San Francisco Department of the Environment

Our Work

Mission: The San Francisco Department of the Environment provides solutions that advance climate protection and enhance quality of life for all San Franciscans. 
Strategic Plan: View the department's Strategic Plan for meeting the City's sustainability and climate change goals.

Zero Waste • Transportation • Energy • Roots • Climate Change

Zero Waste 

Recycling & Composting

Imagine a world where nothing goes to landfills or incinerators. SF Environment provides residents, businesses, and city agencies with information and tools to reduce waste and bring the city towards our goal of zero waste by 2020.

Waste Reduction

San Francisco provides tools and resources to help prevent waste before it begins:

Safe Disposal

Find out how to safely dispose of toxic products.


Sustainable Commuting

SF Environment improves air quality by making it easier for people to walk, bike, and use public transit.

Clean Fuels & Vehicles

SF Environment promotes electric cars and other clean vehicles and fuels and have made the City’s fleet one of the greenest in the nation.


Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency

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.

Green Building

Through 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.

Roots (Heal the Earth) 


SF Environment 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.

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 others interested in alternatives to toxic products.

Environmental Justice

SF Environment 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.

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 free rebates, resources, services, audits, and technical assistance offered by various City departments. 

Green Jobs

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 careers 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.

Toxics Reduction

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 importance of urban nature by initiating community gardens and urban farms, the Landmark Tree Program, landscaping projects, and park and recreational areas in densely populated areas of the city.

Climate Change

San Francisco Department of the Environment implements policies and practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, focusing on areas that will have the greatest impact towards addressing climate change:

  • Waste Management (Zero Waste)
  • Transportation (Sustainable Commuting)
  • Energy (Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency)

We work with policymakers, city agencies, businesses, and residents to develop comprehensive strategies for tackling climate change. Learn more about San Francisco's formula for reaching greenhouse gas emission goals: 0-50-100-Roots.

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