A Good Neighbor: The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Community Benefits Program

The SFPUC became the first public utility in the nation to
adopt an Environmental Justice Policy and Community
Benefits Policy to guide the agency’s efforts to be a good
neighbor to everyone who is impacted by the SFPUC’s
operations, programs, and policies. To encourage the
agency’s partnering contractors to adopt the community
benefits goals, the SFPUC has embedded community
benefits criteria into professional service and alternative
design requests for proposals of $5 million and above.

Multinational and local engineering, construction, and
architecture firms are invited to incorporate firm,
quantifiable, and measurable commitments into their
proposals in exchange for up to five percent of the
total points allocated in the proposal review. Firms can
voluntarily commit financial contributions, volunteer
hours, in-kind donations, and trainee hours to schools,
workers, and nonprofits in the communities where the
SFPUC operates to advance workforce development,
education, economic development, environment/environmental
justice, and other community benefits goals.

To date the SFPUC has commitments in over 51 professional
service contracts, leveraging over $13.5 million
in the form of workforce development programs, habitat
restoration, and partnerships with local public schools.

With the success of this program, the SFPUC is exploring
embedding community benefits agreements into
construction and procurement contracts.

– Written by the US Water Alliance

Learn more at SF PUC’s Community Engagement website

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