Carbon Neutral Portfolio: From Vision to Strategy

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Join Nik Kaestner to learn how to make carbon neutrality a reality.

About this Event

Join us for the second event in our 2020-2021 Sustainability Speaker Series! To learn more about the series and future events visit

The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) is a champion for building decarbonization. What can Sunnyvale learn from its example?

The energy required to power Sunnyvale's buildings makes up 38% of our GHG emissions. To reach our goals, they must be powered carbon-free.

One of Sunnyvale's six strategies in our Climate Action Playbook is Decarbonizing Buildings. Decarbonization is the process of removing fossil fuels from a building’s energy use and switching to appliances that only use clean electricity. To achieve decarbonization we must:

- Increase energy efficiency

- Electrify new and existing buildings

- Continue to deliver carbon free electricity on the grid

Decarbonization may sound like a daunting task. Thankfully, our neighbors to the north at SFUSD provide a glowing example of decarbonization success.

SFUSD has completely transformed how it designs, constructs, and modernizes its buildings. Nik Kaestner, former Director of Sustainability, championed SFUSD's drive to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. Under Nik, SFUSD has set the following targets:

- All new SFUSD buildings must achieve Zero Net Energy (ZNE) - ready status

- Existing building modernizations must be assessed to identify a pathway to ZNE over two bond cycles

- Deferred maintenance projects must adhere to strict guidelines to ensure compliance with goals

SFUSD’s first new ZNE school is Claire Lilienthal School on Divisadero Street. SFUSD has seven other ZNE-ready new buildings and other projects that are in design or starting construction.

This is a FREE event sponsored by City of Sunnyvale and the Sunnyvale Sustainability Commission. Registered attendees will be emailed the Webinar link in the days preceding the event.

Questions? Contact 408-730-7717 or

About the Speaker:

Nik Kaestner was the first Director of Sustainability at the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). At the District's 180 sites, Nik and his staff of five keep busy promoting:

- energy efficiency

- water conservation

- waste reduction

-green schoolyards

- and low-carbon transportation

Since Nik’s hire in 2008, SFUSD’s energy use has dropped by 22%, water usage is down 29%, and waste diversion has doubled to 66%. SFUSD has been recognized as a Green Ribbon district by the US Department of Education. SFUSD also received the “Best of Green Schools” award for industry transformation from the USGBC’s Center for Green Schools.

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