Will your town be named a 2013 Sustainability Champion?
Make sure to buy your tickets to the Sustainable Jersey Annual Luncheon to find out the winners!
Join 200 of your Sustainable Jersey friends in Atlantic City on November 19 to celebrate the 2013 award winners. The towns that get the most Sustainable Jersey certification points at the small, medium, and large municipality size (based on population) will be awarded the Sustainability Champion awards. Certified towns are also recognized with individual awards for Leadership, Collaboration, and Innovation and Creativity. And, the winners of the 2013 Small Grants are credited along with the Small Grant Program sponsors Walmart and the PSEG Foundation.
If you have registered for the New Jersey League of Municipalities Conference, make sure to attend one or all of the seven Sustainable Jersey workshops. Our workshops range from a spotlight on towns adapting to climate change to a session that will reveal the new Sustainable Jersey actions and initiatives. Visit the Annual Luncheon webpage for event information, registration links, and the full list of Sustainable Jersey workshops.
Municipalities Implement Hundreds of Energy-Related Actions in 2013
Significant investments in sustainable energy are being made across New Jersey as municipalities implement a wide variety of actions in the current 2013 Sustainable Jersey certification cycle. Many of these actions provide generous incentives for residents, businesses, and municipalities through the New Jersey Clean Energy Program.
For example, 26 municipalities are working on the "Inventory and Upgrade of All Municipal Buildings" certification action. By working through the Local Government Energy Audit program, towns can get high-level audits of their facilities which will give them the information they need to determine if they qualify for programs like Direct Install that provide grants for 70% of the cost of the recommended building upgrades. Municipalities save energy and reduce their carbon footprint, and taxpayers save money through reduced costs!
Another 27 municipalities have decided to try the "Energy Tracking and Management" action in the Sustainable Jersey program. This action provides a blueprint for municipalities to track their municipal energy use and identify ways to optimize their efficiency. The tracking tool is provided free to municipalities through the US Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Portfolio software. Other efforts include: greenhouse gas inventories, development of Climate Action Plans, or renewable energy projects. Energy related activities account for about a third of the Sustainable Jersey program overall (by points), and represent a great framework for helping towns take best advantage of the state's Clean Energy Program.
Sustainable Jersey for Schools
Sustainable Jersey and the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) are creating a voluntary sustainability certification program called "Sustainable Jersey for Schools." Work has started to build a comprehensive coalition of educational organizations and academic, business and state agency partners that will form the program.
Many of the existing Sustainable Jersey municipal task forces will be asked to form a schools-specific subcommittee to address schools actions. Four new task forces will also be convened to focus on: Curriculum; Community Partnership & Outreach; Health & Wellness; and Leadership and Capacity Building. Nearly 100 people have volunteered to serve on the schools related task forces and subcommittees. The first series of task force meetings will be held in October and November 2013. If you are interested in joining a task force, email email@example.com and provide a few sentences about your experience and interest areas.
Sustainable Jersey for Schools will have a booth and facilitate eight sessions at the NJSBA annual Workshop scheduled for October 22-24th in Atlantic City. Review the sustainability workshops here.
Minister Shen from Taiwan EPA Visits Hurricane Sandy Recovery Areas
Sustainable Jersey hosted Minister Stephen Shu-hung Shen of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (EPAT) and his delegation in New Jersey on July 14, 2013. The group toured Hurricane Sandy recovery areas while exploring strategies for adapting to climate change and extreme weather.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has brought Sustainable Jersey together with Taiwan (EPAT) to strengthen cooperation on community-level sustainability programs. Taiwan has modeled a program after Sustainable Jersey and is also supporting the development of a community level "dashboard" of sustainability that can be used in New Jersey.
Sustainable Jersey has been working on climate adaptation, resiliency and flood hazard mitigation for several years. Following Super-Storm Sandy, the program has expanded its efforts and current work in this area. Sustainable Jersey is providing a bridge between state and federal government and local governments during the Sandy recovery. This is the second New Jersey visit by the Taiwanese delegation to meet with Sustainable Jersey; the first visit was in August 2011.
Task Force Spotlight
Over 300 leaders in New Jersey volunteer to serve on the Sustainable Jersey Task Forces from academia, the non-profit sector, Green Teams, the business community, and state, local, federal, and county government.
The task forces research and disseminate best practices, translate global and state imperatives into local actions, test sustainability planning models and develop community resources for the program. These groups are developing and refining actions for the 2014 Sustainable Jersey certification program. Below are a few examples of this work.
Brownfields Redevelopment Task Force: Finalizing their first Sustainable Jersey Actions: 1) Inventory: Identification and Prioritization of a Municipality's Brownfield Sites; 2) Reuse Planning: Community Planning Steps and Options; and 3) Marketing: Communicating the Availability of a Brownfield Property for Reuse.
Fleets Task Force: Working on three actions: 1) "Greening" municipal garages in terms of culture, practice and material; 2) Encouraging municipalities to include the use of non-petroleum based fuels as a factor in RFPs for contract services; and 3) Promotion of non-petroleum based transportation in the community (i.e. electric vehicles, bike share programs, etc.).
Waste Management & Recycling Task Force: Five new waste management actions are nearly complete and will be introduced with the 2013 Sustainable Jersey certification program.
Mark Your Calendar