the VML’s highest certification level. The annual Go Green Government Challenge, a VML initiative, encourages local governments to implement specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce carbon emissions generated by both the local government and the broader community. The City received several points for innovations in 2018, including:
- Development of a long term control plan for Alexandria’s combined sewer system.
- Innovative stormwater treatment practices that achieved nutrient reductions exceeding requirements.
- Purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs) equivalent to 60% of the City government electricity consumption.
- Participation in the Northern Virginia Regional Commission’s Solarize NoVA program to promote installation of solar photovoltaic systems in Alexandria homes.
- Purchase and distribution of 24 thermal cameras to Alexandria libraries for resident use to detect heat losses in their homes and use the information to target corrective actions to reduce energy usage and corresponding greenhouse gas emissions.
More information about the Go Green Government Challenge is available at gogreenva.org.
The City of Alexandria ranked sixth on a list of 131 cities working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
The Southeast Climate Commitment Index, created by the nonprofit group Community Sustainability USA, recognizes the City’s accomplishments and efforts to address climate change. The list ranks cities and counties with populations above 50,000 in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida. The City’s inclusion is aligned with its strong commitment to greenhouse gas reduction, as outlined in its Environmental Action Plan 2030, the City’s blueprint for creating a thriving, sustainable community. Read the news release to learn more.
Eco-City and EAP Reference Materials
- Eco-City Alexandria Background Information
- Eco-City Annual Progress Report & Key Environmental Indicators
- Eco-City Charter
- Eco-City Charter (Spanish Version)
- Eco-City Clean Waterways
- Eco-City Energy and Climate Change Action Plan
- Environmental Action Plan 2030
- Environmental Action Plan 2030 Update Engagement Event Video: Eco-City Cafe on March 10, 2018
- Environmental Action Plan 2030 Update Engagement Event Video: Open House on August 23, 2018
- Environmental Action Plan 2030 Update Engagement Event Video: Public Launch on December 4, 2017
- Environmental Action Plan 2030 Major Achievements (2009-2017)
- Environmental Action Plan 2030 Phase One Update: EPC Recommendations to City Council on May 22, 2018
- Environmental Action Plan 2030 Phase One Update: Final Version Adopted by City Council on October 13, 2018
- Greenhouse Gas Inventory Fact Sheet (2015)
- GreenVentory (2007)
- GreenVentory Update (Coming Soon)
Questions and comments regarding the Environmental Action Plan should be directed to the City’s Sustainability Coordinator, Ellen Eggerton, at Eco-CityAlexandria@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.4065.
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