Green City Report and One-Leaf Certification

How did it happen?

In 2005, the City of San Francisco hosted the United Nations World Environment Day and selected "Green Cities" as the unifying theme for the event. Mayors from all over the world came to San Francisco from June 1 - 5 to share ideas and discuss solutions to universal urban environmental issues on energy, waste reduction, urban design, urban nature, transportation, environmental health and water quality. From these discussions, the Urban Environmental Accords were developed (the Accords).


The Accords are a set of 21 actions intended to address the growing interest in global and local environmental challenges and opportunities for cities to address. The goal of the Accords is to offer a series of implementable actions that can be adopted at the city level to achieve urban sustainability, promote healthy economies, advance social equity and to protect the world's ecosystem. The Accords build on and continue the legacy of the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the 1996 Istanbul Conference on Human Settlements, the 200 Millennium Development Goals and the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development. To date, the Urban Environmental Accords have been signed by more than 100 mayors across the globe who have begun applying Accord principles in their own cities.

What is the purpose of the Accords?

The vision for the implementation of the 21 Action Steps of the Accords is to inspire open, active, and participatory dialogue between the city's residents, community groups, businesses, academic institutions and other stake holders. Given this vision, it was anticipated that a special advisory group could be appointed to work with City Councils in goal setting and oversight of implementation. It was determined that 7 years after the initial signing of the Accords, on World Environment Day, all data collection would end. Cities would then assess their success in implementing their Action Steps and make a determination as to whether they could be certified as a Green City.

What was the role of the Sustainable City Committee?

The City of Signal Hill became a signatory city to the Accords on February 3, 2009 when the City Council approved an Action Plan for the Sustainable City Committee (SCC), and authorized the Mayor to sign the U. S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.

The SCC established a self-certification procedure to implement the Accords. As stipulated in the initial Accords documents, the 21 UEA Action Steps were envisioned to be used as reference points for setting customized achievable goals and standards tailored to the individual communities.

The SCC explored the feasibility of implementing the 21 UEA Action Steps and researched each one in depth. They determined that some of the Accords were applicable to Signal Hill and others were not applicable. The SCC decided to use the 21 UEA Action Steps as a guide to establish local goals that would be applicable and unique to the City of Signal Hill. From the 21 UEA Action Steps the SCC established 9 local goals and developed an action plan to implement them by the 2012 World Environment Day deadline. Implementation of the 9 local goals would more than satisfy the self-certification program for Signal Hill to become a certified One-Leaf Green City. This effort meets the mission of the SCC in that it promotes environmentally sound and financially practical sustainable objectives.

City Council Approval of the Green City Report

On November 6, 2012, the City Council approved the Green City Report, and the Certification for Signal Hill as a "One-Leaf Green City."

Green City Annual Progress Reports

The Sustainable City Committee and the City Council review and approve the Green City Annual Progress Report on an annual basis. The Annual Progress Report provides a status report on the City's goals and highlights environmental achievements for each calendar year:

2016 Green City Annual Progress Report (PDF)