Photo Credit: Seattle City Light

Seattle City Light’s Environmental Equity Program advances social equity, environmental justice, and community-powered leadership on behalf of those most affected by environmental issues. Launched in 2016 by City Light’s Environment, Land, and Licensing business unit, the program embraces the City of Seattle’s larger Equity and Environment Initiative.

A key principle underpinning the Environmental Equity Program is the recognition that people of color, immigrants and refugees, people with low incomes, and individuals with limited English proficiency tend to be overburdened by health impacts from pollution and environmental issues. Historically, these groups have not been invited to the table when environmental programs or decisions are designed.

People of color, immigrants and refugees, people with low incomes, and individuals with limited English proficiency tend to be overburdened by health impacts from pollution and environmental issues.

The Environmental Equity Program addresses this disparity by inviting communities most affected by environmental inequities to participate in City Light’s environmental decision-making and program design. The program works closely with the City’s Equity & Environment Initiative and the Race and Social Justice Initiative to incorporate a social justice lens into current and future environmental programs and projects with community outreach and engagement.

The Equity & Environment Initiative is leading the effort to shift the City’s approach so those most affected by the combined impacts of hazardous pollutants, climate change, and racial and socioeconomic conditions will lead on designing solutions and directly benefit from City investments. Together with community partners, the City is creating environmental progress that is inclusive of the broad diversity of residents and cultures in Seattle.

To learn more about Seattle City Light’s Environmental Equity Program, please see our 2016 Annual Equity Report here.