The Sustainability Initiative

To set a road map for making Minneapolis truly sustainable, the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Rybak started integrating sustainability principles into City decision making. The Sustainability Initiative was formulated to spur action, track results and better coordinate activities throughout the City. Here is an overview of some key City Council actions:

2003 l 2004 l 2005 l 2006 l 2007 l 2008 l 2009

2003 Resolution 2003R-133 (pdf) which initiated the development of the Minneapolis Sustainability Program and the use of sustainability principles to guide City decision making. The resolution created a process in which Minneapolis could truly become a sustainable city and define methods with which to measure itself.

2004: Two public roundtable meetings were held which involved approximately 100 residents and professionals expressing a 50-year vision for the City’s future, drafted a series of sustainability initiatives.

2005 2005R-251 (pdf) and 2005R-252 (pdf) that amended the City’s Comprehensive Plan to include sustainability, adopted key indicators, required every department to incorporate the indicators into their business planning process and directed an annual reporting mechanism outlining progress.

Key players in developing and implementing the indicators were the Minneapolis Citizens Environmental Advisory Committee and the City’s Environmental Coordinating Team.

2006 Establishment of city-wide goals in which sustainability is woven throughout. The goal "Enriched Environment" specifically outlines fully implementing the City Sustainability Initiative.

The Minneapolis City Council formed a new Committee the Health Energy and Environment Committee in order to provide a stronger sustainability focus.

The City Council also directed staff to add a new Air Quality focus for a total of 24 Sustainability Indicators; adopted ten-year numerical targets for most of the Indicators; and added annual reporting information on geographic and racial breakdowns for some of the Indicators. The sustainability targets set quantifiable performance goals and measure real progress through historical trend analysis. See Sustainability Indicators.

Also in 2006, the first Minneapolis Sustainability Annual Report was released introducing the indicators, providing baseline information and highlighting 2005 activities for each of the indicators. This report will be updated annually.

2007: Integrating the Sustainability Program into each of the City departments’ business plans is critical to the success of the program. In Minneapolis, each City department is required to have a City Council approved business plan. Starting in 2006 and completing in 2007, each of the 18 city departments reviewed the Sustainability Indicators, accessed their challenges and opportunities to influence the Indicators and outlined their implementation plan.

2008 Making It Green Report 2008.  "Making it Green" is an initiative of Mayor R.T. Rybak in Minneapolis and Mayor Christopher B. Coleman in Saint Paul with the Blue-Green Alliance, a national partnership of the Sierra Club and the United Steel Workers, based in the belief that investments in solving critical environmental challenges, such as global warming, represent strategic economic opportunities for the future. The City produced its third annual Living Well Sustainability Report and GreenPrint Report.

2009: The City produced its fourth annual Living Well Sustainability Report and GreenPrint Report. Through a public process the Sustainability Indicators and Targets were revised and now include a Local Foods, and Waste Reduction and Recycling Indicators. Began a large stakeholder process for Homegrown Minneapolis, an initiative of the City of Minneapolis to improve the growth, sales, distribution, and consumption of healthy, locally grown foods within the city and the surrounding region

Last updated Jan 28, 2016