SFUSD has a robust sustainability program that incorporates the dual approach of promoting student ecoliteracy while reducing the District’s environmental footprint. Since 2008, SFUSD has reduced energy usage by 22%, natural gas usage by 28%, and water usage by 29% in its 120 buildings.
SFUSD is embarking on a multi-decade effort to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. The technology exists to construct buildings that use no more energy than they generate, and all new SFUSD buildings will be built to this standard. SFUSD’s goal is to achieve a 50% reduction in natural gas usage by 2030 and to stop burning it entirely by 2040. This document was developed with input from Facilities, Buildings & Grounds, the Bond Department, and numerous other stakeholders from the City of San Francisco and elsewhere. It spells out the District’s board-adopted goal to be carbon neutral by 2040 and the manner in which that goal shall be achieved.
Motivated by the California State Architect’s 7x7x7: Design Energy Water Challenge, SFUSD has completely transformed the process by which it designs, constructs, and modernizes its buildings in order to achieve a carbon neutral district by 2040. New buildings must be Zero Net Energy (ZNE) ready, modernized buildings are modeled so a pathway to ZNE can be incorporated into the design phase, and all facilities and deferred maintenance projects must adhere to a strict set of requirements to ensure alignment with ZNE goals. This document outlines the district’s requirements for windows, insulation, building controls, boiler replacement, plumbing fixtures, and rainwater catchment in building projects.
SFUSD Carbon-Neutral Schools Resolution
In late September, the Board of Education took action to ensure the future of San Francisco Unified School District would be sustainable by passing the Carbon-Neutral Schools Resolution. The resolution makes SFUSD the first in the nation to adopt fossil fuel reduction targets in an effort to curb impacts from global climate change. Among other strategies, the district’s Carbon Reduction Plan includes a zero net energy (ZNE) requirement for new buildings which strives to cut natural gas use in school buildings by half by 2030 and eliminate it altogether by 2040.