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Green Port Program

The Port of San Diego was formed in 1962 to serve as a steward for San Diego Bay, managing its valuable social, economic and environmental assets.

a board with colorful drawings in support of Port of San Diego's Green Port

A Comprehensive Plan

  • Energy


    Goal: Conserve energy and maximize energy efficiency of Port operations.

    Objective: Implement recommendations outlined in San Diego Gas & Electric's Energy Road Map to reduce energy use.

    • Reduce the Port's operational energy use by at least 170,000 kilowatt hours per year.
    • Conduct a lighting pilot project to assess various energy efficiency technologies.

    Objective: Investigate opportunities to participate in renewable energy projects.

    • Conduct a solar assessment to determine optimal locations for future photovoltaic systems on tidelands and estimated costs of implementation.
    • Install photovoltaic systems on the Administration and General Services Buildings.
    • Pursue funding for other solar projects.

    Learn More: Port of San Diego's Partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric

    Learn More: Energy Savings Programs for Your Home

  • Waste Management

    Waste Management

    Goal: Reduce waste from Port operations through material reuse, recycling and composting.

    Objective: Divert four tons of waste from the landfill.

    • Explore ways to enhance the composting program.
    • Expand collection opportunities for electronic waste.
    • Investigate opportunities to expand the Port's current recycling program.
  • Sustainable Development

    Sustainable Development

    Goal: Enhance the environmental performance of Port buildings while maximizing long-term economic benefits.

    Objective: Adopt a Sustainable Building Policy.

    Objective: Enhance the environmental performance of two Port buildings.

    • Acquire LEED certification for the Administration Building.
    • Acquire LEED certification for the General Services Building.
    • Continue work on LEED certification for Broadway Pier.
    • Educate key Port employees on sustainable building principles.
  • Water


    Goal: Improve water quality in San Diego Bay and reduce the Port's water usage to preserve San Diego's water supply.

    Objective: Reduce the Port's operational water use to beyond local regulations.

    • Conduct a sustainable landscaping project at a Port park.
    • Develop and implement a water conservation strategy.
    • Replace plumbing fixtures in Port buildings with water efficient fixtures.
    • Explore opportunities to expand the Smart Irrigation System on tidelands.
  • Sustainable Business Practices

    Sustainable Business Practices

    Goal: Give equal weight to environmental, economic and social concerns in the decision-making process.

    Objective: Increase opportunities for employees and the public to participate in the Green Port Program to learn about ways to be more sustainable.

    • Establish the Port as a drop-off location for a Community Supported Agriculture Program.
    • Increase outreach efforts as part of the Green Port Education Program.
    • Continue the Commuter Assistance Program. Objective: Expand the use of environmentally-friendly products used in Port operations.
    • Develop and implement a Green Housekeeping Standard Operating Procedure.
    • Conduct a pilot Green Purchasing Program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Green Port Program?

The Green Port Program is an umbrella program designed to achieve the Port’s environmental sustainability goals in six key areas: water, energy, air, waste management, sustainable development and sustainable business practices. It was established in early 2008 to achieve the objectives outlined in the Port’s Green Port Policy. The Green Port Program both continues the Port’s existing environmental efforts and expands these efforts through new programs and initiatives.

How is the Green Port Program different from the Green Port Policy?

The Board of Port Commissioners adopted the Green Port Policy in 2007. This policy establishes guiding principles to achieve long-term environmental, societal and economic benefits through resource conservation, waste reduction and pollution prevention. The policy provides the overall framework for the Green Port Program. Specific initiatives are being developed within the Green Port Program to accomplish the objectives outlined in the policy.

Does the Green Port Program involve just the Port, or waterfront businesses and the community, too?

Right now, the Green Port Program primarily focuses on things the Port can do to be more environmentally sustainable, such as using less water and being more energy efficient in its own operations. In the future, the Port will work with its tenants (businesses that lease bay front land from the Port), local environmental groups and others around San Diego Bay to identify ways they can support the Green Port Program.

Why did the Port develop the Green Port Program?

The Port created the Green Port Program to enhance its role as an environmental steward of San Diego Bay. The Green Port Program provides a structure for establishing goals and tracking progress on its many environmental initiatives. The Green Port Program will enhance many of the ongoing environmental efforts undertaken by the Port, as well as establish new initiatives.

Are natural resources and wildlife programs part of the Green Port Program?

For now, the Port has included six areas of focus in the Green Port Program: water, energy, air, waste management, sustainable business practices, and sustainable development. The Port of San Diego is actively working on the conservation of San Diego Bay's natural resources, such as salt marsh and tidal flats, bird nesting and foraging sites, essential fish habitats such as eelgrass beds, and nine federal and state listed endangered or threatened species. The Port’s natural resources programs include the promotion of ecologically minded development decisions, furthering public awareness, the management of sensitive habitats and invasive species, and support of related scientific research. Although these initiatives are not currently part of the Green Port Program, they are part of the Port’s overall Environmental Services Department, which manages all of the Port’s environmental initiatives.

Who oversees the Green Port Program?

The Green Port Program Steering Committee includes representatives from a variety of departments throughout the Port and is responsible for overseeing decisions related to the Green Port Program. The Steering Committee is chaired by staff from the Environmental Services Department who manage and coordinate the Green Port Program. The Committee provides overall guidance to the Green Port Program by identifying priorities and projects, measuring and assessing projects, and communicating the Port’s progress to staff and the public.

How are projects selected for the Green Port Program?

Projects selected for the Green Port Program must benefit the environment, fall into at least one of the six areas of focus (water, energy, air, waste management, sustainable business practices, and sustainable development), and be above and beyond compliance. If these minimum requirements are met, projects are then evaluated by an additional set of criteria, including environmental, economic, and societal benefits of the project, cost, educational value, and measurability. After evaluation, project recommendations are presented to the Green Port Program Steering Committee for approval.

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