First-of-its-kind map shows L.A. county a likely epicenter of California's green economy
Jun 3, 2009 - Environmental Defense Fund
Lori Sinsley, (415) 293.6097, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim O'Connor, (916) 492.4680, email@example.com
Erica Fick, (213) 223.2187, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Los Angeles, CA—June 4, 2009) Los Angeles County has more businesses than any other county in California that stand to benefit from the state's leadership on climate change, according to a first-of-its-kind map of green businesses in California released today. The map was released in conjunction with a report outlining how the Los Angeles area can leverage its environmental leadership to create economic opportunities.
The California Green Economy map features more than 2,200 businesses* statewide in four categories—energy generation, energy efficiency, green building and transportation—that are likely to grow as California transitions to a low-carbon economy. Companies on the map can be sorted by city, county and congressional district. The top five counties are:
1. Los Angeles County 398 companies
2. San Diego County 208 companies
3. Orange County 202 companies
4. Santa Clara County 173 companies
5. Alameda County 131 companies
"To our knowledge, this is the first time that a map of California's green companies has been published online, creating a visual dynamic resource for people to better understand what a green economy looks like," said Tim O'Connor, an attorney and California climate change analyst at EDF. "As Congress considers a federal climate bill modeled after California's Global Warming Solutions Act, this map gives local members of Congress a preview of the footprint of the green economy, both statewide and in each district."
Southern California alone has more than 1,000 green companies, according to the Los Angeles Greenprint report, which details how the implementation of Green LA and Solar LA initiatives proposed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are expected produce high-quality green jobs for people living in the Los Angeles area.
Implementation of Green LA will be overseen by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the largest public power utility in the country and the utility that uses the most solar energy nationwide. The plan calls for fighting global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions 35 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 through the use of renewable energy, conservation, new green building standards and strategic land use planning. Solar LA calls for growing the region's green economy by adding 1.3 gigawatts of solar power by 2020, enough to meet 10 percent of L.A.'s energy needs and more than is currently available nationwide.
"Los Angeles and Southern California are uniquely vulnerable to climate change because of existing pollution problems, our coastal setting and overstretched water supplies," said Erica Fick, an EDF clean energy fellow based in Los Angeles, who co-authored the report. "Green LA and Solar LA will be a shot in the arm for the entire Southern California economy, creating a lasting upswing in the manufacturing, construction, technology, and "green" service sectors."
One success story cited in the LA Greenprint report is Suntrek Industries, a company in neighboring Ventura County that specializes in solar pool heating, solar heating and electricity. Suntrek has six offices located in California. Today, Suntrek serves more than 200,000 customers, employs nearly 80 people, and has increased its sales by 300% since 2007, according to its President and CEO Roy Heine. Even in these challenging economic times, Heine has been able to expand his business and hire new employees. Suntrek employees attribute the company's growth to large rebates available for solar energy through the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the newly extended federal tax credit for residential solar and the progressive initiatives laid out by Mayor Villaraigosa in his Green LA plan.
In addition to describing the economic and environmental benefits of Green LA and Solar LA, the Los Angeles Greenprint urges the city to establish a dedicated climate team to implement the plans and measure progress towards the 35% greenhouse gas emission reduction goal. The Greenprint also calls on the city to maintain a high level of transparency and accountability as it proceeds with all 50+ Green LA measures and all three components of Solar LA.
*Editor's Note: The California map is not comprehensive and does not include all companies; for example, businesses that purchase renewable energy but whose products and services are not part of the green economy were not included. In some instances, companies might primarily fall within one category but provide solutions that are part of other categories. The map was compiled using publically available material, directories and databases and features the name, location, web address and basic description of each company.