To set a road map for making Minneapolis truly sustainable, the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor R.T. Rybak started integrating sustainability principles into city decision making. The Sustainability Initiative was formulated to spur action, track results and better coordinate activities throughout the city. Here is an overview of some key council actions from 2007 to present:
In Minneapolis, each city department is required to have a city council approved business plan. Starting in 2006 and completed in 2007, each of the 18 city departments reviewed the Sustainability Indicators, accessed their challenges and opportunities to influence the indicators and outlined their implementation plan.
In 2008, the council directed adding a new Sustainability Indicator focused on Green Jobs as a follow up to the "Making it Green Minneapolis Saint Paul Report." "Making it Green" is an initiative of Mayor Rybak in Minneapolis and Mayor Christopher B. Coleman in Saint Paul with the Blue-Green Alliance, a national partnership of the Sierra Club and the United Steel Workers, based on the belief that investments in solving critical environmental challenges, such as global warming, represent strategic economic opportunities for the future.
In 2009 the city produced its fourth annual Living Well Sustainability Report and GreenPrint Report. Through a public process the sustainability indicators and targets were revised and now include local foods, and waste reduction and recycling indicators. This also began a large stakeholder process for Homegrown Minneapolis, an initiative of the city to improve the growth, sales, distribution, and consumption of healthy, locally grown foods within the city and the surrounding region.