BE Green South Sound's Blog

Jan. 27, 2011 at 9:36am

Tacoma pledges to become first-ever Life Cycle City

Leaders from the City of Tacoma and the Institute for Environmental Research, via its flagship program the American Center for Lifecycle Assessment, have announced that Tacoma is slated to become America's first Life Cycle City.

City of Tacoma officials have committed via public resolution No. 38188 to integrate life-cycle accountability into its daily operations and purchasing, publish a life-cycle assessment inventory data for its local utilities, and contribute time, energy and resources to educating its employees and the public about life-cycle thinking and leadership.

"The passing of this Resolution is a true milestone for Tacoma, says Colleen Hall Barta, director of development for IERE. "When you have a City Council that chooses to lead by example, administration, staff and citizens in general feel confident that change will actually take place. I have lived in Tacoma all my life and see the level of confidence in our elected officials is at an all time high. This sends the signal that it is prime time for public/private partnerships that encourage real sustainable growth.This marks a new chapter in the history of our city."

The concept of a Life Cycle City is derived from a practice known as life cycle assessment, a science that has been in practice for more than 40 years, but has re-emerged as an increasingly important business concept during the past decade. Life cycle assessment is the practice of measuring the environmental performance of products and services from cradle to grave. A complete assessment involves capturing the materials, energy and wastes involved in each phase of the product's life cycle, measuring their environmental impacts and looking for opportunities to improve.

In a Life Cycle City, government leaders, in partnership with the business community, are able to show by example they are dedicated to the highest possible standards for evaluating environmental impacts of their products, services and operations. Companies participating in LCA and Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) development, in turn, are provided with a powerful tool they can use to market their products and prove they are truly green, with science backing their claim.

"Business is all about opportunities - being able to see one coming and then actually moving
on it while it is hot," says Rita Schenck, IERE executive director. "All activities surrounding this new life cycle platform are meant to benefit our local business community. Tacoma has taken a leading position, creating a partnership between business and government that will merge environmental benefits and economic growth, and using life cycle science to guide that growth."

Four companies from Tacoma have been chosen to participate in a pilot program that will demonstrate the unique benefits of conducting a Life Cycle Assessment and
obtaining an (EPD) for their product. Those companies will be introduced by Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland Jan 31, 2001 at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center during BE Green South Sound/Shift Happens, an all-day celebration and educational seminar focused on sustainability, local living economies and recent successes in the South Puget Sound.

For more information, visit

comments [8]  |  posted under Be Green, green, Shift Happens, sustainability, Tacoma


by L.S.Erhardt on 1/27/2011 @ 1:27pm
That's a lot of text about a simple and good idea.

I like this momentum. It would be awesome if T-Town got as green as Portland, and then surpassed them.

by BE Green South Sound on 1/28/2011 @ 9:58am
This is a bold commitment. Wait to you hear which companies have signed on to participate....

by The Jinxmedic on 1/28/2011 @ 10:28am
The mint is extremely green. We use nearly 100% post-consumer recycled material in manufacture of precious-metal bullion and non-precious medallic art (with nearly zero production loss by the way), with 100% recycling of all scrap, and no waste products. Our production equipment is now 100% electrically operated, the power for which can be generated by wind turbines, commercial electrovoltaic solar farms, geothermal plants, and tidal generators (if any such existed). The minimally-packaged final product is permanent and neutral (non-toxic, non-reactive, and completely stable), and can also be 100% recycled at a later time, if so desired. Too bad we moved production out of state...

by fredo on 1/28/2011 @ 11:37am
" Companies participating in LCA and Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) development, in turn, are provided with a powerful tool they can use to market their products and prove they are truly green, with science backing their claim."

That's too funny. Where are we going to find scientists who are in agreement on environmental issues? Tacoma's romance with utopianism continues.

by L.S.Erhardt on 1/28/2011 @ 12:17pm
Actually, I AM interested in what these companies are. Care to share?

@ fredo... What's wrong with a little science?

by Jesse on 1/28/2011 @ 12:50pm
The website used to do a "true cost to own" snapshot of all the cars that are on their site as well as new ones. Perhaps the work on the Nissan Leaf lifetime ownership costs versus whatever the competition is, is already figured out on their website.

I remember in 2005 when I was last shopping for a car I was surprised often by which cars cost more than my Toyota Tacoma per mile/lifetime.

Here tis' :

by BE Green South Sound on 1/28/2011 @ 1:03pm
The companies will be announced at the event on Monday...we have promised to keep it under wraps until then.

by Elizabeth Blackwell on 11/30/2011 @ 1:49am
Wow, it is awesome to note the local people wants to make tacoma environmentally responsible, it seems to me like Tacoma is actually making many new innovations, one of which I remember recently of seeing a website of Tacoma called where the readers themselves are the creaters of the stories, to be more detailed, the readers would be given a chance to add their own personal version of stories to the already existing tales of the South Sound.

you can see the website at :, as it is quite a good read.


Sustainability isn't a trend anymore. It's basic business. It's the next great phase of economic evolution. And while many companies are cashing in on sustainable business trends, it's not enough to just talk green and look green. Businesses have to BE Green.

Like many business people, you may be intrigued by sustainability. You may be enticed by the savings offered by lean operations. You may want to know why your clients or customers are spending their money on green products and services. Maybe you want to save the planet. Maybe you plan to start small, and see where it goes from there.

Whatever compels you, the BE Green South Sound Blog will provide you with all the tools, information, free and low-costs resources, connections, and inspiration needed to propel your own sustainable business initiatives.

You'll learn what the heck a carbon footprint is, and how to manage it. You'll learn about transportation and energy-use alternatives that any business can use. You'll learn simple strategies that will save you money, sell products, be more productive, drive profits and, most importantly, contribute to a sustainable business future.

Whatever you're interested in learning or achieving, we're going to help you make sense of it all. Be Green. It's easier than you think.

January 31 at the Greater Tacoma Trade and Convention Center


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