Royal Oak has adopted its first sustainability and climate action plan. The 2022 Royal Oak Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (S-CAP) is a three-year action strategy that outlines projects and programs to support the city’s sustainability and climate goals. This plan represents the first formal sustainability planning effort for Royal Oak and includes environmental protection, economic prosperity, greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, and social accessibility, inclusion, and equity.
The S-CAP action implementation is divided into six focus topics: energy and buildings, mobility, water, waste, green space, and quality of life. Each topic includes a table identifying objectives, actions, partners, estimated costs, and projected impact on GHG reduction. The actions were identified and prioritized through coordination with municipal departments, residents, business owners, institutional partners, and other local stakeholders. Combined, these objectives and actions will help the City of Royal Oak achieve its goals.
"We’ve set an ambitious but achievable goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 from 2018 levels and achieving net-zero by 2050. Thanks to the hard work of the Royal Oak Environmental Advisory Board and city staff, the S-CAP now serves as the road map to get us there by detailing specific actions we can and must take to achieve this goal.", said Mayor Fournier.
City government will lead these sustainability efforts and several municipal projects are planned over the next three years, including but not limited to an LED streetlight conversion, increasing the tree canopy, fleet conversion, and stormwater management. The city will also provide energy, water, and materials waste education sessions to the community. Additionally, the S-CAP strategies will integrate sustainability considerations into Royal Oak’s master plans, policies, programs, and decision-making.
The plan’s strategies are expected to educate and empower municipal staff, businesses, institutions, and residents to implement energy and water waste reduction techniques, consider alternative mobility options, and engage in other sustainability and resilience measures.
Addressing sustainability implementation and the associated climate change impacts in Royal Oak is a substantial undertaking that is complex and urgent. Successful implementation needs to include all local community partners, as well as support from the regional, state, and national levels. Everyone has a role, and everyone must do their part, both at the personal level and at the community level.
The plan will evolve with the community over time to effectively support Royal Oak in achieving positive equity, resilience, and climate outcomes, including the community GHG reduction goal by 2050. The success of this initial three-year plan and the broader plan’s overarching goals depends on the involvement of all Royal Oak community stakeholders.
“We ask that the plan is viewed as a living document that reflects the values and vision of the community and its desire to progress toward sustainability”, said city manager, Paul Brake. ”We also ask that members of the community recognize that they are key to making substantial progress in achieving our sustainability and climate action goals. My staff and I will take the lead and we look forward to the community collaborations.”
The plan’s actions recognize that not everyone is affected equally by the impacts of climate change or the implementation of sustainability and climate action strategies. We must build community resilience and ensure an equitable approach to the plan’s implementation strategies so that everyone in our community can thrive and Royal Oak is preserved and enhanced for current and future community members.
Royal Oak’s staff and city leaders heartily thank all community members who participated in the public engagement opportunities during the development of the sustainability and climate action plan.