• 2021-2025 Environmental Stewardship Plan

    The City Council adopted the Sustainable Bellevue: Environmental Stewardship Plan on Dec. 14, 2020

    Adopted Environmental Stewardship Plan
    Sustainable Bellevue Plan, Adopted December 14, 2020
    ESI Plan Summary
    Sustainable Bellevue Plan 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 3 Outreach: Draft Plan

    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, EngagingBellevue.com, where you can learn about upcoming events, take surveys, sign up to stay in the loop, and learn about other projects in Bellevue.

    The presentation materials, agenda, minutes, and videos from previous Council presentations on the Environmental Stewardship Plan can be found below: 

    Council directed staff to engage with boards and commissions on the potential strategies and actions relevant to their purview. A summary of the engagement with the boards and commissions is provided in the Draft Plan Phase 3 Outreach Summary.  The agendas, presentation, and minutes for each board and commission presentation can be found below. 

    Completed presentations

    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, 2019 a full report on the progress of the implementation of the 2013-2018 Environmental Stewardship Strategic Plan 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, and two were not started. 

    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. This progress report helped to identify next steps and new actions for the 2021-2025 Environmental Stewardship Plan. 

    For up to date information on progress, check out the new Environmental Stewardship Performance Dashboard

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