Chief Sustainability Officer
City of Phoenix
PHOENIX, AZ, FOUNDED 1881
Industry � Government
Before 2014, the City of Phoenix had no office of sustainability, no long-term sustainability goals or detailed plan. Sustainability, clearly, was not a priority.
Things changed that year, though, and the city conducted a search for a chief sustainability officer to make Phoenix the most sustainable desert city in the world.
For this crucial role, Phoenix turned to Mark Hartman, who had implemented numerous sustainability efforts in Vancouver.
With Hartman at the helm, Phoenix adopted longterm goals that included zero carbon, zero waste, a 100-year supply of clean water, plus parks and transit in every neighborhood.
Hartman advocated for Phoenix to join Climate Mayors, a network of U.S. mayors supporting climate action, and C40, a group of more than 100 global cities taking action on climate.
In 2021, Hartman pushed for the city’s Climate Action Plan, setting goals of 50% carbon emissions reduction, heat mitigation efforts, carbon neutral electricity for city operations and the addition of 280,000 electric vehicles to Phoenix, all by 2030.
Hartman’s work in government-led green initiatives brings a balancing act that he takes seriously. “Frame desired outcomes in ways that are inclusive of varying perspectives — in ways that many can support — rather than using language that implies connections to specific political views,” he said.
As one of the globe’s hottest cities, the world is watching Phoenix and its climate response. The city launched the nation’s first publicly funded office of heat response and mitigation, which will support installation of 50 cool corridors. The corridors will be mile-long, tree-and-shade covered pedestrian walkways in mostly transit-dependent neighborhoods. The office of sustainability and streets transportation installed 36 miles of cool pavement — the most in the world. There are plans for 500 public electric vehicle charging stations as well.
“Mark’s reputation and long standing in the sustainability field from Vancouver to Phoenix is supported by a very practical approach — that sustainability will not cost more, but less,” his team said.
Before he got to Phoenix, Hartman led several green initiatives in Vancouver. He was a regular speaker at Green Building conferences and led the development of a higher buildings policy that would allow additional height and density in exchange for a 50% improvement in energy performance.
Since arriving in Phoenix, Hartman has continued in his role of plenary speaker in dozens of conferences and is quoted frequently in local and national media. “Mark’s leadership has been an inspiration to other cities through the many networks he is involved in,” his team said.
Mark is a world traveler having visited 35 different countries both to participate in humanitarian projects in Africa and Asia and to just visit as part of some very fun and unique vacation destinations.