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Greenfield, MA, Surpasses Goal to Help Residents Slash Energy Use and Save Money

by Adrienne DeAngelo Feb 10, 2011

Greening Greenfield

Greening Greenfield Energy Committee members with their "Leading By Example"
award from the MA Dept of Energy Resources (Reposted from Facebook)


The Achievements

Greening Greenfield -- a citizen group working with the town government to develop a firm commitment to sustainable living practices – signed on more than 900 households for its 10% Challenge Campaign. The goal had been to reach 800 Greenfield, MA, households (10% of the population) by the end of 2010, and commit them to making small changes to save energy and money -- in their homes and businesses, and through transportation choices.

Results from the 2010 Greenfield Energy Use report card show the campaign and its educational efforts are working: average household energy use in Greenfield over the past four years has decreased. Energy reduction ranges from 3.1% and 12.8% between 2006 and 2010 depending on the type of fuel used.

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Minneapolis Reaches 6,000 Homeowners with Hands-On Energy Program

by Adrienne DeAngelo Jan 14, 2011

Minneapolis House

Photo credit: Shiny Things via Flickr

The Achievement

In December, 2010, The Community Energy Services program, a collaborative effort between the City of Minneapolis and the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), put 6,000 Minneapolis homeowners on a comprehensive path to achieving energy savings.

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How to Launch Your Own Green Business Challenge, Step by Step

by Rena Ragimova Dec 13, 2010

Green Business Challenge Guidebook CoverFor more than a year now, ICLEI has been fielding the same question from local government staff across the country: How can my community launch a Green Business Challenge of its own?

We now have an easy answer. The new Green Business Challenge Guidebook offers step-by-step instructions on how to develop and launch a customized version of this wildly popular program.

What Is the Green Business Challenge?

The Green Business Challenge is a friendly competition that engages commercial property managers, office tenants, and other business sectors to reduce their energy, waste, and water use while participating in other sustainable business practices. The program helps local governments engage their commercial sectors to help meet their energy, climate and sustainability goals. On the flipside, it allows businesses to get community recognition for their green efforts.

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For Climate Activist, More Than One Road to COP16

by Rena Ragimova Nov 11, 2010

Paul Thompson photo

Paul Thompson: climate activist, bicycling enthusiast, avid disc golf player.
Photo credit: 350 Solutions Revolution.

Paul Thompson, 62, of Edina, MN, is not your average concerned citizen. His involvement with local environmental initiatives has taken him to last year’s COP15 climate negotiations in Copenhagen as an ICLEI representative, and this year to Cancun, Mexico for COP16. But this time, you won’t catch him on a plane.

To reach COP 16, Thompson has joined Portland residents, Katharine Ball and Alec Neal, for the 350 Solutions Revolution bicycle ride across the United States. The trio met last year in Copenhagen and this year they are collaborating on a documentary film that will highlight innovative local solutions to climate change.

“I’m looking forward to inspiring people along the way and supporting this wonderful effort to film and tell the story of America waking up,” says Thompson, “This is really shining a light on local climate solutions.”

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A Week on the Road: Part I

by Cyrus Bhedwar, ICLEI Southeast Regional Director Nov 08, 2010

Raleigh by bunchofpants on FlickrAlthough most of the time, the ICLEI Southeast Regional team stays around the Atlanta, GA office, last week, I was fortunate to find myself on the road visiting local government sustainability offices, and attending the ICC Final Action Hearings on Energy Codes.

I got to learn of members’ ambitious plans, share information about ICLEI's tools and resources, and hear about their impressive accomplishments. Finally, I witnessed local governments as they produced the most important national energy policy advancement of 2010. I watched as communities came together to tackle a common challenge and create a brighter future.


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Greenworks Orlando: By the Numbers

by Cyrus Bhedwar Oct 06, 2010

Orlando Downtown by Jordi Gomara on flickr

Downtown Orlando. Photo credit: Jordi Gomara on flickr.

As Jon Ippel, Sustainability Manager for the city that's home to the "Happiest Place on Earth," tells it, Mayor Buddy Dyer recognized that keeping Orlando happy well into the future meant increasing its focus on sustainability and recognized the growing role that cities have in jump-starting those initiatives. As a result, he created Greenworks Orlando.

Like many ICLEI members, Orlando was driving towards sustainability for decades, most notably in the water and wastewater arenas.  Then in 2007, Mayor Dyer created Greenworks Orlando "the City’s first comprehensive plan to protect our natural resources, encourage environmentally-friendly lifestyles and business practices and engage everyone who lives, works and visits Central Florida in the effort to 'go green'.”

In the past three years, Greenworks has focused primarily on internal government operations. He recently took the time to share the progress Orlando has made - check out the detailed six page report quantifying their success.

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Using Volunteers to Increase Local Government Capacity

by Eli Yewdall Oct 06, 2010

volunteers by Jhuskin on flickr














Photo credit: Jhuskin on flickr.

One of the biggest challenges to local governments in implementing local sustainability initiatives, especially in the current economic climate, is simple lack of staff time. The more well-funded sustainability offices consist of a handful of staff; more common is the one-woman or one-man office, or sustainability tasks are added onto an already overfull plate of existing duties.

That’s why it’s particularly exciting to see the innovative programs presented at the Local Action Summit session on ‘Tapping Volunteers for Community Climate Action.

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Heartland Local Government Sustainability Network Launches

by Michael Davidson, Midwest Regional Director Oct 04, 2010

Dubuque, Iowa by Pete Zarria on flickr

Dubuque, Iowa. Photo credit: Pete Zarria on flickr.

September 17 marked the inaugural meeting of the Heartland Local Government Sustainability Network (HLGSN). HLGSN is an independent peer forum of municipal professionals in sustainability, energy, planning, environment, and allied disciplines. The geographic scope of the network includes Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas—aligning decidedly with U.S. EPA Region 7. The network allows some participation from South Dakota and North Dakota, which reside within U.S. EPA Region 8. The impetus for HLGSN is to help member local governments with the administration of federal initiatives, build capacity for members to improve sustainability performance locally, and provide a forum to exchange ideas and information with regional peers who share a common economy, culture, and climate.

The Midwest Regional Office of ICLEI USA will play a support role in the network, which largely includes HLGSN administration and communications. HLGSN is self-governing, and membership is invite-only through peer review. The only requirement is that members are local government professionals. Current members include top-level managers from 14 cities and counties. Thus far, the network is comprised of mostly ICLEI USA communities, but ICLEI USA affiliation is not a requirement.  Kansas City, Missouri, is the founding member of HLGSN.

For more information on the Heartland Local Government Sustainability Network, contact Michael Davidson, Midwest Regional Director, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability USA.

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Report From the Georgia State Network Meeting 2010

by Don Knapp Sep 07, 2010

People chain cropped

On Sept. 1, ICLEI's Georgia Sustainability Network of members and others came together for an annual in-person meeting. Our 2010 meeting was graciously hosted by Morgan County, located just east of the Atlanta metro region with 355 square miles and just over 18,000 people. About 15 representatives of local governments, EPA, Georgia DNR and nonprofit allies gathered for an afternoon of learning and sharing information.

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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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