Take The 2018 Green Government Challenge


Click on "see background materials" to read a detailed description of each action. In addition, view examples, links and explanations of how to score points or partial points. Total Possible Points Points for Pre-2018 Actions Points for 2018 Actions
Community Involvement
1 Adopt a resolution focused on environmental stewardship, sustainability or resiliency.  See background materials 5
2 Establish an active community-wide energy and emissions reduction planning group that includes key community stakeholders with at least one local government representative to monitor progress. See background materials 5
3 Implement energy education programs that help residents, businesses and local government operations save money and energy, lower carbon emissions, and reduce baseload and severe weather demand on the grid.  See background materials 5
4 Encourage water conservation by adopting a public education program aimed at the residential and commercial sectors that promotes the conservation of public water supplies. See background materials 5
5 Deliver a public outreach program to inform citizens about effective practices in normal home maintenance activities to prevent and/or reduce pollution from stormwater runoff.  See background materials 5
6 Work with the local convention and visitors bureaus and hospitality associations on the promotion of green tourism (please provide website link if available).  See background materials 5
7 Adopt a policy supporting local government use of Virginia Green certified locations.  5
8 Implement a "Green Living Challenge" for households, offices and/or businesses to promote actions that conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. See background materials 10
9 Promote eat local, farmer's market, and farm-to-table programs.  See background materials 5
10 The comprehensive plan for the locality contains a sustainability element addressing one of the sections in this challenge (such as water stewardship, waste management, etc.)  See background materials 5
11 Innovation Credit - for any implemented program beyond those identified within this section that engage your local community in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (please describe). Points are available only for actions taken in the last 12 months.  See background materials 5
Energy Efficiency
12 Establish an energy manager role that tracks all energy consumption. See background materials 5
13 Improve energy efficiency of government buildings by registering as an Energy Star Partner and using the Portfolio Manager tool for all local government buildings over 5,000 square feet. See background materials 5
14 Publicly report the "Source and Site Energy Usage Intensity" (performance metric under EPA Portfolio Manager) for each local government building over 5,000 square feet. See background materials 5
15 Earn EnergyStar certification for local government building(s) (5 points for first building, 5 points for second or subsequent certifications).  See background materials 10
16 Conduct an energy audit of three (or of all, for jurisdictions with fewer than three) of your government facilities. See background materials 5
17 Implement at least two suggested actions of most recent energy audit within 12 months of its completion. See background materials 5
18 Adopt an energy assurance plan to allow the government to respond to and operate in energy emergencies. See background materials 10
19 Develop a policy to utilize energy efficient and dark sky compliant outdoor light fixtures See background materials 5
20 Establish a property assessed clean energy (PACE) loan program that allows for the repayment of loans either on the property tax or utility bills. See background materials 10
21

Offer a reduced property tax bill for qualifying energy efficient buildings.

See background materials
5
22 Retrofit at least 25% of all government owned street lights, trail lights, or traffic signals with LED lamps.  5
23 Innovation Credit - any initiative or program beyond those identified within this section that result in energy efficiency gains (please describe). Points are available only for actions taken in the last 12 months. See background materials 5
Renewable Energy
24 Complete a local government renewable energy site-assessment survey comprising at least 25% of local government properties. See background materials 5
25 Implement the next project or phase of a local government renewable energy expansion plan (as informed by the renewable energy site-assessment survey). See background materials 5
26 Offer local grant or tax incentives allowed under Virginia Code for clean vehicles or alternative fuel infrastructure. See background materials 5
27 Facilitate or support a "solarize" or solar co-op initiative in your community that lowers the cost of solar photo-voltaic systems through bulk purchasing. See background materials 5
28 Adopt a renewable energy ordinance and provide guidance documents for homeowners and businesses. See background materials 5
29 Achieve SolSmart designation.  See background materials 10
30 Confirm that a minimum of 10% of all electricity used by local government facilities is generated by renewable sources (either installed on government facilities or RECs purchased from a third party).  5
31 Innovation Credit - any initiative or program beyond those identified within this section that result in the deployment of renewable energy sources and/or renewable energy technology (please describe). Points are available only for actions taken in the last 12 months.  See background materials 5
Procurement
32 New construction and major renovations of government infrastructure earn Envision certification (5 points for 1st certification, 5 additional points for second and subsequent certifications. Background information.  See background materials 10
33 New construction and major renovations of government facilities earn LEED Silver certification (5 points for 1st certification, 5 additional points for second and subsequent certifications).  See background materials 10
34 Adopt a "Green Fleet" policy that incorporates, at a minimum, the purchase of low emitting fuel-efficient vehicles for vehicle fleet replacement and the use of alternative fuels (biodiesel, natural gas, propane, ethanol, hybrid, electric) in fleet operations. See background materials 5
35 Work with local school division to fund green fleet school buses for 5% of existing bus fleet. See background materials 5
36 Implement a "green" procurement and disposal policy for consumables and electronics. See background materials 5
37 Innovation Credit - any procurement practice or policy beyond those identified within this section that reduces carbon emissions or results in improvements to air, water or waste (please describe). Points are available only for actions taken in the last 12 months.   See background materials 5
Land Use / Transportation
38 Provide, maintain and expand a network of walking and bicycling pathways that safely connect destinations throughout your jurisdiction.
Background materials.
See background materials
5
39 Provide public transit, ride sharing, and non-motorized transportation options or participate in regional partnerships supporting the same.  See background materials 5
40

Reduce risks and damages due to flooding by participating in FEMA's Community Rating System (CRS).

See background materials
5
41 Promote the use of permanent conservation easements on private property within your community and/or implement a permanent conservation easement on public land See background materials 5
42 Adopt land-use plans that allow higher-density development either near public transit nodes or in areas with existing infrastructure AND encourage mixed-use communities See background materials 5
43 Adopt a land use or development tool that preserves open space, farmland and forests such as Purchase of Development Rights (PDRs) or Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs) See background materials 5
44 Create a green development area zone as authorized by Virginia Code, Section 58.1-3854. Please provide website link to ordinance. 5 points.  See background materials 5
45 Innovation Credit - any implemented policy or program beyond those identified within this section that result in more efficient use of land and/or public transportation infrastructure (please describe). Points are available only for actions taken in the last 12 months.  See background materials 5
Environmental Stewardship
46 Complete Virginia Tech's Center of Excellence for Environmental Management. See background materials 10
47 Achieve E3 or E4 status for one or more facilities through the DEQ Virginia Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP). See background materials 10
48 Be a VEEP sustainability partner.  For more info see background material). See background materials 5
49 Promote the enforcement of the Energy Conservation Code by staff taking DHCD energy code classes. Earn 4 points for one or more staff members completing the course, 5 points for at least one staff member obtaining certification, and 1 point for at least one staff member maintaining certification. See background materials 5
50 Create and maintain a management level position for sustainability manager. This role may overlap with an energy manager if the job description includes other environmental sustainability duties.  5
51 Define and report a set of environmental sustainability metrics annually to your governing body and to your community. The metrics can differ from year-to-year.  See background materials 5
52 Conduct a tree canopy survey and develop a strategic plan to maintain and increase overall tree canopy coverage (plan must include specific coverage targets over time). 10
53 Adopt an anti-idling policy for fleet vehicles.  See background materials 5
54 Complete a local government greenhouse gas emissions inventory and adopt a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target (5 points for the inventory and an additional 5 points for the reduction target).  See background materials 10
55 Complete a community-wide greenhouse gas emissions inventory and adopt a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target (5 points for the inventory and an additional 5 points for the reduction target).  See background materials 10
56 Innovation Credit - for any policy or program beyond those identified within this section that promotes the responsible uses and protection of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices (please describe). Points are available only for actions taken in the last 12 months.  See background materials 5
Water Stewardship
57

Drinking Water-Develop and implement source water protection plans (watershed protection and / or wellhead protection) to prevent or reduce water pollution. 

See background materials
5
58

Water Quality-Establish a program to reduce the release of prescription medication in water supplies. The program must include a community outreach component. 

See background materials
5
59 Water Quality-Develop and implement an energy use reduction plan in water utility operations to reduce electric power consumption See background materials 5
60 Water Quality-Implement a water loss control plan to minimize water leaks in the distribution system and achieve a water loss rate below 10% (water loss is defined as the difference between the amount of water pumped into the distribution system and the amount of water sold). Briefly describe your improved results.

See background materials
5
61 Waste Water-Minimize infiltration / inflow (I&I) into the wastewater/sewer collection system by implementing an active I&I control program  to prevent sewer overflows. 

See background materials
5
62 Waste Water-Upgrade wastewater treatment facilities to improve nutrient (Nitrogen, Phosphorus) removal.
See background materials
5
63

Waste Water- Implement a waste reduction plan at your wastewater plant.

Please describe briefly or include website link.

See background materials
5
64 Stormwater-Implement voluntary stormwater protection initiatives (non-MS4 localities) or initiatives byond those required by regulation (for MS4 localities). Please describe briefly your initiative.  See background materials 5
65 Foster low impact and green development projects as well as techniques (pervious pavement, bioswales, cisterns, woodland and steep slope protection) through incentives, ordinances and design guidelines.  5
66 Establish a water manager role that tracks all local government water consumption. This role does not need to be a full-time position, but does need to be a task assigned to a designated employee.  5
67 Improve water efficiency within your jurisdiction by registering as an EPA Water Sense Partner.  See background materials 5
68 Adopt a policy to install EPA WaterSense certified fixtures and appliances.  See background materials 5
69 Publicly report the "Water Usage Intensity" (gallons/sf/year and gallong/FTE/year) for each local government building over 5,000 square feet.  5
70 Conduct a water audit of three (or of all, for jurisdictions with fewer than three) of your government facilities. 5
71 Integrate rainwater harvesting and reuse system(s) into local government operations.  See background materials 5
72 Promote and encourage rainwater harvesting in the residential/commercial sectors.  See background materials 5
73 Innovation Credit-  For any policy or program beyond those identified within this section that improves water quality or protects waters with current high water quality, secures adequate water supply, addresses flood management and minimizes potential pollution risks from flood event, ecosystem / stream restoration, reduction in use of water treatment or wastewater treatment chemicals and / or solid or hazardous waste generation, nutrient load reductions in MS4 or wastewater treatment plant operations, water or wastewater. (Please describe). Points are available only for actions in the last 12 months.  See background materials 5
Waste Management
74 Establish a community-wide recycling collection program. See background materials 5
75 Establish a community-wide residential recycling collection program that is an additional 10 percent above the state-mandated rate applicable to your locality.  See background materials 5
76 Establish a community-wide recycling and/or collection program that includes e-waste and/or household hazardous materials. See background materials 5
77 Establish a program that implements innovative landfill practices, such as the diversion of reusable construction and demolition debris, collection and reuse of landfill gas, increased compaction, and mining of reclaimable materials. 5
78 Develop a yard waste and/or food waste recycling program to produce compost for use in landscapes, gardens, and farms. 5
79 Establish a community-wide litter program.  5
80 Innovation Credit - for any policy or program beyond those identified within this section that reduce waste (please describe). Points are available only for actions taken in the last 12 months.    See background materials 5
Employee Incentives
81 Adopt a policy that a minimum of 20% of the eligible workforce should participate in alternative work schedules or telework. See background materials 5
82 Provide employee benefits for ride sharing, walking, biking, or taking transit to work. Demonstrate that benefits are explained to all employees in the orientation and/or continuing education process. See background materials 5
83 Sponsor and energy savings/innovation contest that encourages employees to submit ideas and proposals for reducing energy consumption. 5
84

Innovation Credit - for any personnel policy or program that results in the reduction of carbon emissions (please describe). Points are available only for actions taken in the last 12 months. 

See background materials
5
Resiliency
85 Adopt and implement a comprehensive resiliency policy that protects critical infrastructure and facilities, addresses vulnerable populations and protects natural resources from natural and man-made hazards.  See background materials 5
86 Conduct an annual manager-level staff review of the sufficiency and completeness of your emergency response program and hazard mitigation plans.  See background materials 5
87 Integrate and coordinate emergency response and hazard mitigation plans, along with risk associated with recurrent flooding and man-made hazards into local government long range planning, zoning, operations and management, as relevant to the locality or regions.  See background materials 5
88 Incorporate resiliency and hazard mitigation principles into planning, design and implementation of public capital improvement projects (buildings, roads, parks, wastewater treatment facilities, etc.)  See background materials 5
89 Evaluate community-wide vulnerabilities to extreme weather, recurrent flooding, climate variability, predicted inudation, and other anticipated natural and man-made hazards.  See background materials 5
90 Identify critical infrastructure in your community, including transportation, energy, stormwater, wastewater, water supplies, and drinking water systems.  See background materials 5
91 Upgrade or protect critical infrastructure and buildings against extreme weather, recurrent flooding, or other relevant threats through an evaluation and redesign process.  See background materials 5
92 Prioritize investments that restore and protect the natural environment including use of green infrastructure for mitigation of flooding and other hazards.  See background materials 5
93 Innovation Credit-for any implemented program beyond those identified within this section that enables your community to respond to emergency weather events. Points are available only for actions taken in the last 12 months.  See background materials 5
Extra Credit
94 Supporting Documents. Earn an extra point by providing website links in the comments section on activities and programs for which you have received credit in this challenge. This will help build a library of documents for other local governments. An additional point is allowed for each uploaded document or website link provided. An alternative is to email a document to pford@vml.org with the subject: Extra credit. See background materials 5
95 Partnership / Collaboration Action Credit-for any implemented program that involves partnerships with the private, multi-, non-profit or university/college sectors. An additional point is available for each partnership, up to 5 points.  See background materials 5
96 Sustained Action Credit-for any implemented policy or program for which you received credit in a Green Government Challenge submission in a previous year, but that which involves sustained effort over time to maintain as an on-going program. An additional point is allowed for each sustained action, up to 5 points. Points are available only for actions taken in the last 12 months.  See background materials 5
97 Innovation Credits - for any efforts, policies, activities beyond those identified above. How to score # 44 / See background materials 25
 
Group Totals 565    
 
 
 
 
Green Tips
Select the most energy-efficient models when you replace your old appliances. Look for the Energy Star Label - your assurance that the product saves. Buy the product that is sized to your typical needs - not the biggest one available. Front loading washing machines will usually cut hot water use by 60 to 70 percent compared to typical machines.

Click here to learn more tips