Leading the Way on Water and Sustainability
Stanton understands that when it comes to sustainability, cities across the country and around the globe have to lead. Phoenix has made a dramatic comeback – going from being criticized as one of the least sustainable cities in the world to being recognized as one of the most sustainable cities anywhere.
A More Sustainable Phoenix
Phoenix has authored one of the best sustainability comeback stories in the nation over the past six years, setting ambitious goals for itself under Stanton’s leadership.
Through smart investments and public-private partnerships, Phoenix has become a leading municipality for solar energy, producing 32 megawatts of solar through City-sponsored projects. Phoenix is home to the largest fleet of municipal alternative fuel vehicles in the country, and is converting all 100,000 city streetlights to LED, which will cut energy costs and pollution by more than half. The City is making progress toward its ambitious goal to become a zero-waste and carbon-neutral city by 2050.
When it comes to sustainability, cities have to lead the way on climate change preparedness. When President Trump decided to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, Stanton announced Phoenix would remain committed to abiding the standards set by the accord. He was one of the first mayors in the country to elect his city to do so.
Turning Trash into Cash
Under Stanton, the Phoenix Solid Waste Department has become a source of innovation and economic opportunity. The City's 50-acre Resource Innovation Campus is helping Phoenix aim for a circular economy where we don’t throw away anything that can be re-used or re-sold. Under a partnership with Arizona State University, local entrepreneurs and manufacturers have been empowered to turn materials bound for the landfill into new products. Currently companies are diverting mattresses and converting palm fronds into animal feed, creating jobs and $10 million in sales each year.
Phoenix has extended circular economy principles to our Water Treatment Plant. Phoenix now traps the methane gas and sells it on the renewable energy market. The gas can power roughly 6,000 homes each year, and the city can bring in more than $1 million in revenue. All of the solids collected are treated and made into fertilizer for local farmers and agriculture.
In 2017, Phoenix also opened a state-of-the-art 30-acre composting facility that can divert up to 110,000 tons of green and food waste each year, which is converted into fertilizer that can be sold.
Smart Water Planning
The future of Phoenicians – and our economy – depends on how well the city anticipates, plans for and responds to water-related challenges and climate change. This forward-thinking leadership is helping prepare Phoenix to handle the drought that is gripping Arizona and most of the West.
Ensuring the long-term health of the Colorado River is critical. In 2017, Stanton and the council unanimously approved a landmark agreement with the Gila River Indian Community to preserve endangered Colorado River water in Lake Mead. The agreement preserves 13 billion gallons of its yearly portion of Colorado River water in Lake Mead. Arizona Forward awarded its prestigious Governor’s Award for Arizona’s Future to the City of Phoenix for this monumental agreement.
In 2014, Phoenix took major steps to ensure the dependability of our water supply by entering into an unprecedented agreement with both of Tucson's water providers to store and recover Central Arizona Project and Colorado River water supplies.
Stanton understands that urban and rural cities have to innovate together for water conservation solutions. That’s why the City created the Colorado River Resiliency Fund and teamed up with Salt River Project to improve watersheds in forests hundreds of miles beyond Phoenix city limits. These projects help protect the water supply for everyone along the river.