2021 OSE review

Message from interim manager Michael Caulfield

Dear Friends and Colleagues of OS Environment,

The beginning of a new year is always a time for reflection – an opportunity to look back on the past year and look boldly towards future opportunities. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, OSE is starting to emerge in 2021, working with city departments and community stakeholders to advance just communities and reduce climate impacts. I am proud of our accomplishments and the way our team – along with city employees from every department – has been spurred to meet the unprecedented needs of the community.

In 2021, we awarded the largest number of funds ever to grant recipients led by BIPOC through the Environmental Justice Fund. We’ve seen the implementation of the New Building Energy Act to eliminate most fossil fuel use in commercial buildings and large, multi-family buildings. We launched the Transportation Electrification Scheme, Seattle’s strategy to electrify everything that moves people, goods, and services throughout our city. All the while, our food team has continued to address growing food insecurity due to COVID and has expanded Fresh Bucks to more customers and more retailers.

OSE also supported the creation of the city’s first Green New Deal Oversight Board and worked with the mayor to pool $8.5 million in Valley Valley investments to implement community priorities, a $14 million investment package to promote Seattle’s Green New Deal, and climate. An executive order to phase out fossil fuels from existing buildings, expand transit access and healthy streets, and advance the development of a clean energy workforce.

Looking ahead, the OSE team continues to advance climate and environmental justice priorities under the leadership of Mayor Bruce Harrell and in partnership with all of you. We are excited to leverage new federal investment and the Seattle Green New Deal to make significant impacts on climate and community resilience in 2022 and the years to come. I hope 2022 will be another unprecedented year – but with a record level of progressive policies and investments to combat the climate crisis, protect natural ecosystems, advance environmental justice, promote healthy diets, and develop and preserve more resilient and healthier communities. Seattle Green.

As we head into 2021, we’d like to thank you for everything you’re doing for sustainability and the environment. We wish you a wonderful holiday and a very Happy New Year. As always, we leave you with OSE 2021 in numbers, with thanks to the many organizations and community members whose partnership made these activities possible.

Thank you for your participation.


Michele Caulfield, Interim Director
Sustainability and Environment Office

OSE’s 2021 in numbers:

  • Grant Proposals Received for the 2021 Environmental Justice Fund Cycle: Dollars Required: $2.8 million. Awarded Dollars: 750 thousand dollars
  • COVID emergency grocery coupons distributed in dollars before sunset on the program in July: $25.4 million. Serve families: 14000
  • Appointments made to the Green New Deal Supervisory Board: 15
  • Members of the GNDOB Interdepartmental Team, in support of the Green New Deal from within the city government: 21
  • Number of people who attended CEE session on tribal and indigenous perspectives on the energy nexus and climate justice: 173
  • OSE employees were interviewed via live TV, talking about electrifying “everything that moves people, goods, and services” and educating viewers about the nation’s premier transportation electrification scheme in Seattle: 1
  • Fair Road Pricing Strategies Workshops with BIPOC Community Leaders: 7
  • Fresh produce boxes distributed to SPS students to help address food insecurity needs: 221000
  • Fresh Bucks customers sign up to receive $40 a month: 12000. Percentage of these clients from priority RSJI communities: 75%. Community organizations contracted to support this registration:
  • Future King County conservation tax dollars raised to acquire property in South Park to expand an existing park, increase river access, and site a community support services building (in collaboration with SPR and OPCD): $2,000,000
  • Affordable condominiums to be built in South Park as OH purchases two properties, further strengthening the Dawmish Valley’s business plan priorities: 100+
  • Small businesses in South Park and Georgetown were provided with COVID support by reallocating public funds to the OSE: Percentage of these businesses owned by BIPOC: 92%
  • Hearings held with stakeholders and members of the BIPOC community to inform tree protection updates (with SDCI): 12
  • Percentage of energy reduction in municipal buildings since 2008: 5%. Percentage Above Target: 3.5%
  • City-owned buildings occupied by CBOs providing community services with completed energy efficiency upgrades: 3 (South Park Neighborhood Center, Columbia City’s NeighborCare, and Daybreak Star)
  • Percentage of the largest buildings in Seattle that comply with the law of synthesis: 91%
  • Number of Seattle buildings that will save significant energy through tuning: 660
  • Technical assistance inquiries related to performance measurement and tuning have been handled to help owners comply: 3,325
  • Outreach interns sponsored at Southern Seattle College in Sustainable Building Sciences: 4
  • Families who have helped the city switch from oil to heat pumps since the Clean Heat program began in 2017: 850. Gallons of oil avoided annually: 425000. MTCO2e avoided: 63000
  • Followers on Twitter OSE: 2,003. Total tweets for the year: 400. Impressions from those tweets: 435000
  • News articles published about OSE working or featuring OSE personnel: 35. Monthly average: 2-3
  • Number of state climate, environmental and food legislative bills reviewed by the OSE team: 50
  • Key Climate Executive Orders Passed: 1
  • A number of OSE employees are grateful for your service and wish you a Happy New Year: all of us!

Leave a Comment