Paul Ahrns
Project Manager

Paul Ahrns

Program Director

Paul grew up in Nevada City, spending his summers exploring the mountains and valleys around Truckee. His summers in the Sierra fostered his passion for protecting and sustaining the natural wealth and beauty of the Sierra Nevada region. Paul returned home to the region in 2010 to join the Climate Planning team and work on the first phase of the Green Communities Program. Paul has served as a Planning Technician and Project Manager for the Climate Planning team providing technical expertise and project management support to assist over 30 local governments, special districts and private developers with climate planning assistance. Paul brings his experience in sustainability, planning, community engagement and project management to his new role as the Climate Planning Program Director for the Sierra Business Council.

Personal Highlights:

Paul earned his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science & Policy from California State University, Long Beach where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and was selected as the Department’s Outstanding Graduate for 2009. Paul combines his passion for the environment and desire to explore the world. He has had the pleasure of exploring 5 different continents and more countries than he can keep track off. The highlights of which have been working with communities in Kenya to drill water wells without using electricity or fuel and exploring the incredible history and culture of China.

SBC Recognized as a Beacon of Sustainability in the Sierra

Earlier this year, SBC was recognized as a leader in sustainability by the Institute for Local Governments and the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative through the designation of SBC as a “Beacon Program Champion” for our work in supporting energy and climate planning initiatives in the Sierra Nevada. As you might remember from previous posts, SBC's Climate Planning team has been working with local governments throughout the region on Greenhouse Gas Inventories, Energy Action Plans and grant applications to fund programs under the Greenhous Gas Reduction Fund. To date, we have worked with 27 local governments in our region to complete baseline greenhouse gas emissions inventories, the first step in any climate planning effort. Seven of those local governments have also completed Energy Action Plans and this year our team has been working with those jurisdictions to begin implementation of their plans.COMM Blog NM ToTcropped 2015 08

The Energy Action Plan implementation takes many faces; including outreach at community events, bringing no-cost Title 24 trainings to our communities, auditing municipal facilities and identifying opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, as well as highlighting our local government partners as leaders in sustainability in the region. That is where the Beacon Program and our role as a champion comes in.

The Beacon Program provides support and recognition to California cities and counties that are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy and adopt policies and programs that promote sustainability. We are excited to be working with the Institute for Local Governments to help the cities and counties who are working on the ground to gain recognition for the work they are doing and promote models for success in rural regions.

Sustainability does not have to be the same in San Francisco and the Sierra Nevada. Our region has unique challenges and opportunities to consider when pursuing sustainability. We believe the Beacon Program will provide the opportunity to not only recognize the leadership of our local government partners but also provide a framework for them to share best practices that create healthier, more efficient, and vibrant communities. At SBC, we believe that when we work together, triple bottom line solutions can be developed that improve economic prosperity, environmental quality and social equity.

To learn more about SBC's work in Energy Action Plans, Greenhouse Gas inventories, and carbon accounting, contact Program Director, Nicholas Martin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I would also recommend you check out SBC's Sierra Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Partnership (Sierra CAMP) website to learn more about our efforts to foster climate resilience in the Sierra Nevada.