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Using the foundation of the County's greenhouse gas emissions inventory and subsequent Climate Action Plan, Santa Clara County established an Office of Sustainability shortly before the close of the year 2008. Sustainability expands the concept of community planning for climate change, to full-spectrum planning for progress in economic development, environmental integrity, and social equity (the "3 E's" of sustainability). Sustainability is the method by which communities extend their lifespan, improve public health, and realize their potential. Sustainable communities are desirable to residents and visitors, and are a magnet for business and economic development. At the same time, sustainability is only attained when opportunity, awareness and access are equitably distributed.
Sustainability is not only about the future. New economies and jobs are critical to now. Energy innovation means contemporary energy independence. An integrated urban ecosystem, enhanced public health, and smart growth distinguish our community in real-time. Social equity and opportunity define who we are today. In Santa Clara County, sustainability is measured in months and years, not generations.