Sustainability in Fremont

The Sustainability Division develops, leads, and supports sustainability initiatives across the city and is housed in the Community Development Department. City sustainability staff play leadership and facilitation roles in institutionalizing sustainability by working with and across departments to foster innovative new partnerships, policies, and projects that enhance the natural environment, eliminate pollution, save money, improve material efficiency, and make Fremont a better place to live, work, and play.

The Sustainability Division’s work is guided by key city policymaking directives including the City of Fremont General Plan (2011), its first Climate Action Plan (2012), Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (2016), Mobility Action Plan (2019), and Post-Carbon Framework (2019) in addition to state and federal laws and standards.

The General Plan 2030 incorporates sustainability as the central theme throughout the document and includes both a Sustainability Element and a Conservation Element addressing climate-related policies.

Division staff regularly collaborate with closely aligned City of Fremont departments such as Environmental Services, Community Services, Public Works, the Planning Division, and Economic Development to accomplish its goals. The Sustainability Division regularly provides reports and updates to the Environmental Sustainability Commission.

Sustainability Staff

  • Rachel DiFranco, Sustainability Manager, Email, 510-494-4451
  • Dan Schoenholz, Director of Community Development, Email, 510-494-4438
  • Luciana Torres, Management Analyst, Email, 510-494-4553
  • Robbie Barton, Sustainability Assistant, Email, 510-494-4519

In 2006, the State of California passed Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), setting a goal to reduce Statewide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Under the Global Warming Solutions Act, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) developed a Climate Change Scoping Plan, encouraging local governments to adopt their own greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. You can learn more at the California Energy Commissions' Climate Change Portal and Cal-Adapt websites.

In 2007-2008, Fremont partnered with StopWaste and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability to evaluate the greenhouse gas emissions from City facilities and the Fremont community using a 2005 baseline. Emissions from City facilities and operations consisted of about 1% of the total emissions in Fremont.

2008: Green Task Force

In 2008, the Mayor convened a Green Task Force of citizens who identified 20 ways that Fremont could reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. A number of the Task Force's recommendations have been included in the 2012 Climate Action Plan. : The Green Task Force became the Environmental Sustainability Commission.

2011: General Plan

On December 13, 2011, City Council adopted the General Plan Update, guiding City development and policy-making for the next 20 years. The General Plan 2030 incorporates sustainability as the central theme throughout the document and includes both a Sustainability Element and a Conservation Element addressing climate-related policies.

2012: Climate Action Plan

On November 13, 2012, City Council adopted the Climate Action Plan, setting an ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goal of 25% from 2005 levels by the year 2020. This document provides a roadmap forward for achieving community-wide sustainability. See also: Staff Report Item 7.B. & Technical Appendices.

2014: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Update (2010)

In January 2014, Fremont partnered with StopWaste to complete an update of greenhouse gas emissions utilizing the newest calculation methodology, demonstrating a decrease of over 10% in community-wide emissions between the years of 2005 and 2010. 

2016: Community Choice Energy

In 2016, the City expanded consumer energy choices by authorizing a new community choice energy provider, East Bay Community Energy (EBCE). This effort significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions from electricity use in Fremont, resulting in an estimated 10% community-wide emissions decrease from its 2015 GHG Inventory. As an EBCE member, the City supports the creation of local green energy jobs, clean power projects, and energy upgrade programs.

2017: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Update (2015)

In 2017, Fremont updated its greenhouse gas emissions again, with the result of no net emissions increases between 2010 and 2015. During this same period, the City saw significant economic growth and population increases. 

2018: Fossil Fuel Divestment Resolution

In October 2018, the Fremont City Council adopted a Fossil Fuel Divestment Resolution to divest fully from the fossil fuel sector, commit to a fast and just transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050 at the latest, and to continue adopting regulations that support the transition to clean energy while discouraging installations of new fossil fuel infrastructure.

2019: Carbon Neutrality Resolution

In February 2019, the Fremont City Council adopted a Carbon Neutrality Resolution, setting a 55% GHG emissions reduction target from 2005 levels by 2030 and a goal to achieve long term carbon neutrality by 2045.