Actions & Partnerships

People rebuilding Thornton Creek
Stream team led by biologist Katherine Lynch (foreground) revived Thornton Creek by rebuilding its gut - a thick layer of wet earth, rich in microbes, hidden underneath the streambed. Credit: Jelle Wagenaar

We are addressing climate change across the utility and with partners. We’re guided by our “Community Centered, One Water, Zero Waste” vision. All SPU employees contribute to this work, including hydrologists, planners, frontline crew members, foresters, engineers, biologists, customer service representatives, racial equity advisors, construction managers, and financial officers. 

Climate Actions at SPU

Green House Gas Operational Inventory: SPU is conducting an annual greenhouse gas inventory in order to track and manage the emissions from our operations. (When that report is available, it will be linked here.)

Ship Canal Water Quality Project: a climate-informed investment. The Ship Canal Water Quality Project, the largest drainage & wastewater project ever undertaken by SPU, includes a 2.7-mile underground tunnel to reduce polluted stormwater runoff and sewage into Salmon Bay, the Ship Canal and Lake Union. Based on an expectation of a 6-9% increase in total rainfall between 2015 and 2035, the Ship Canal Tunnel was enlarged from 14 feet in diameter to 18 feet in diameter. 

Food Rescue Innovation: Food waste is one of the largest contributors to climate change. SPU’s Food Rescue Innovation program aims to address this by diverting wholesome, edible food towards communities in need, via partnerships with food banks, meal programs, and food businesses.  

Fleet and Facilities Electrification: SPU operates a fleet of 800+ leased and owned vehicles located at numerous facilities throughout the City of Seattle and the region. SPU has prioritized electrifying our fleet and reducing GHG emissions. SPU’s building electrification strategy phases out fossil fuels by 2035. 

Learn more about climate action.

Partnerships

Woman and girl dipping water from a creek
 

We work in partnership with climate scientists, peer utilities, and community-based organizations, and take a holistic and integrated approach to managing water and waste cycles to build community resilience and steward our environment. 

Science, Climate, and Utility Networks

Learn more about the groups of utilities, scientists, and cities who serve as collaborators, resources, and guides for SPU’s climate action.

Local Climate Change Action Resources

Discover local climate action efforts in Seattle and King County.