California is a world leader of sustainable planning and environmental policy and Sacramento, as the capital of California, is at the intersection of sustainable innovation and environmental policy making. The Clean Economy cluster—which includes energy efficiency, clean transportation, natural resource and waste stream innovations—is a key cluster of activity that marries innovation, economic growth and environmental sustainability. Activities of this cluster rely on emerging technologies and require a supportive environment to ensure that the economy, physical infrastructure, and ecosystem of innovation can support new employment opportunities, economic activities and applied environmental innovations. The Green Capital Alliance (GCA) provides this alignment and support.
What is the goal?
The goal is to promote regional sustainability, support clean innovation, and expand the Sacramento region’s Clean Economy.
Why is this important?
This is important because innovation is a key component to supporting high growth industries in the region’s economy. The Clean Economy economic cluster was identified in 2012 through a regional economic assessment and engagement with employers as being one of six high growth clusters and was deemed an important focus area of the Next Economy jobs initiative.
What is Valley Vision doing about it?
Along with utilities, businesses, education, workforce and economic development organizations, Valley Vision formed a partnership known as the Green Capital Alliance to respond to the needs of local Clean Economy companies. This has involved building awareness of local industry leaders, developing training and education programs to build the needed workforce, and supporting policies and programs that help grow demand for clean and green products and services.
What is our desired impact?
To grow the Clean Economy cluster in order to expand job opportunities, support environmental sustainability and position the Sacramento Capital Region as a leader for clean technology.
How does this effort affect triple-bottom-line objectives?
Economy: Aligning private, public and nonprofit agencies to support the Clean Economy will identify capacity to support economic activity as well as areas where we can fill gaps that might be hindering economic activity. These actions seek to expand opportunities to increase the size and reach of this economic cluster.
Environment: The Clean Economy ultimately supports activities that benefit the environment. Industry is working hard to increase energy efficiency, lessen negative environmental impacts, reduce carbon emissions, harness renewable energy, and more. Work to support this sector aligns public and nonprofit agencies with these goals.
Equity: Low-income communities bear a disproportionate burden of environmental harms when it comes to air quality, environmentally impacted lands and related public health impacts. Additionally, low-income communities pay a higher proportion of income on the expense of petroleum-based economy and lack access to clean technology alternatives. Through a multi-stakeholder approach, the GCA can better address these disparities and ensure that economic expansion of the Clean Economy also focuses on alleviating these burdens while creating access to new technologies for all populations.
The Green Capital Alliance was formed in 2006 and remains active today.
- Between 2011 and early 2016, the Clean Economy grew by 35 percent, adding more than 250 new organizations in the Sacramento Capital region. Job growth also has been aggressive with the addition of 1,700 new jobs over the last five years. (Clean Economy Workforce Needs Assessment, 2016).
- According to the 2013 California Green Innovation Index created by Next 10, the region saw 42% core clean technology job growth between 2001 – 2011.
- Bank of America
- Center for Strategic Economic Research
- Golden Sierra Workforce Investment Board
- Greater Sacramento Urban League
- Greenwise Joint Venture
- Next Ed
- Los Rios Community College District
- North State BIA
- Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization
- Sacramento Employment and Training Agency
- Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District
- Sacramento Municipal Utility District
- Sacramento State University
- Sutter Health
- University of California, Davis
- University of Phoenix, Sacramento Valley Campus