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City of San Rafael

Beacon Participant Profile

“In 2006 San Rafael was one of the early signatories to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, committing the City to working towards meeting the goals of the Kyoto Protocol. To provide a road map on how the City can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its own municipal operations as well as influence residents and businesses in San Rafael to reduce their emissions, the City Council called for the preparation of a Climate Change Action Plan.” -City of San Rafael Website

About San Rafael

  • Incorporated: February 18, 1874
  • Population: 58,363
  • Location: 17 miles north of San Francisco in Marin County
  • Elevation: Ranges from sea level to 900 feet
  • Area: 22 square miles, consisting of 17 square miles of land and 5 of water and tidelands

Climate Action Activities

  • Completed Climate Change Action Plan, 2009
  • ICLEI member (current as of May 2011)
  • U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement Signatory
  • Tree City USA
  • Adopted mandatory green building ordinance, 2007
  • Formed 14-member Green Ribbon Committee, March 2008
  • Adopted San Rafael Climate Change Action Plan, April 20, 2009
  • Completed 2010 Greenhouse Gas Inventory, July 2013

Climate Action Resources


Gold Beacon Award (2019)

Silver Beacon Award (2013)

Agency Energy Saving

  • Gold Level, 11% (2019)
  • Silver Level, 5% (2013)

Agency Natural Gas Savings

  • Not applicable.

Agency Greenhouse Gas Reductions

  • Gold Level, 19% (2013)

Community Greenhouse Gas Reductions

  • Gold Level, 13% (2015)
  • Silver Level, 8% (2013)

Sustainability Best Practices

  • Platinum Level (2017)
  • Gold Level (2015)
  • Silver Level (2013)

City of San Rafael
The First-Ever Beacon Award Winner

In 2010 San Rafael became the first participant in the Beacon program. Three years later, it became the first city or county to complete all six elements necessary to win the prestigious Beacon Award. This document outlines the city’s achievements, best practices and guiding principles that has helped set it apart on its path to sustainability.


San Rafael’s 2010 Green Building Ordinance

The City of San Rafael passed a mandatory green building ordinance in 2007 that was applicable to new residential and commercial construction only. As a result of their 2009 Climate Action Plan, the city has updated their green building ordinance to include remodeled buildings. Learn about the City of San Rafael’s 2010 mandatory green building ordinance.


Climate Adaptation- Sea Level Rise White Paper
City of San Rafael, 2014

Released in January 2014, this paper is a first step in responding to the city’s Climate Change Action Plan (adopted in 2009).  This paper:

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