PhotoBy Michael A. Walker

Trenton has met the rigorous requirements to achieve Sustainable Jersey certification, Mayor Eric Jackson announced today. The city is one of only 10 New Jersey municipalities this year to attain certification at the highest silver level.

Trenton was honored at the Sustainable Jersey Awards luncheon on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 in Atlantic City, with Mayor Eric E. Jackson accepting the award. A total of 33 municipalities across the state have ever reached silver certification.

“I am proud that Trenton has been recognized as a pioneer for sustainability in the State of New Jersey. Sustainability is about protecting our environment, strengthening our economy and fostering equality for our residents. I will continue to fervently support the efforts of the Trenton Green Team as it works to create a sustainable Trenton,” said Mayor Jackson.

Certified towns excelled in areas such as improving energy efficiency and health and  wellness,  reducing waste, sustaining local economies, protecting natural resources and advancing the   arts.

“Becoming Sustainable Jersey-certified is a significant achievement, especially at the silver level,” said Randall Solomon, co-director of Sustainable Jersey. “The 191 Sustainable Jersey-certified towns demonstrate leadership and are a testament to how much we can accomplish toward the long-term goal of a sustainable New Jersey.”

To become Sustainable Jersey-certified at the silver level, Trenton submitted documentation to show it had completed a balance of the required sustainability actions, meeting a minimum of 350 action points. In addition to reaching 350 points, each community had to create a Green Team and select at least three out of eleven priority action options. Trenton achieved 365 points and completed 32 actions in 13 separate categories.

Trenton completed three of the 11 priority actions by completing a Municipal Carbon Footprint, a Sustainable Land Use Pledge and a Natural Resources Inventory. Trenton also completed a number of other actions in the following areas: brownfields, climate mitigation and adaptation, community  outreach, green fairs, diversity and equity, municipal energy efficiency,  food  production  and  supporting local food, green design, health and wellness, land use and transportation, supporting local economies, buy-local programs, natural resources, and sustainability planning. A link to the full report is available here.

“This silver-level certification is the result of a true partnership between the City of Trenton, our nonprofit community, business and our residents. We look forward to continuing the progress and engaging even more partners in our city’s sustainability efforts,” said Lucy Vandenberg, Chair of the Trenton Green Team.

Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs. Currently, 76 percent, or 430 of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities are participating in the municipal certification program. “Collectively the  430 participating Sustainable Jersey towns are a powerful force in New Jersey,” said Donna Drewes, co- director of Sustainable Jersey.

In October 2014, Sustainable Jersey for Schools was launched in partnership with New Jersey School Boards Association and other statewide educational organizations. Currently, more than 120 school  districts and 300 schools are participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification  program.

Sustainable Jersey’s partners include the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, The Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program. Program underwriters include the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the Surdna Foundation. PSEG Foundation and the Gardinier Environmental Fund fund the 2015 Sustainable Jersey Small Grants program. South Jersey Gas and New Jersey Natural Gas are platinum sponsors. Bayshore Recycling is a silver sponsor and the bronze sponsors are Church & Dwight, Covanta and Energy Solve.