STAR Communities and Collaborative Projects Featured at Sustain Evanston Meeting

LogoOn Saturday October 5th Evanston residents and activists working in the areas of climate change, energy efficiency and sustainability came together for the second annual Sustain Evanston meeting of 2013 at the Levy Senior Center from 9am – noon.  This meeting featured a presentation on the City of Evanston’s participation in a new community level sustainability rating system, STAR Communities and an update on the projects which were selected by the group for collaborative focus in 2013.

Read more about  Evanston’s participation in the STAR Communities Pilot Program on EvanstonNow and  view the STAR Communities Presentation made by City Staff during the meeting.

Update on Sustain Evanston Collaborative Projects

Next Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal and Action Plan – The Office of Sustainability and Sustain Evanston have been working to develop a plan for achieving further greenhouse gas emissions reductions. This plan builds upon on the anticipated 13% reductions from the community choice electricity aggregation program, which will result in Evanston achieving the first emissions reduction goal.  Areas of focus for research and planning include reducing gas and electricity usage through  building audits and retrofits as well as encouraging alternative transportation avenues. View a summary of the next  greenhouse gas reduction goal   and proposed action plan.

Green Business Incentive Program – The second collaborative project for Sustain Evanston is to research and develop and Green Business Incentive / Recognition Program.  The goal of the program is to provide a positive, incentive and recognition based program that would help promote the positive existing efforts of Evanston businesses and help motivate new action in the future.  Current efforts have focused on reviewing programs used by other communities, seeking input from Evanston businesses, and discussing the plan with the City’s Economic Development department.  View a summary of the Evanston Green Business Initiative Program research recently conducted by students and focusing on environmental best practices and funding opportunities that can be incorporated into the program.

Evanston Green Buzz Website – With  more than 25 different organizations and hundreds of volunteers actively participating in Evanston sustainability efforts, a centralized website is needed to serve as a clearinghouse for activities, organizations, and events in Evanston.  The Office of Sustainability facilitated the creation Evanston Green Buzz to be hosted by the city with content provided by organizations represented in Sustain Evanston.  A key feature of the website is a calendar of sustainability events that will be open to additions by all the groups involved and a centralized listing of all the organizations in Evanston that are doing work in the areas of the environment, sustainability, energy efficiency, and climate change.  All organizations are encouraged to add a link to Evanston Green Buzz on their website and submit ideas for feature stories.  Individuals or organizations wishing to play a larger role in the maintenance and support of Evanston Green Buzz should e-mail sustainability@cityofevanston.org.

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