Atlanta is a great American city that recognizes its history while making progress toward the future. My vision for making Atlanta a top-tier city for sustainability is one that will endure beyond administrations, and live within the people and places that create the fabric of this urban metropolis.
I firmly believe that Atlanta has the power to realize this vision of becoming a national leader in sustainability. The people who live and work in this city all have a stake in its bright future. We will work together to empower residents, businesses and stakeholders of all kinds to mobilize our energy and resources to achieve this great goal. Our city has always demonstrated an innovative spirit when faced with challenges; working together, this community will once again tap into this spirit and transform Atlanta into a model city of conservation and clean energy. To realize this goal, my Office of Sustainability has developed Power to Change.
Atlanta’s sustainability plan is the way forward, not only for our environment, but for our city to remain economically and socially responsible to this and future generations.
Addressing sustainability in our city is a complex undertaking, requiring an understanding and respect for the interconnected nature of sustainability issues. Long before our first sustainability plan, and our progress in reducing the energy and water footprint in government operations, Atlanta was making tremendous strides for the environment. Organizations like the Southface Energy Institute, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, and the Georgia Conservancy have educated and advocated for the preservation of our natural and man-made resources for over 90 years, collectively.
We are a community of stakeholders in sustainability, one where every individual’s actions contribute to a healthier, cleaner future. All of these thousands of organizational and individual acts, together, forge a powerful momentum of change.
Today, we’ve embraced new challenges, including: making Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport one of the busiest and most sustainable airports in the country; retrofitting our city’s commercial properties through the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge; and planning for climate change by implementing the city’s first Climate Action Plan. Investing in sustainability is the right step, and we will continue to cover ground at a tremendous pace with your involvement. There will be many tangible benefits, including a cleaner, healthier city for the next generation, and a city that attracts more attention and investment from global business.
Through public/private partnerships, we will expand the capacity of our efforts. Working together, residents and businesses act powerfully to create relevant change in our city’s future. This plan is a blueprint for achieving that change, and it is our mission to show each individual act contributes to the power needed to reach this goal.
As a vested part of our journey, I challenge you to join this collective effort to make our city a better, more sustainable place, and even more, a shining example of the right way to live and work. Now is the moment to seize this great opportunity. Working as one, all of our acts will fuel the Power to Change Atlanta.