Salt Lake City


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Comprehensive Sustainability Policy

Salt Lake City Corporation’s Sustainability Policy

Salt Lake City & County Building from Water Wise Garden in Washington Square.

Salt Lake City Corporation is dedicated to building a sustainable and resilient city. To help us take action to conserve resources, improve local air quality, support food equity, and fight climate change, Salt Lake City Corporation created a comprehensive sustainability policy that guides all of Salt Lake City’s departments.

The Comprehensive Sustainability Policy promotes sound environmental practices, energy efficiency and waste minimization. The policy ensures that Salt Lake City complies with applicable environmental laws and guidelines.

Resources for Salt Lake City Employees

Being More Sustainable At Work and Beyond

The Salt Lake City Comprehensive Sustainability Policy is designed to help everyone be more sustainable. Many of the guidelines can be applied to your life beyond SLC!

  • Be Idle Free: One of the best ways to help ensure Salt Lake City’s air quality improves is by avoiding idling your car whenever possible. Unnecessary idling for more than 2 minutes is against Salt Lake City’s local ordinance and the internal policy states there should no no unnecessary idling of SLC fleet vehicles for more than 10 seconds (exceptions apply, see the full policy for details).
  • Use Public Transportation: All Salt Lake City full-time employees can receive a UTA ECO Passes to ride transit. Check with Human Resources to find out more about getting passes for full-time and part-time employees. Full-time employees are also eligible to receive a free GreenBike annual membership! Check with HR for availability.
  • Be Energy Efficient: Turning off lights, lowering the thermostat, and using energy efficient appliances are great ways to save energy at home and at work. Check out the Household Energy Actions checklist for more ideas.
  • Carbon Offsets: Salt Lake City purchases carbon offsets for employees traveling for work via airplane. Carbon offsets help reduce the impact of carbon emissions related to air travel and even rental cars.
  • Be Pesticide Free: Reducing chemical use such as pesticides helps keep our communities healthy and our gardens happy.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Avoiding non-recyclable materials such as single-use plastics, k-cups, and plastic water bottles, Styrofoam is part of Salt Lake City’s Comprehensive Sustainability Policy. Recycling whenever possible is a great way to save resources and energy. Whether at home or in the work place, being conscious of purchases, reducing overall consumption, and optimizing recyclable materials is a great way to be more sustainable. Review what materials are recyclable materials If you’re having trouble remembering what goes where, you can refer to recycling signage!
  • Eat Sustainably: The food we eat has a big impact. The Comprehensive Sustainability Policy requires that food purchased with City funds have a low carbon and water footprint whenever possible. Employees should consider using local and organic ingredients when available, and provide vegan and vegetarian options. Bottled water should be avoided except in an emergency.
  • Don’t Waste Water: Be mindful of your water use and be sure to avoid water waste whenever possible.

Sustainable Purchasing

Salt Lake City Corporation employees from all departments may reference these resources for assistance with sustainable purchasing policies:

Air Quality Action Days and Remote Work Guidelines

Remote Work Guidelines 

Salt Lake City will distribute an e-mail Air Quality Action Day notification if any unhealthy air quality days (Mandatory Action Days) are forecasted for the next 48-hours. The email will include the actions City employees can take to help improve air quality, such as working from home or taking transit. To read more about this, visit the Air Quality Action Plan page.

Salt Lake City’s Human Resources Department put together the following guidelines: The City recognizes the work environment has changed dramatically in 2020 and traditional in-person work requirements may not be necessary for all employees. To adapt to these changes, increase employee satisfaction, reduce emissions and lessen the impact on air quality, departments are encouraged to consider a hybrid work-from-home (remote) option for employees.  

The following guidelines are intended to assist departments in adopting a hybrid work-from-home model. 

  • Questions to ask as you evaluate your workforce
    • Does the work require specialized equipment that needs to be operated at the workplace?  
    • Does the work require in-person services?  If so, can it be scheduled or rotated among a workgroup?  
    • Does the person supervise employees who are needed to work at the worksite?  
    • Is the work self-directed and can issues be solved by the employee?  

After carefully evaluating the positions and work areas in your department, remote work could be available as follows:  

  • Not Hybrid Eligible 
    • Category 1 – Employees are at work daily. Examples may include positions that require regular face to face interaction with customers or equipment operation is on-site. 
  • Hybrid Eligible  
    • Category 2 – Most of the work is done at the worksite while some projects and responsibilities are done remotely.  (Approximately 25% remote work possible)  
    • Category 3 - Employees are able to work remotely, 2-4 days per week. (Approximately 50% remote work possible)  
    • Category 4 – Employees are able to work remotely with the exception of occasional in-person meetings, scheduled to cover in-person assignments, etc. (Approximately 75% remote work possible)  
    • Category 5 – Position can be done remotely, little to no in-person presence required.   
  • Recommendations to Manage Employees on a Hybrid Remote Work Schedule
    • Set clear expectations with your team for working from home and in the office:  Have a conversation to identify performance, communication, and attendance expectations. Include discussions about setting good work-life balance expectations. Determine appropriate schedule. Hold employees accountable for their work fairly and promptly. 
    • Build a trusting environment:  Use this opportunity to foster trust between employees and management. Unnecessary rigid monitoring of employees’ daily activities may hinder productivity and create an environment of distrust. 
    • Stay connected:  Ensure all team members know the expected forms of communication. Establish an acceptable response time. Be available and schedule opportunities to communicate with employees frequently.  
    • Be transparent:  Use available resources i.e.  shared calendars, Teams, out-of-office messages, desk signage, to inform your team members of your work status. 
    • Manage by results, not by physical presence:  Do not confuse employee presence in the office with productivity. Be flexible and adjust to variable work schedules, as long as the work is completed and of high quality, it doesn’t matter if the hours worked are in the morning or evening.  
    • Continue to celebrate success: Look for opportunities to celebrate the same work milestones that would be celebrated for those in the office and working remotely. 
  • Recommendations on Establishing a Remote Work Opportunity
    • Ensure employees have appropriate equipment to adequately perform their job duties.  
    • Provide and train on necessary software and collaboration tools.  
    • Decide what events require in-person attendance and how often employees may be required to  be in the office.   
    • Determine whether employees need to stagger time in the office.  
    • Consult with your HR Business Partner if you have any concerns.  

Wondering How to Responsibly Dispose of Common Office Items?

Understanding what your office’s consumption habits are is the first step towards reducing waste. Help ensure that recyclables are properly diverted by conducting a waste audit and following these guidelines for item disposal:

Get Involved with Salt Lake City's Sustainability Community

There are many ways to stay engaged with sustainability at work and beyond.