Take The 2017 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-2017 Actions Points for 2017 Actions
Community Involvement
1 Adopt a sustainability/climate protection resolution and establish an active community-wide energy and emissions reduction planning group that includes key community stakeholders with at least one local government representative. See background materials 10
2 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
3 Complete a community-wide greenhouse gas emissions inventory and adopt a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target (5 points for the inventory and an addtional 5 points for the reduction target). See background materials 10
4 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
5 Working 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
6 Promotion of eat local, farm-to-table programs.  See background materials 5
7 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 2017.  See background materials 5
Resiliency
8 Complete any four of six action items under for resiliency: (1) Policy & Leadership; (2) Preparation for Natural Man-Made Hazards; (3) Energy Security; (4) Strengthening Critical Infrastructure; (5) Strengthening the Local Economy; and (6) Health & Well Being in the Resiliency ChecklistSee background materials 20
Energy Efficiency
9 Establish an energy manager position/responsibility or management team for the government that at a minimum tracks all energy consumption. See background materials 10
10 Improve energy efficiency of government buildings by registering as an Energy Star Partner and utilize the Portfolio Manager tool for all local government buildings over 5,000 square feet (5 points for becoming Energy Star Partner and an additional 5 points for utilizing Portfolio Manager). See background materials 10
11 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 10
12 Conduct an energy audit of three (or of all, for jurisdictions with fewer than three) of your government facilities. See background materials 5
13 Implement at least two suggested actions of most recent energy audit within 12 months of its completion. See background materials 5
14 Adopt an energy assurance plan to allow the government to respond to and operate in energy emergencies. See background materials 10
15 Develop a policy to utilize energy efficient and dark sky compliant outdoor light fixtures See background materials 5
16 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
17

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

See background materials
5
18 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 2017. See background materials 5
Renewable Energy
19 Complete a local government renewable energy site-assessment survey. See background materials 5
20 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
21 Offer local grant or tax incentives allowed under Virginia Code for clean vehicles or alternative fuel infrastructure. See background materials 5
22 Facilitate or support a "solarize" initiative in your community that lowers the cost of solar photo-voltaic systems through bulk purchasing. See background materials 5
23 Adopt a renewable energy ordinance and provide guidance documents for homeowners and businesses. See background materials 5
24 Achieve SolSmart designation.  See background materials 10
25 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 2017.  See background materials 5
Procurement
26 Establish a green building policy for all new government facilities (including major renovations). (5 points for energy only, 10 points for whole building certification). See background materials 10
27 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
28 Work with local school division to fund green fleet school buses for 5% of existing bus fleet. See background materials 5
29 Adopt an anti-idling policy for school/government fleet vehicles. See background materials 5
30 Implement a "green" procurement and disposal policy for consumables and electronics. See background materials 5
31 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 2017.  See background materials 5
Land Use / Transportation
32

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

See background materials
5
33 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
34 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
35 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
36 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
37 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 2017.  See background materials 5
Environmental Stewardship
38 Register for (5 points) or complete (15 points) Virginia Tech's Center of Excellence for Environmental Management ESMS (Environmental and Sustainability Management System) program. See background materials 15
39 Achieve E3 or E4 status for one or more facilities through the DEQ Virginia Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP). See background materials 10
40 Be a VEEP sustainability partner in 2016 (Note: Applications to be a VEEP sustainability partner in 2017 will be available in early 2017) For more info see background material). See background materials 5
41 Attain certification as a natural wildlife habitat community. See background materials 5
42 Become a Tree City USA community. See background materials 5
43 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
44 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 2017.  See background materials 5
Water Stewardship
45 Drinking water - 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
46

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
47

Water Quality-Reduce the release of drugs in water supplies by implementing a "take back" program to turn in unused or expired prescription medication. The program should include a community outreach component. 

See background materials
5
48 Water Quality-Develop and implement an energy use reduction plan in water utility operations to reduce electric power consumption See background materials 5
49 Water Quality-Promote water conservation by adopting a public and business sector education program promoting the conservation of public water supplies See background materials 5
50 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
51 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
52 Waste Water-Upgrade wastewater treatment facilities to improve nutrient (Nitrogen, Phosporus) removal and ensure that your treatment plants do not require purchasing nutrient credits. Please describe your compliance history.
See background materials
5
53

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

Please describe briefly or include website link.

See background materials
5
54

Storm Water - Implement voluntary storm water protection initiatives (non –MS4 localities) or initiatives beyond those required by regulation (for MS4 localities). Please describe briefly your initiative and review the various examples in the background material section.

See background materials
5
55 Storm Water-Reduce risks and damages due to flooding by meeting the minimum floodplain management requirements and participate in FEMA's Community Rating System (CRS).

See background materials
5
56 Storm Water-Implement voluntary water protection initiatives above those required by regulation (such as buffers around reservoirs for non MS4s, streams and waterways. Please describe briefly.   See background materials 5
57 Storm Water-Deliver a public outreach program  to inform citizens about effective practices in normal home maintenance activities to prevent and/or reduce pollution from storm water runoff.  

See background materials
5
58 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). See background materials 5
Waste Management
59 Reduce risks and damages due to flooding by meeting the minimum floodplain management requirements to participate in FEMA's community rating system (CRS). See background materials 5
60 Establish a community-wide recycling collection program. See background materials 5
61 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
62 Establish a community-wide recycling and/or collection program that includes e-waste and/or household hazardous materials. See background materials 5
63 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
64 Develop a yard waste and/or food waste recycling program to produce compost for use in landscapes, gardens, and farms. 5
65 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 2017.    See background materials 5
Employee Incentives
66 Adopt a policy that a minimum of 20% of the eligible workforce should participate in alternative work schedules or telework. See background materials 5
67 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
68 Sponsor and energy savings/innovation contest that encourages employees to submit ideas and proposals for reducing energy consumption. 5
69

Innovation Credit - for any personnel policy or program that results in the reduction of carbon emissions (please describe). Points are available only for 2017 actions. 

See background materials
5
Extra Credit
70 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 mpolychrones@vml.org with the subject: Extra credit. See background materials 5
71 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
72 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 2017 actions.  See background materials 5
73 Innovation Credits - for any efforts, policies, activities beyond those identified above. How to score # 44 / See background materials 25
 
Group Totals 475    
 
 
 
 
Green Tips
Hang it Up. Clothes dryers are energy gluttons. To reduce energy use, clean the lint filter after each load (improves air circulation and speeds drying). Use the cool-down cycle, which uses residual heat to complete the drying process. Better yet, abandon your dryer (or use it less often) by hanging up your clothes. Apartment and condo dwellers can buy a drying rack that fits into the bathtub or folds up into the wall. Reduces CO2 emissions, and your clothes will last longer.

Click here to learn more tips