2013 Sustainable Jersey: Year in Review
Thank you for a productive and inspiring year! We've made great progress toward our goal of a better tomorrow, one community at a time. Here are some highlights:
Number of Certified Towns Nearly Doubled
Sixty-seven towns achieved Sustainable Jersey certification in 2013 which is nearly double the number of towns certified in 2012. Fifty-three towns were certified at the bronze-level and 14 towns achieved silver-level certification. Over 4,000 documented sustainability initiatives were implemented.
Eight Towns Recognized with Special Awards
- Sustainability Champion (Large) with 870 points: Woodbridge Township, Middlesex County
- Sustainability Champion (Medium) with 465 points: Madison Borough, Morris County
- Sustainability Champion (Small) with 390 points: Bordentown City, Burlington County
- Leadership Award: Galloway Township, Atlantic County
- Creativity & Innovation Award: Rahway City, Union County
- Collaboration Award: Maplewood, Millburn and South Orange, Essex County
Read about the Award Winners
$580,000 in Grants for Municipalities
The 2013 Small Grants program will provide 94 grants to New Jersey towns for a total contribution of $580,000. This year, the PSEG Foundation provided $200,000 and Walmart provided $380,000 for the grant program. Since 2009, just over $1,175,000 has been distributed through the Small Grants Program. See a list of the 2013 Grant Winners to date. Review the current opportunities for grants.
Sustainable Jersey for Schools Introduced
This year, Sustainable Jersey and the New Jersey School Boards Association began working together to create a new voluntary certification program designed specifically for public schools. School-focused task forces are meeting now to support the development and deployment of the program in 2014. Read more.
Sustainability Summit Helps Define Goals
Two-hundred people attended our Sustainability Summit to help define cl ear goals for the future of sustainability in New Jersey. Briefing papers were prepared that summarize the current landscape in NJ, imagine a vision for a sustainable future, and supply a set of metrics to be used for measuring progress toward that goal. This work will continue in 2014, leading to a more quantified approach to measuring sustainability goals. Thirteen Sustainability Briefs were prepared:
Sustainable Jersey Keeps Pace With Fast-Moving Energy Market
The energy markets in New Jersey continue to evolve quickly, responding to the availability of new solutions, changing regulations and important modifications to incentive programs. In the energy sector especially, it is critical that our certification actions continue to be relevant, current, and well supported with detailed resources. Working with the Energy Task Force, a new effort is underway to update existing actions, including a specific focus on alignment with NJ Clean Energy Program incentives and reinforcement of supporting resources. The task force will identify opportunities for new actions, optimization of the overall program, and design of the new energy elements of the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program. We are considering the addition of electric vehicle adoption actions to the program in 2014, as well as actions related to Government Energy Aggregation and other renewable energy options.
Nine New Board Members Added
In 2013, the following outstanding individuals were added to the Sustainable Jersey Board:
- John Bulina, President, New Jersey School Boards Association
- Anthony Cancro, Township Administrator, Springfield Township
- (Ex-Officio) Lawrence S. Feinsod, Ed.D., Executive Director, New Jersey School Boards Association
- Dr. Edward J. Mahaney, Jr. , Mayor, City of Cape May
- Scott McCartney, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools, Egg Harbor Township
- Wanda Monahan, Esq., Partner, Sedita, Campisano & Campisano, LLC
- Arthur Ondish, Mayor, Mount Arlington
- William Pikolycky, Mayor, Borough of Woodbine
- Eric Stiles, President & CEO, New Jersey Audubon Society
Successful Fundraiser: Sustainable Fare – Farm to Table Event
We had an amazing fundraising event in July, thanks to many people including Board Chair Pam Mount. Attendees enjoyed a seven course dinner, wine pairing and local music at Terhune Orchards. Dinner was prepared by renowned local chefs: Christopher Albrecht, Eno Terra; Scott Anderson, Elements/Mistral; Aaron Philipson, Blue Bottle Café; Jonathan Benno, Lincoln Ristorante; Josh Thomsen, Agricola; Christine Merker, Meals For Reals; Gabby Carbone, The Bent Spoon.
50 Workshops and Trainings Held
Sustainable Jersey provides free workshops, trainings and webinars to help towns develop a comprehensive sustainable community program. This year nearly 5,000 people attended one of these events.
Leadership Forums Attract Over 400 Participants
Sustainable Jersey hosted four Leadership Forums to bring together Green Teams and sustainability leaders to foster regional collaboration and share good ideas. In addition to formal presentations and group discussions, representatives from agencies and organizations were on hand to talk about how they can support work on Sustainable Jersey actions. Workshops took place in Sparta, Madison, Monroe and Galloway.
Overview Video Released
Over 500 people viewed the Sustainable Jersey overview video called Sustainable Jersey: Our Progress So Far about the program with an introduction by NJ Governors Christine Todd Whitman and James Florio. Have you seen it? View the video.
New Website Launched; Facebook Followers Triple
In 2013 we had more than 64,000 visits to the new and improved website. Our Facebook following more than tripled, with 2,471 followers.
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) Workshops Held
Sustainable Jersey coordinated a 3-workshop program in October for municipal participants in the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, working in partnership with other state agencies like the NJ Board of Public Utilities. A summary of options was prepared for applying for a HMGP grant to advance resiliency solutions that provide sustainable energy value. Participants received information about how to access their HMGP energy allocation, permissible technical options under the program and relative trade-offs, and details about financing and permitting.
ESIP Guidebook Developed
The Sustainable Jersey guidebook, sponsored by the NJ Board of Public Utilities explains how to implement an Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP). Case studies of successfully implemented ESIPs are included with a list of resources to guide you through the ESIP process.
NJ Resiliency Network Assists Sandy-Impacted Communities
The NJ Resiliency Network is a statewide initiative to assist New Jersey communities with long-term recovery and resiliency planning. Facilitated by Sustainable Jersey, the NJ Resiliency Network was launched to connect communities to resources offered by government, non-profit, academic and private organizations. The Network will systematically identify municipal needs and work with the Network's resource providers to develop new models, tools, and support programs. Read more.
We look forward to working with you in the New Year!