In August of 2007, the city of Des Moines began implementing green policies brought on by growing interest in the benefits of a sustainable community.
With the goal of being a leader in promoting environmental sustainability, the city of Des Moines formed a Sustainability Team of seven members, representing different city departments. This team is responsible for outlining the use of energy efficient lighting, the use of recycled paper, hybrid cars, and calculating the carbon footprint of the city government.
In order to get the word out, the city put together a website designed as a tool for citizens to get involved and track the community's progress.
Some of the projects that the city is concentrating on include the use of soy-based biodiesel, rain gardens, and converting sewage sludge into biogas containing methane that can be used to power generators. Another example is a lighting retrofit project in three city buildings that have saved the city $27,000 and cut energy usage by 500,000 kilowatt hours in just a year.