Sustainability is defined by Issaquah's Comprehensive Plan as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs by considering current and potential economic, environmental and social issues."
Issaquah places a high priority on results, so it measures how it is doing in achieving sustainability goals. It is one of the few cities in the Pacific Northwest to do so.
The sustainability indicators inform broader City decision making. The indicators are used to inform new plans, such as the Central Issaquah Plan, or updates to existing plans, such as the Comprehensive Plan.
In 2008, Mayor Ava Frisinger assembled Sustainability Sounding Board. The board identified eight core sustainability themes and 26 sustainability indicators and presented them in the Measuring What Matters in Issaquah (PDF) report.
The Office of Sustainability then prepared the first Sustainable City Report in 2010, which established sustainability indicators for the city for the first time. These indicators were then updated in 2011.