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City of Davis

Beacon Participant Profile

“Davis can trace its sustainability roots back more than 40 years to the date the community decided to establish the first bike lanes in the United States. … With its early actions to establish alternatives to automobile travel, energy conservation, solar energy production, farmland and habitat protections, inclusionary housing programs, and innovative land use policies, Davis is well positioned to fight global warming and work toward a more sustainable future.” – City of Davis website

About Davis

  • Incorporated: March 1917
  • Population: 62,947 (estimated as of 2009)
  • Location: 11 miles west of Sacramento in Yolo County (72 miles northeast of San Francisco)
  • Elevation: 52 feet above sea level
  • Area: 9.8 square miles

Climate Action Activities

  • ICLEI member
  • U.S. Conference of Mayor Climate Protection Agreement Signatory
  • Member of Yolo County Climate Change Compact
  • HEAL Cities Campaign Participant
  • Cool Davis Initiative working to engage 75% of Davis households in reducing energy use
  • Tree City USA
  • Solar power systems on city buildings and property generate over 850 kW
  • Established co-generation at the city Wastewater Treatment Plant using methane gas
  • Adopted Community Forest Plan
  • Created Recycling and Waste Reduction Program
  • Established Unitrans Public Transit System- transit system that serves more than 20,000 riders a day on natural gas-fueled buses.
  • Created Storm water ponds/conveyance system
  • Adopted Green Building Program
  • Established EV Program – City vehicle fleet includes 19 electric vehicles
  • Created Wetlands water treatment
  • Continues in farmland conservation preserving more than 2,500 acres since 1988

Climate Action Resources


Cross-Agency Collaboration in Climate Adaptation Leadership & Innovation Award (2021)

Silver Beacon Award (2016)

Agency Energy Savings

  • Silver Level, 5% (2016)

Agency Natural Gas Savings

  • Not applicable.

Agency Greenhouse Gas Reductions

  • Platinum Level, 28% (2016)

Community Greenhouse Gas Reductions

  • Silver Level, 7% (2016)

Sustainability Best Practices

  • Platinum Level (2016)

Davis Apartment Recycling Guide

City of Davis brochure for tenants that includes tips on recyclables and waste reduction. Also includes tips for proper disposal of batteries, electronics and other items.

Case Story

Davis Uses Data to Influence Behavioral Change

For the City of Davis, the Georgetown University Energy Prize is just another stop on the quest for energy efficiency. In 2014 the California Energy Commission gave Davis a $300,000 grant to create a renewable energy and energy-efficiency roadmap for the city. The roadmap targets building-related improvements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and seeks to make Davis “Net Zero,” meaning that each year the city would generate as much energy as it uses.

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