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Go Green Virginia Initiative Announces Community Challenge Pilot Communities

by Don Knapp Aug 15, 2010

Go Green Virginia Community ChallengeICLEI–Local Governments for Sustainability USA, in partnership with the Virginia Municipal League (VML), has officially launched the Green Community Challenge with the announcement of four pilot communities who will participate in the Challenge. The four communities are:

  • Town of Blacksburg
  • Loudoun County
  • City of Norfolk
  • City of Roanoke


A Friendly Competition Among Virginia Communities

Inspired by the success of the Green Government Challenge, VML partnered with ICLEI in 2009 to develop a sister program, the Green Community Challenge. The Challenge is a friendly competition among Virginia communities to implement specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address local sustainability.

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The Climate Mitigation-Adaptation Connection

by Rena Ragimova Aug 15, 2010

Road flooding adaptation

Climate action at the local level is nearly synonymous with reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But today, ICLEI is working hard to expand local governments' awareness of the need for climate adaptation -- preparing for and adapting to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Every region of the United States will experience climate impacts, from sea-level rise to heat waves and more frequent violent storms. It is imperative to recognize the ways in which climate change is already and is likely to continue affecting your particular community and to make adaptation planning an essential piece of your climate action strategy.

At ICLEI we are currently preparing to launch the Climate Resilient Communities Program to assist cities and counties with their adaptation efforts. In the meantime, we have prepared an overview guidance document on adaptation planning and how it relates to more common mitigation efforts:

small green arrow icon The Mitigation-Adaptation Connection: Milestones, Synergies and Contradictions

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Grand Rapids Releases Blueprint for Sustainability

by Michael Davidson, ICLEI Midwest Regional Director Aug 15, 2010

Grand Rapids downtown (Photo credit: ifmuth via flickr)

Downtown Grand Rapids, MI. Photo credit: ifmuth via Flickr

Following the Midwest’s historic 2010 summer heat and record rainfall comes another municipal initiative to address the environment, and then some.

In July, longtime sustainability innovator and ICLEI member Grand Rapids, MI, released the Grand Rapids Sustainability Plan: Managing the Economic, Social, and Environmental Resources of the City through a Framework of Sustainability Outcomes and Targets. City officials pledge to use leadership, collaboration, and a commitment to citizens as driving forces of the “triple bottom line” plan for prosperous local and regional economies, harmony in the lives of its citizenry (“sound social capital”), and environmental integrity.

The Grand Rapids plan is a holistic blueprint for this city of nearly 200,000 in western Michigan, using the traditional “three pillars” of sustainability—economy, society, environment—as broad themes under which to create specific, measurable goals. For example, the plan’s economic outcomes include increased business investment, supplier diversity, and career readiness of youth. For each outcome there are “targets” such as “Create at least 500 jobs for youth by June 30, 2015” and “$16 million in private funds will be invested in the restoration of vacant, blighted, or contaminated land by June 30, 2011.” The combined total of targets under the three themes exceeds 200.

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Highlights of the 30% Solution: Transforming Energy Codes

by Don Knapp Aug 15, 2010

energy efficient codes coalition graphic




Local government staff: The opportunity is at hand to strengthen energy codes to slash energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Read below to learn the technical details on how the "30% Solution 2012" will improve energy efficiency more than 30%. Visit our Energy Codes pages for information on travel scholarships to attend the Final Action Hearings in Charlotte and make the 30% Solution proposal a reality.

Text reposted courtesy of the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition:

“The 30% Solution 2012” – developed by the broad-based Energy Efficient Codes Coalition (EECC) – is a comprehensive set of improvements that can produce a 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) that provides more than a 30% energy efficiency improvement over the 2006 IECC.

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Competition Aims to Save More Summer Water in Massachusetts

by Rena Ragimova Aug 11, 2010

Hanover / Pembroke MA by Chris Devers on Flickr

Hanover/Pembroke, MA. Photo credit: Chris Devers on Flickr.

South Shore towns in Massachusetts are quickly catching on to the power of community competitions to achieve greater sustainability.

The North and South Rivers Watershed Association is challenging residents of the towns Marshfield (ICLEI member), Hanover, Norwell, Pembroke and Scituate to the Greenscapes Water Challenge. Residents of these towns will be forming teams of households and will compete to see which team can consume the least amount of water per capita this summer. The focus is on summertime because water usage tends to be higher, while at the same time, water is less readily available due to droughts. Winning teams receive $500 toward their favorite charity, while their town’s water supply benefits through everybody’s efforts.

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East Hampton, NY, Approves Wind Turbine After Long-Winded Debate

by Jamie O Connell Aug 11, 2010

Single Wind Turbine










On July 15, 2010, the East Hampton Town Board approved the first ever issued Special Use Permit allowing for the construction of a wind turbine. Once constructed, energy from the 10 kW wind turbine will help a local resident and business owner pump water throughout his 18.3-acre nursery. The system is to be constructed by Windsine Inc., a local contractor of small wind turbine systems.  Although a 10 kW system is a drop in the bucket compared to the Town’s overall energy demand, supporters of the wind turbine hope this small step will open the door for more of the Town’s energy demand to be met using local, renewable sources.

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Local Action Roundup

by Rena Ragimova Aug 11, 2010

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Denver International Airport’s Recycling Program Achieves Stellar Results and Savings

by Rena Ragimova Aug 02, 2010

Denver Int'l Airport


Photograph provided courtesy of Denver International Airport.

The Denver International Airport, owned and operated by the City of Denver, has been a leader in good environmental practices since 2006, when it became the first airport to have its own Environmental Management System certified to the ISO 14001 international standard. It has also been acknowledged by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for its commitment to sustainability, and it was the first airport to be accepted into EPA’s Environment Performance Track Program. Here are just some goals that the DIA has been able to achieve with its recycling program, and the savings that resulted from the changes.

The Achievements

  • Organics collection and composting pilot project
  • Celebrated Earth Day and America Recycles Day with community outreach events
  • Collected plastic bags for recycling during "Bags of Bags Week" promotion
  • Implemented a new CD/DVD collection and reuse program
  • DIA collected 1,467 tons of recyclable material out of its municipal solid waste stream, including 57.5 tons of wood pallets, 3 tons of phone books, 781 tons of cardboard, 39 tons of organics, and 587 tons of paper, cans, glass, and plastics
  • In addition, DIA recycled the following commodities, primarily from maintenance activities: over 4,000 batteries, 56,360 pounds of electronics, 7,135 pounds of fluorescent lamps, 147 tons of scrap metal, 115,000 tons of concrete, 13,900 tons of asphalt, 107,000 pounds of restaurant grease, 1,700 gallons of antifreeze, 644 tires, 18,643 gallons of used oil, 796 gallons of solvent

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Travel Scholarships Available for ICC Energy Codes Hearing

by Don Knapp Aug 02, 2010

Green Buildings on Success Page

ICLEI USA is pleased to announce the release of applications for travel scholarships to enable its local government members to attend the 2010 International Code Council’s Final Action Hearings in Charlotte, NC this October and have their vote counted as the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is finalized.

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, ICLEI is pleased to offer a limited number of travel scholarships to qualified members of both ICLEI and the International Code Council.

small green arrow icon Learn More or View the Scholarship Application

  • Staff interested in the travel scholarships should attend ICLEI's upcoming informational webinar on Aug. 16, explaining the details of these travel scholarships including the application process and requirements.
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HUD Sustainable Communities Update as Deadline Approaches

by Art von Lehe, Policy Officer Aug 01, 2010

Bicycle Lane

This is an update on the HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning NOFA. On August 23, 2010 the application window will close and the review process will get underway. Read on for timely updates and new resources to access as that deadline approaches -- including an updated FAQ on the HUD website, and a new webinar on data and geography needs for the Sustainable Communities program.

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