ESI Plan Update

The city is  in the process of updating its Environmental Stewardship Plan, and reviewing our progress to date and assessing additional strategies to achieve our environmental goals. In 2013, Bellevue released the Environmental Stewardship Strategic Plan as an action plan to "create a sustainable city where residents can enjoy the highest quality of life." 

What's Next

Staff are working on incorporating results from outreach in the spring and analyzing actions for the draft Environmental Stewardship Plan.  

Upcoming City Council presentations: 

  • City Council Study Session, 9/14/2020; 6:00 PM:  Update on Environmental Stewardship Plan progress and review of updated K4C Joint Commitments

Upcoming Board and Commission presentations: 

Check back as additional dates for board and commission and council presentations are scheduled. 

What We Have Heard

The Environmental Stewardship team conducted a second round of outreach and engagement in the spring of 2020, to gather input from residents, businesses, and other stakeholders on potential actions for the plan.  Check out our Phase 2 Outreach Summary to learn more about what we heard: 

Phase 2 Outreach Summary

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After an initial phase of public engagement, best practices research and analysis, staff compiled a set of recommendations for the overarching goals and targets for the updated Environmental Stewardship Plan and presented them to the City Council on Nov. 12. The council expressed support for the following draft communitywide goals and targets for the plan: 

Climate Change

Goal: Reduce Bellevue’s greenhouse gas emissions and prepare and adapt to ongoing climate change impacts. 

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050, below a 2011 baseline. 


Goal:   Ensure long-term access to clean energy while reducing the fiscal and environmental impacts of consumption.                    

  • Achieve 100% renewable energy by 2045.
  • Reduce energy use by 30% by 2050, compared to a 2011 baseline.


Goal:  Reduce the negative impacts from consumption and waste practices and strive towards zero waste of resources. 

  • Achieve zero waste by 2050.

Mobility and Land Use

Goal: Minimize the environmental impacts of transportation and development in Bellevue by focusing development in growth centers and providing all residents with access to a variety of mobility options. 

  • Achieve a 45% commute-trip drive-alone rate for residents and people working in Bellevue by 2050. 
  • Strive to have 50% electric vehicles registered in Bellevue by 2050.
  • Reduce per capita vehicle miles travelled (VMT) by 50% by 2050, compared to a 2011 baseline.
  • Support transit oriented development and strive to achieve 85% of jobs and 65% of households located with a ¼ mile of frequent transit service (every 15 minutes) by 2050.

Natural Systems

Goal: Improve and preserve the integrity and health of Bellevue’s natural systems and ensure all of Bellevue’s residents have access to Bellevue’s abundant natural resources. 

  • Achieve a 40% citywide tree canopy by 2050.
  • Ensure that 100% of Bellevue’s residents live within 1/3 of a mile to a park, open space, or trail by 2050.
  • Maintain and improve the health of Bellevue’s streams.

For more information on the recommendations and what we heard from the first phase of outreach, refer to: 

Phase 2 Outreach Summary: Support for Potential Actions

Staff conducted a second round of public engagement in the spring of 2020, to gather input and feedback on potential actions, and gauge the level of support for strategies for the plan. Outreach strategies included an open house, online survey with over 600 responses, focus groups, and an online townhall. 

Phase 1 Outreach Summary: How ambitious should we be?

Bellevue staff conducted an initial round of public engagement in the fall of 2019 with a community workshop, online survey, pop-up events, and a sustainability leaders focus group.  We heard from over 400 people through these various engagement approaches.  

Online Engagement

Check out Bellevue's new outreach and engagement hub,, where you can learn about upcoming events, take surveys, sign up to stay in the loop, and learn about other projects in Bellevue.

City staff will report to the Bellevue City Council periodically on the progress of the Environmental Stewardship Plan update, to receive input and direction on key aspects of the plan. 

Upcoming Presentations

Staff are currently scheduled to present on the following date(s): 

  • City Council Study Session, 9/14/2020; 6:00 PM
    Topic: Update on Environmental Stewardship Plan progress and review of updated K4C Joint Commitments 

Due to restrictions on open public meetings during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, the Environmental Stewardship Plan update to Council originally scheduled for April 27, 2020 was cancelled.  

Completed Presentations

The presentation materials, agenda, and videos from previous Council presentations on the ESI Strategic Plan update can be found below: 

For more information on Council agendas, proceedings and addressing the City Council, go to: Bellevue City Council

Staff will engage with boards and commissions as part of the Environmental Stewardship Plan update process.  Council has directed Boards and Commissions to provide input on the potential strategies and actions relevant to their purview. 

Upcoming presentations

The following upcoming presentations on the Environmental Stewardship Plan are currently scheduled: 

As additional presentations are confirmed, we will be updating this list. 

Completed presentations

For information on previous boards and commissions presentations on the Environmental Stewardship Plan, go to: 

Phase 2 Engagement:

Phase 1 Engagement: 

The 2013-2018 Strategic Plan was created by an interdepartmental team of staff with consultation from Cascadia Consulting. The plan addressed both municipal and communitywide sustainability. It focused on five distinct areas:

  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • mobility and land use
  • energy and water
  • materials and waste management
  • ecosystems and open spaces

There were 57 actions distributed among these five areas, along with 17 Key Performance Indicators to measure impact.

The benefits of these actions go beyond environmental stewardship. Enhancing parks and open spaces improves health outcomes while providing places to play, while reducing drive-alone rates decreases congestion. The ESI Plan Update seeks to expand upon these co-benefits of environmental action.

One notable success of the previous plan was Bellevue being awarded a four-star certification through the STAR Communities Rating System. This system evaluates strengths and weaknesses in seven areas and builds on a decade of environmental leadership on the part of the ESI. The report is available.

On February 19, a full report on the progress of the ESI was presented to Council. This report assesses each of the 57 actions included in the plan, of which 34 were implemented and 21 were initiated.

The progress report outlines successes, such as purchasing green power from Puget Sound Energy, as well as areas to improve upon in the updated plan, such as waste diversion.


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