Sustainable Jersey is a certification program for municipalities that want to go green, save money, and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long-term. Participating local governments voluntarily complete and document actions to earn points towards certification. These actions help communities reduce greenhouse gas emissions, preserve open spaces, reduce energy consumption, design streets for all road users, and promote other sustainability initiatives.
In addition to taking the first steps to becoming sustainable, municipalities that obtain Sustainable Jersey certification gain priority access to grants. To date, 116 municipalities are Sustainable Jersey certified and an additional 398 have realized the benefits and are working towards this goal. To see who’s certified in South Jersey, visit driveless.com!
To begin the certification process, a municipality must adopt a resolution of participation and register on the Sustainable Jersey website. To become certified, a municipality must establish a green team and complete and document actions to obtain a minimum number of points across various categories, such as Land Use and Transportation, Sustainability Planning, and Health and Wellness.
There are two levels of Sustainable Jersey certification:
Bronze Certification: Complete 2 of 7 priority actions and a total of 150 points from 6 of 16 categories.
Silver Certification: Complete 3 of 7 priority actions and a total of 350 points from 8 of 16 categories.
Sustainability Benefits: Certified municipalities benefit from conserving valuable resources, protecting the environment, promoting economic development and improving transportation options. Cost savings can also be realized from reductions in energy and water usage.
Grants: Participating communities gain priority access to incentives and grants to fund sustainable projects. They are also eligible for the Sustainable Jersey Small Grant Program, which funds approximately $220,000 worth of projects in New Jersey annually.
Training, tools, and expert guidance: Participating municipalities obtain access to training, tools, and expert guidance, such as workshops, webinars, and leadership meetings. Additionally, while pursuing certification, these communities are provided with action tool kits containing information detailing the importance of each action, the parties that should be involved, project costs, and resource needs.
Recognition: Sustainable Jersey certified communities are also recognized and promoted through the Sustainable Jersey website, media, and publications, and are honored at the annual Sustainable Jersey luncheon at the New Jersey League of Municipalities annual conference. Certified municipalities may also use a customized Sustainable Jersey logo in promotional materials.
Cross County Connection can even assist your community with the following actions! (points are shown in parentheses)
Anti-Idling Education and Enforcement Program (10)
For more information on the Sustainable Jersey program, visit www.sustainablejersey.com
For more information on how Cross County Connection can assist your town with Sustainable Jersey certification call (856) 596-8228.