What is Go Green Virginia?

Go Green Virginia is an initiative of the Virginia Municipal League designed to provide the organization's 208 member local governments with helpful information and practical strategies to promote environmental responsibility. The Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) and the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) are partnering with VML in 2009.

The initiative, endorsed by the league's 13-member Executive Committee, recognizes that the Commonwealth's communities need to take innovative steps to reduce energy usage and promote sustainability.

A 30-member Advisory Committee, appointed and chaired by VML Immediate Past President Jay Fisette of Arlington County, oversees the initiative. The advisory committee is comprised of subject experts from the public, private and non-profit sectors.

What kind of programs will make up the Go Green Virginia initiative?

Three substantial undertakings - and a number of smaller ones - comprise the initiative. The three main components are: the Green Government Challenge, a friendly competition that can lead to VML-certification as a "Green Government"; a series of educational regional forums; and compilation of a "best practices" Green Book.  A "Green Community Challenge" is in the planning stages.

What exactly is the Green Government Challenge?

The "Challenge" is a friendly competition designed to encourage implementation of specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce the carbon emissions generated by both the local government and the broader community. Cities, towns and counties can become a certified "Green Government." Many of these actions can save local governments money.  Details on the 2009 program were mailed to VML member local governments on March 9.

How does my local government participate in the Green Government Challenge?

To participate in 2009, VML and VACo member local governments will need to register on the Green Government Challenge portion of this Web site.  Registration opened in early March.

Once registered, the city, town or county should start completing the Challenge and over the next seven months implement new actions and adopt new policies that will increase their total score. The Challenge must be completed and submitted online via the Green Government Challenge portion of this Web site, which provides detailed instructions, technical assistance and samples of actions and policies already established by other jurisdictions. Click here to participate in the Green Government Challenge.

Local governments will earn "green points" by implementing or adopting policies and actions listed in 11 categories. Amassing at least 100 "green points" out of a possible 200 will earn a certification as a "Green Government." In addition, awards will be given to the top three jurisdictions in each of three population brackets (less than 15,000; 15,001-90,000; 90,001-plus). These awards and certificates will be presented at the 2009 VML Annual Conference in Roanoke.

Once completed, take an environmentally friendly step by submitting the Challenge online by Sept. 30, 2009.


If my local government participated in the GreenGovernment Challenge last year, can we participate again in 2009?


Yes. VML encourages all of its member local governments to participate in the 2009 Green Government Challenge, including those that participated last year. While local governments that received cash awards in 2008 will not be eligible for those same awards in 2009, all local governments that participate will be recognized in some fashion. Local governments scoring a minimum of 100 green points will attain either "green certification" or "green re-certification" status. The top three scorers in each of the three population categories will receive cash awards sponsored by Moseley Architects.       

What are the Go Green Virginia Regional Forums?

These regional gatherings - designed for local elected officials and professional staff alike - will provide practical help for local governments to begin or to advance their energy saving and sustainability efforts. The forums also will discuss many of the policies and actions described in the Green Government Challenge that can lead to becoming a certified "Green Government."  In addition, those attending will hear the latest on the availability of federal stimulus money for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG).

When and where will the regional forums be held?

The first forum will be held May 7 in Richmond. The second forum will be held in May 8 in Roanoke. Click here to view information on the 2009 regional forums.

How can my local government have a project included in the best practices Green Book?

VML will solicit an assortment of green best practices from its member local governments in 2009. Local governments will be able to share descriptions of these innovative practices, projects and policies with other local governments by posting them to a special section of this Web site.

What is the Virginia Municipal League?

The Virginia Municipal League is a statewide, nonprofit, nonpartisan association of city, town and county governments established in 1905 to improve and assist local governments through legislative advocacy, research, education and other services. The membership includes all 39 cities in the state, plus 157 towns and 12 counties. Its office is located in downtown Richmond. In addition, the league operates VML Insurance Programs, comprised of the Virginia Group Self Insurance Association and the Virginia Municipal Liability Pool. The programs provide workers' compensation, as well as property and liability coverage, to hundreds of public entities in Virginia.

Who do I contact if I need more information?

Send questions via e-mail to info@gogreenva.org. Or contact Joe Lerch at jlerch@vml.org / 804-523-8530.

Other links:

Green Tips
Use natural lighting or daylighting. When feasible, turn off the lights that are near windows.

Click here to learn more tips