Planning for a Sustainable Future
A Guide for Local Governments


Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Sustainability Planning                                   5
      What isSustainability?                                                  5
      Reasons to Plan                                                       5

2. Getting Started                                                         7

      Assess the Challenge                                                  7
      Identify Vulnerabilities and Prepare for Natural Disasters                      8
      Work Through Existing Resources and Networks                            10
      Build Coalitions                                                       10
      Educate Colleagues and the Public                                       11
      Secure Funding, Reduce Costs                                           12
      Use a Planning Framework                                              14
3. Areas of Opportunity                                                   17

      Transportation                                                        17
      Land Use Planning                                                     21
      Biological Conservation and Open Space Preservation                       25
      Solid Waste Generation and Recycling                                    29
      Energy, Air Quality and Climate                                          35
      Protecting  Water Quality and Ensuring Future Supply                        41
      Green Building                                                        47
      Green Procurement                                                   53

4. Conclusion: Moving  Beyond Planning to Action                          55

      Goal-Setting, Targets, and Performance Measurement Strategies               56
      Wrapping Up and Moving Forward                                       56

5. Preparing the Guide                                                    57


                   Introduction to Sustainability
                  What  is Sustainability?

                  The   U.S.   Environmental  Protection
                  Agency (EPA)  defines Sustainability as
                  "meeting the needs of the present without
                  compromising   the   ability  of  future
                  generations to meet their own needs." In
                  other  words, Sustainability attempts to
                  balance the needs of people today with
                  the future needs of our children and the
                  natural systems that sustain all life.

                  In   an  era  of  population   growth,
                  increasing  economic competition,  and
                  environmental  challenges  ranging from
                  climate change to   air  pollution  and
                  decreasing water levels to rising energy
                  costs,  planning  is essential to our future
                  and the well-being of our communities.
                  Planning in the  face  of these challenges
                  must  transcend traditional  zoning or
                  general land useconsiderations.ltcan also
                  promote Sustainability by  incorporating
                  the three  "E's" - economy, environment
                  and equity in plans for development.

Environment      viable        Economic
 Increasingly,  many local governments,
 ranging from towns and cities to counties
 and regional partnerships,aretaking more
 long-term, comprehensive approaches to
 economic development, with the goal of
 improving overall Sustainability.They have
 recognized that planning for a sustainable
 future can bring real-world benefits to our
 towns and cities.

 What are the best Sustainability practices
 currently in use? How can a community
 move from an idea to a plan to successful
 action? This  handbook, which includes
 information  gathered from  more than
 two  dozen cities, towns and counties
 across the United  States, will provide the
 answers to these questions and provide a
 roadmap for developing effective plans
 for a sustainable future.

 Reasons to Plan

 Sustainability planning is becoming main
 stream.  Once the domain of only  the
"greenest"  cities, Sustainability planning
 is being undertaken by more cities and
 towns  across the nation. While efforts
 like  New York  City's PlaNYC are better
 known, smaller cities like Cleveland, Ohio,
 towns like Sedona, Arizona, and counties
 like  Westchester County,  New York are
 benefiting from an integrated approach
 to resource and community planning.

 Municipal   Sustainability  planning  is
 helping  communities across the country
 lower energy costs,  secure sustainable
 supplies of water, reduce air pollution,and
 encourage new economic development.
 Although every area of the country faces
 its own challenges, sustainable concepts
 and  ideas can be adapted to the needs of
 any size community.



Getting Started
Assess  the Challenge
The critical first step in developing a suc-
cessful sustainability plan is  an  assess-
ment of community strengths and weak-
nesses as well as current and future needs.
Every community is characterized by a set
of unique features - from its climate and
topography  to  local  development pat-
terns. The issues on which you focus will
determine the structure of your local sus-
tainability plan, but most of the municipal
plans discussed in this handbook cover
the following topics:
• land  use planning
•open space  protection
• energy, air quality and climate
• water supply, storm water and wastewa-
• solid waste and recycling

Your final plan may include some or all of
these issues or other areas of concern, but
the overall goal is to be comprehensive
because many of these areas are intercon-

A look at the  best practices used by similar
communities can  provide a comprehen-
sive list of the opportunities and options
useful in  reaching sustainability  goals.
The following are some helpful questions
to ask in developing  community-specific
• What communities in your region or state
are facing similar challenges  in terms of
the environment, population growth and
the local economy?
• What are the  similarities between your
community and others, and  what plans
have  been devised and/or implemented
to meet the challenges?
• Are there examples of "best practices," as
is  or  modified, to help your  community
reach its objectives?
 Environmental  threats,  economic pres-
 sures and  changing  regulations  often
 spur or drive planning efforts, so it's worth
 thinking through these related issues as
• What environmental, economic  or regu-
 latory impacts are the highest priorities?
 How were the priorities determined?
• What studies or projections (environmen-
 tal, land-use patterns, economic develop-
 ment) exist foryour community, region, or
 state for the next five, 10,20, or 50 years?
• What are  the regulatory requirements
 that currently apply or that may be devel-
 oped down the line?
• What is the potential for mitigating or pre-
 venting various threats and how difficult
 or easy will it be to implement change?
• What are  the potential synergies that
 might result from tackling a range of is-
 sues at the same time?  For example, can
 improved open space protection preserve
 biological  resources  and  reduce  flood
 risks?  Can improvements to  a  govern-
 ment's vehicle fleet lower its energy costs
 and reduce local air pollution?

 TIP: As your list grows longer, you may
 wish to employ  a spreadsheet  or data-
 base of some kind.



 Start with a basic self-assessment. The
 National  Environmental  Services Center,
 funded  by  EPA,  provides  a comprehen-
 sive checklist to jump start the process. Assmnt/

 Identify   Vulnerabilities

 and  Prepare for

 Natural  Disasters

 Protecting against natural disasters should
 be a key planning priority. Natural disas-
 ters will always pose potential threats, but
 careful planning can keep them from be-
 coming management disasters. By assess-
 ing your community's vulnerabilities and
 implementing mitigation strategies,  the
 potential impacts can be reduced.

 Risk is  determined by evaluating the po-
 tential  hazard and assessing the vulner-
 ability to the impact. Although evaluating
 risk is often more  qualitative than quanti-
 tative,  it can be useful to think about risk
 as a product of the hazard multiplied by
 the vulnerability. Risk assessment usually
 follows a three-step approach:
• understanding the nature, location, in-
 tensity and probability of the key threats
 in your area
• determining the  degree of vulnerability
 to those threats
• identifying the  resources  available to
 manage or respond

 In evaluating vulnerabilities to particular
 threats, it is common to consider:
• land  use patterns, engineering  of  key
 infrastructure such as roads and bridges,
 and the architecture of the built environ-
• social  factors related to the well-being of
 individuals, communities and society
• economic  conditions,  with  an under-
 standing that distressed and low-income
 neighborhoods may have a more limited
 capacity to evacuate or recover
• environmental concerns, including  how
 the degradation of natural areas such as
 wetlands can increase the damaging im-
 pacts of events

 Particular care should  be taken in evalu-
 ating  how risks associated with natural
 disasters can be potentially compounded
 by the existence or condition of human-
 made infrastructure such as a flood caus-
 ing an overflow of a wastewater treatment
plant.  Your  emergency  preparedness
strategy should also consider  possible
threats such as the potential for an acci-
dental or intentional chemical release, ex-
plosion, outbreak of disease, or even, de-
pending on the area, radiological release.
Government agencies in your area, such
as police,  fire and emergency  manage-
ment, routinely track and evaluate these
types of threats,  so a  multi-stakeholder
approach that involves  relevant local and
regional agencies is critical. In addition, it
is worth considering global threats such
as climate change and population growth.
                              illinium  •
                              Illl111 II III  •



General information on preparing for di-
sasters, determining risks and planning for
emergencies can be found on the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Web site.

In collaboration with FEMA, the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) has developed a Community Vul-
nerability Assessment Tool to help deter-
mine and prioritize vulnerability hazards.

FEMA developed  HAZUS (Hazards  US)
software for estimating potential losses
from natural hazards.

The  Climate  Change  Science  Program
is a portal to federal research on climate
change impacts across all agencies.

NOAA, among  other organizations,  has
been looking at the potential regional im-
pacts of climate change via the Regional
Climate Modeling Tool.

Planning Locally for Climate Change is a
climate change guidebook produced by
the Climate Impacts Group at the Univer-
sity of Washington and members of King
County,  Washington,  in collaboration
with ICLEI.

EPA Regional Vulnerability Assessment
EPA Events of National Significance Web
page  studies  major  disasters and  inci-

Center for Disease Control  Natural Disas-
ters and Extreme Weather

ICLEI Global Platform  for Disaster Risk Re-

UN World Conference on Disaster Reduc-

Additional resources may be found on the
Web sites of municipal governments such
as the Portland Office of Emergency Man-

The Sarasota County and City of Santa Bar-
bara Offices of Emergency Services

Work through  Existing Resources and


As you begin to create your sustainability plan, it's a good idea to take a look at related
work being done by other organizations in your area. Are there agencies conducting rele-
vant studies? Is there a local group involved in protecting open space, a business associa-
tion analyzing the impacts of growth, or a school program focusing on stream cleanups
or water quality?
Chances  are  that at least some plans,
studies and committees  have  been cre-
ated over the years. Organize a meeting
with the coordinators of existing projects
to better coordinate your  planning.

Annual reports tracking water and energy
consumption  as well as wastewater and
solid waste generation should be readily
available  from local and regional utilities.
Land  use planning  and  environmental
documents such as  open space preser-
vation  plans  and natural resource  pro-
tection plans, and environmental impact
statements and reports will also be useful
in identifying what has been done and
what needs to be done.  Anything older
than five  to 10 years may need to be up-
dated, but even  older efforts can provide
worthwhile guidance and data, which will
come in handy when targets are set and
progress is measured.

Once you've taken a survey of ongoing ef-
forts and historical data, the next step is to
look at the local  capacity  needed to man-
age the planning.

Build  Coalitions

Successful planning  efforts are typically
broad-based and encourage participation
by the whole community. By partnering
with residents and existing groups, the
effects of your sustainability plan can be
amplified and staff workload can be mini-

Local volunteers are  a key group to con-
sider as part of  your partnerships, since
they directly benefit and  can help make
the public  case for your plan  to  their
neighbors and friends. Organizing volun-
teer days and getting community mem-
bers involved in the planning process is
not only helpful, but required in some
areas such as land use planning.

Forming ad hoc committees or  commis-
sions, overseen by government officials, is
another effective way to address specific
environmental planning issues while al-
lowing interested community members
to contribute their expertise. Inviting com-
munity members to participate  in meet-
ings is a good way to recruit them to serve
on a committee. The Westchester County
Global  Warming Task Force in New York,
for example,  allows interested  commu-
nity members to work on specific issues
without being permanent members.

Local environmental groups are another
potential set of organizations with which
communities can partner during the plan-
ning process. Environmental groups often
bring specialized expertise in  areas  such
as watershed protection or smart growth
planning. Ensuring that all local  environ-
mental concerns are considered can help
create broad-based  support for the plan-
ning process. Some  examples are Denver,
Colorado, where the city has involved the
FrontRange Earth Force in its planning
process, and  Westchester County,  New
York, which is working with the  Natural
Resources Defense  Council (NRDC) and
Riverkeeper, among other groups.

Because environmental sustainability and
the long-term economic viability of com-
munities are linked, businesses, business
associations and chambers of  commerce

are also important partners. Resource and
planning issues, such as the availability of
water, the price of energy and accessibil-
ity to transportation, are often of critical
importance to  the local  business com-
munity.  In addition, local businesses can
provide   both  technical  resources  and
funding  for your sustainability planning

Along with community  members,  non-
profits and business groups, other gov-
ernment agencies are another key con-
stituency to consider. For instance, a city
or town  may want to, or in some cases, be
required to involve regional or state agen-
cies  in their planning process.  Outside
agencies may be able to provide a wealth
of resources  and assistance,  including
grants, loans or other financing.

Academic organizations are also possible
partners. As members of the commu-
nity, universities, colleges and technical
                                         schools may have a direct interest in the
                                         local government sustainability planning
                                         process. In addition, these organizations
                                         can provide technical resources, research
                                         support and venues for public discussions.
                                         The  Montgomery County  Greenhouse
                                         Gas Task Force, for example,  was devel-
                                         oped as the result of a project  conducted
                                         by Pennsylvania State University graduate

                                         Faith and service organizations, transpor-
                                         tation advocacy groups and labor unions
                                         are  also  potential  partners depending
                                         on the  interests of local groups and the
                                         needs of the community.

                                         In creating workable coalitions, try to bal-
                                         ance the desire for broad support from
                                         many sectors of the community and the
                                         need to keep the groups from becoming
Educate       Colleagues

and the Public

Once you take your baseline, look at ap-
plicable planning approaches, and assess
potential partners, the next essential step
is to articulate the need for a plan to your
city, town or county government. As part
of your internal outreach,  you may want
to create a project brief that outlines pos-
sible benefits, looks at costs and creates a
timeline for major milestones.

Based on an analysis of various sustain-
ability plans, the best ones  are concise,
discuss top-level  goals and  are not too
technical. They emphasize  the challenges
unique to  individual communities  and
the benefits of planning for  the commu-
nity. They also make a combined appeal
to civic culture, area values and economic

Strong leadership is essential to the suc-
cess of your sustainability  plan. This role
can be taken on effectively by an elected
official, a planning or community devel-
opment department in the local govern-

 merit, a community-based commission, a
 prominent local business or a hybrid ap-
 proach that combines all of these stake-
 holders. The  importance  of  leadership
 cannot be over estimated.

 In developing your plan, confirm that
 leaders in local government  and  senior
 managers in implementing departments
 a re aware of:
• the implementation strategy  and  sched-
 ule for the programs
• the estimated labor commitment need-
 ed for program success
• when, how and what to communicate to
 employees on a regular basis
• how your  programs align with current
 management plans and programs

 One of the most significant  challenges
 in discussing  sustainability  is creating
 greater public awareness of the interde-
 pendence between the environment, the
 economy and community life, and  the
 reasons they don't have to conflict with
 each other. Cooperation between  public
 agencies, non-profit  organizations and
 the private sector can create compelling
 messages and materials to improve public
 understanding of the issues and the plan-
 ning process. Effective outreach materials
 should be specific to your area and  based
 on the actual experiences of local people,
 organizations and the government.



 Place Matters: This is an educational Web
 site for citizen engagement and commu-
 nity education.

 Sustainable Communities Network is a
 Web site that offers several resources and
 links to organizations working  on sustain-
 ability education.

 The Education for Sustainability Web  site
 was  created by the Center for a Sustain-
able Future.

Secure Funding,

Reduce Costs

As initial planning is conducted and en-
vironmental objectives are being defined,
you will also need to consider how you
will fund the planning process and future
projects. Just as each municipality's sus-
tainability plan will vary, so will their ap-
proach towards funding.

Some municipalities find supportthrough
government grants  programs. Various
grants are available  from  EPA, the U.S.
Department of Energy and state depart-
ments of environmental protection. For
example, the  Burlington Legacy Project
in Vermont was  funded  in  part by an
EPA Sustainable Development Challenge

TIP: Prepare your organization to  apply
for grant  opportunities  by  registering
your  search  parameters  and  automati-
cally receive an e-mail notification of new
grant  opportunities.

Public-private  partnerships are also  po-
tentially valuable financing  tools. The
United States Conference of  Mayors pro-
vides  numerous examples of municipali-
ties teaming up with non-governmental
organizations, utilities, water boards, busi-
nesses and other partners. Not only do
such efforts frequently result in funding
to help in reaching  sustainability  goals,
they also help foster support for planning

Among the most frequently cited and
successful  sources of sustainability fund-
ing are programs that result  in cost sav-
ings. In some  cases,  upfront  investment
in long-lasting  infrastructure  — projects
that are amortized over decades — can
be offset by long-term savings.

According  to  the  United  States Confer-
ence of Mayors, typical cost savings come
•  energy reduction strategies (e.g.,  on-
site  renewable energy or replacement of
lighting with high-efficiency alternatives)
• purchase of low-energy appliances
•green building projects
•  vehicle emissions reduction  programs
such as the replacement of leaking gas
• arbor projects that add shade and/or cre-
ate natural  stormwater buffers
• recycling programs
•education  and training
• traffic-signal optimization

Weighing  the  benefits and costs  of a
given approach is a frequent first-step
in the  budgetary process,  but  it is rarely
straightforward,  especially when assess-
ing  environmental benefits.  How  does
one quantify the value  of clean air, open
space,  a pristine shoreline, quality of life,
or, for that  matter, human lives, especially
those of future generations? One broad
rule of thumb is that it is usually best to
start with  the most pressing  problems
and those  that lend themselves to the
most direct and cost-effective solutions.
Then use a  systematic planning approach
such as an environmental management
system  (EMS),  described in the next sec-
tion of this handbook, to continue to im-
prove performance over time.

It is also important to consider the full
cost and full benefits of each  approach
to determine an accurate payback period.
For example, preventing sewer overflows
into rivers  and seas can improve drink-
ing water,  aquatic-based commerce and
tourism. Electricity and fuel-saving  pro-
grams can  reduce operating costs, and re-
cycling  materials, like aluminum and cop-
per, can be lucrative.The payback periods
may be shorter than you think. In just one
instance, the San Diego Refuse Disposal
Division saved $868,000 in heavy equip-
ment and  diesel charges by shutting off
equipment during breaks and lunch peri-


TIP: Use ENERGY START'S Cash  Flow op-
portunity calculator to estimate the pay-
back  period for investments.  ENERGY
STAR is a joint EPA, U.S. Department of
Energy program  that helps  businesses
and individuals protect the environment
through superior energy efficiency.



EPA and  other federal grant opportuni-

The U.S. Department of Energy database
of incentives for renewable energy and
efficiency  has  detailed  information on
state and  local incentives and  funding

U.S. Department of Energy Funding for
Energy Efficiency

The U.S. Department of Housing and Ur-
ban Development offers incentives for
redevelopment via its  Home Ownership

EPA's Guidebook of Financial Tools: Pay-
ing for Sustainable Environmental Sys-

Center for American Progress Green Re-
covery: A Program to  Create Good Jobs
and Start Building a Low-Carbon Econo-
issues/2008/09/pdf/g reen_recovery.pdf
               and \SB
  Survey environmental impact
and issues Assess environmental
       activity plans

r/anagement review
  of operations
                     Internal audits
                     Corrective and
 Use a Planning


 Even  the most  successful sustainability
 planning effort  needs  a  systematic  ap-
 proach for managing and reducing envi-
 ronmental impacts. Environmental Man-
 agement Systems (EMS) provide a vetted
 framework that  allows communities to
 address both specific and broad environ-
 mental issues in order to realize desired
 outcomes. By addressing root causes and
 integrating  environmental  approaches
 into everyday operations, environmental
 stewardship can  become a priority across
 your entire organization.

 Every EMS follows a basic four-step mod-
• The Plan phase is used to analyze current
 environmental impacts and legal require-
 ments, and then to set appropriate envi-
 ronmental goals and objectives.
• The Do phase moves to implementing
 specific programs and processes to meet
 objectives  and targets. Tasks might in-
 clude training employees and establish-
 ing operational  controls. Being  precise
 about assigning responsibilities to ensure
                        Implement environ-
                       mental activities Build
                        implementation and
                        operation systems
                        Educate employees

 accountability is a must.
• The Check phase includes internal audit-
 ing,  monitoring progress, assessing suc-
 cesses and failures, identifying areas for
 improvement and benchmarking. Evalu-
 ating employee understanding  of the
 system and retraining employees when
 necessary is key to keeping the  system
 current and useful.
• The Act phase  is for reviewing progress,
 performing management  reviews and
 implementing improvements to the plan,
 which can start the planning process

 General information the EMS process can
 also  be found on EPA's Web site:

 EPA  has found that an EMS can help mu-
• improve  environmental  performance
 and enhance regulatory compliance
• prevent pollution and conserve resources
• reduce environmental hazards
• attract new businesses and create new
• increase  energy efficiency and  reduce
• enhance employee morale and aware-
 ness as well as recruiting
• enhance a community's  image with the
 public, regulators, lenders and investors
• qualify a community for recognition and
 incentive programs such  as the EPA Per-
 formance Track Program

 Communicating the successful results of
 your EMS  is a great way to demonstrate
 cost  savings,  environmental  improve-
 ments and leadership.


The Public Entity EMS Resource Center is
a collaborative effort between EPA and
the Global Environment and Technology

EPA funded the creation of Clean Air  Cli-
mate  Protection (CACP) software by  Lo-
cal  Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI).
CACP is designed to help  local govern-
ments formulate climate action plans and
is used by the U.S. Conference of Mayors
to compute emissions numbers and calcu-
late cost savings.

Climate  and Air Pollution Planning Assis-
tant (CAPPA). EPA funded this ICLEI tool, as
a more comprehensive planning support

The International Organization for  Stan-
dardization (ISO) developed management
system standards  including  quality and
environmental management.  cataogue/
management  standards/iso  9000
iso  14000/iso 14000 essentials.htm

Sustainability  Reporting Framework and
Guidelines.  Although  primarily for busi-
nesses, this product of the Global Report-
ing  Initiative can help  communities and
organizations track and  report indicators.

The U.S. Green Building Council, known
for  its  energy-efficient  and environmen-
tally-conscious construction  and  opera-
tion standards, is pilot testing a new LEEDฎ
(Leadership in Energy and  Environmental
Design) system for neighborhood design.  avPage.


Areas of  Opportunity

 In 2005, according to the U.S. Department
 of Transportation, traffic congestion re-
 sulted in 4.2 billion hours of travel delay,
2.9 billion gallons of wasted fuel, and a
 net urban congestion cost of nearly $80
 billion. The social and environmental im-
 pacts of congestion, such as the value of
 lost time and extra air pollution  created
 by idling, are no less important. Propos-
 ing more and wider roads only tempo-
 rarily  mitigates congestion and results in
 lasting  consequences - more air pollu-
 tion from increased  vehicle traffic, more
 stormwater  run-off due to increases in
 impervious surfaces, and threats to open
 spaces and wildlife corridors.

 What are called for are innovative  ap-
 proaches that add more options  for pub-
 lic transportation and reduce  the need
 for driving. The good news  is  that com-
 munities that  have successfully added
 public  transportation  and  revitalized
 downtown areas have often reaped big
 rewards, including  reduced  commute
 times, improved air  quality and a reduc-
 tion in greenhouse gas  emissions. Other
 less quantifiable benefits include reduced
 asthma rates,  improved integration of
 disparate  neighborhoods, especially  for
 communities with environmental justice
 concerns, and  increased  safety  for  pe-
 destrians, cyclists and drivers alike. Com-
 muters who have public transportation
 options are often able to save money, es-
 pecially as fuel prices continue to increase.
 Promoting walking and bicycling  can pro-
 mote physical fitness and reduce health
 care expenses.
 Best Practices and


 Planning approaches range from simple
 changes of existing infrastructure to com-
 prehensive efforts to rethink how a region
 travels.  Although  the creation of major
 new projects, such as the introduction of
 light rail, can take time and require ma-
jor capital spending, these efforts can be
 linked with other large-scale projects to
 revitalize downtowns and reshape devel-
 opment patterns.

There are a  range of feasible  and cost-
 effective transportation  approaches that
 are worth considering, including:
•car-pooling  programs
• creation or upgrade of bike lanes and
 paths, sidewalks and walking paths to en-
 courage non-motorized transportation
• installation  of clean diesel technologies
 on municipal  vehicles,  equipment and
• upgrade and  expansion of public trans-
 portation services such as bus rapid tran-
 sit, trolleys, ferries, trains and light rail
• optimization of transportation routes and
•  agreements  with  local  businesses  to
 stagger delivery and commute times, and
 encourage telecommuting
• incentives to use public transportation by
 providing park and ride spaces
•promotion of car sharing services such as
 providing on-street  parking for car shar-
 ing businesses in your community
• support of  walking  and  biking  by pro-
 viding bike route maps, bike parking and
 street beautification programs
• development of "transportation corridors"
 between communities by linking existing


 public transportation services with neigh-
 boring communities
• creation of public transportation along or
 parallel  to  existing highway/arterial cor-

 To  develop a  strategic action  plan  for
 sustainable  transportation,  communi-
 ties may need to establish  a dedicated
 planning group to work jointly with local,
 state and federal  agencies. Reducing con-
 gestion and improving access to public
 transport requires the integration of land
 use planning for  new residential develop-
 ment and major  employment and enter-
 tainment attractions with the creation of
 accessible transit  hubs.

 Measuring  Success

 Communities may evaluate their progress
 by  measuring  operational effectiveness
 and efficiency, environmental  impacts,
 behavioral  changes in public transporta-
 tion choices and infrastructure security.
 Some specific indicators could include:
• fossil fuel consumption, by mean annual
 gallons of fuel savings
• greenhouse gas emissions, in annual tons
 of carbon equivalents
• traffic congestion, in  total  hours saved
 each year
• commute times,  by average length
• miles of bike lanes
• public transit  ridership and system  rev-
• miles of public transit routes
• distance traveled to public transportation
• results of rider or  driver satisfaction  sur-
• plans to modify public transportation  sys-
 tems such as retrofitting buses or invest-
 ing in electric-powered systems
• the number of  people traveling by  car-


EPA regulates air pollution from all kinds
of motor vehicles and engines and en-
courages travel  choices  that  minimize
emissions. The Agency has a lot of useful
information for state and  local govern-
ments on its Web site, including easy-to-
use calculators and modeling tools.

EPA also provides information on trans-
portation "conformity," required  by  the
Clean Air Act to ensure that federal fund-
ing and approvals are given to highway
and transit  projects  that are consistent
with the goals established by each state's
air quality implementation plan.

The U.S. Department of Transportation
offers several  programs to assist rural ar-
eas and small communities, such as the
Transportation  Toolbox  for  Rural  Areas
and Small Communities and Urban Part-
nership Agreements.

The U.S. Department of Transportation
has developed "Transportation Vision for
2030," a document that provides specific
strategies for passenger transportation,
freight transportation, financing and part-
nerships, and technology and innovation.
www.websl -

The U.S. Department of Transportation
has information on how to get funding
for bicycle and pedestrian projects.

                       Transportation Case Study:
                       Westchester County,  New York
                       Action  Plan is on a  Roll
 In its sustainability plan, Westchester County, a com-
 munity just north of New York City, included an as-
 sessment of local transportation  infrastructure  and
 approaches to reducing greenhouse gases from the
 transportation sector.  The  benefit: more efficient
 fleets, lower municipal costs and less traffic cut down
 on air pollution. To achieve these  goals, the plan set
 out a series of transportation strategies:

 The first strategy is the  creation of partnerships with
 neighboring communities and local businesses to
 reduce transportation demands. Specific approaches
• use of carpools and van-pools
• participation in ride sharing programs such as Nu
• encouragement of car sharing via services provided
 by private rental companies that will rent cars for short
 (hour long) or long (week long) periods of time
• establishment of a  private transportation network
 where people who  have  common local or far desti-
 nations can carpool to save on costs, air pollution and
 so they can enjoy each  other's company
• promotion of flexible work weeks and telecommut-
• consolidation of transportation across school districts
 by establishing a county-wide network of school dis-
 trict coordinators for clean transportation

 A  second  strategy is support for the  use of public
 transit. Westchester is fortunate to have an extensive
 network of public transit and school bus services avail-
 able in many communities.

The third strategy is the promotion and development
 of alternate modes of transportation such as biking or

The fourth strategy is the replacement of vehicles and
 better management of municipal fleets. The plan en-
 courages the purchase of hybrid, flex-fueled and alter-
 native fueled vehicles. Some effective fleet manage-
 ment practices include:
• a comprehensive survey to determine fleet needs
• a green vehicle replacement and retrofitting strategy
• matching of vehicle size to the required tasks
• retrofitting buses with  devices that prevent idling and
 unnecessary burning of fossil fuels, and  older buses
 with tailpipe and crankcase filters to reduce air pollu-

The  plan includes other strategies  to reduce green-
 house gas emission such as encouraging businesses
 and  households to purchase carbon  offsets and substi-
 tuting virtual technology, such as video conferencing,
 for travel.

 Further information is available at:


 Land  Use Planning
Land use planning is a critical element in
developing vibrant and livable communi-
ties, increasing property values, ensuring
economic vitality, addressing  potential
human  health issues,  promoting trans-
portation efficiency,  ensuring affordable
housing, and improving environmental
sustainability. Compact, efficient  urban
development improves the health and
quality-of-life of  area  residents,  revital-
izes the local economy and  increases
environmental  sustainability.  Develop-
ment  of compact areas, even in small
downtown areas, can reduce travel times,
help preserve open space and reduce the
commercial  pressure to sprawl.  Neigh-
borhoods with walkable areas  stimulate
a strong sense of place and enhance an
area's overall livability, while encouraging
the development of  strong, vibrant com-

Zoning is the main tool in  land use plan-
ning and can be  used  to direct develop-
ment and redevelopment in urban areas
to ensure that municipalities grow in  a
sustainable manner.  Innovative land use
planning policies and smart growth tech-
niques are central in creating comprehen-
sive municipal sustainability plans.

Larger municipalities may  find it benefi-
cial to create a new office for sustainabil-
ity to  work in cooperation  with existing
planning. Smaller municipalities may not
have this option.  In such cases,  it may be
effective to  recruit local residents, com-
munity  leaders,  business   owners and
environmental groups  to  advise  local
government on land use decisions and
development goals.

Best  Practices and


Smart growth principles can be applied
to a range of critical planning issues in-
cluding  community quality of life, urban
design, economic development, environ-
 mental issues, human health, affordable
 and  accessible housing, and transporta-
 tion. Smart growth principles usually en-
 compass the following:
• a range of housing choices and  price-
 points based around compact, walkable
• mixed land use in the form of combined
 retail and residential development
• community  and stakeholder  collabora-
 tion  in development decisions
• support for distinctive, attractive com-
 munities with a strong sense of place
• predictable development decisions that
 are fair and cost effective
• preservation  of open  space, farmland,
 natural beauty and  critical environmental
• a variety of transportation choices
• development directed  towards existing
 communities  and  transportation  corri-
• compact building design
• appropriate remediation and redevelop-
 ment of brownfields
• formal  parks and plazas in  proximity to
 residential areas

 Large cities such as Denver, Seattle and
 Portland  offer excellent insight into sus-
 tainable  land use  planning  practices.
 While smart growth  principles  offer an
 excellent theoretical framework for taking
 steps towards sustainable growth, these
 city  planning departments have  demon-
 strated how such principles can be used
 on the ground.

 Measuring  Success

 Some specific indicators of successful land
 use planning are:
• population density and distribution
• percent of green space per  neighbor-
• vehicle miles traveled per capita and av-
 erage commute times
• frequency of walking or bike trips per
• results of surveys of neighborhood safety


and livability
•energy use per capita
• number of energy efficient buildings in
the municipality



EPA's Smart Growth Web  page contains
more information on  applicable tech-

Smart Growth Principles

The City of Portland's Sustainable Devel-
opment Commission has created a com-
prehensive guide for identifying indicators
and measuring progress to determine the
success of sustainable planning and de-
velopment strategies. The indicator ma-
trix can be found on the City of Portland's
Web site.

Seattle Department of Planning and De-

Green Print Denver

City of Portland Bureau of Planning

                      Land  Use Planning Case Study:
                      Portland, Oregon
                      Land  Use Planning Evolves
 Recognized among American cities as one of the most dedicated to planning, Portland is frequently
 progressive transportation and  land use  policies, downtown redevelopment and success in conta:
 sprawl. Building on this success, Portland's Bureau of Planning initiated a comprehensive plan to guide
 development within the city over the next 30 years. The "Portland Plan" identifies a number of goals i
 regional development policies that encourage walking, access to public transit and the preservation of
                                                                                  cited for its
                                                                                  ning urban
                                                                                  growth and
                                                                                  nd outlines
                                                                                  open space,
ile allowing for population growt
                                       nomic development
The goals of the plan include:
• creating a rich and enjoyable environment for pedestrians throughout the central city
• striving for excellence in the design of new buildings
• encouraging construction to enhance the human scale of buildings, streets and open spaces
• promoting districts with distinct characters and a diverse and rich mixture of uses
• identifying and protecting significant public views
• locating the highest density populations downtown and along potential and existing transit corridors

Through careful planning and a holistic approach to land use decisions, Portland's I
for substantial increases in new jobs, housing units and commercial spaces, without increasing the nun-
occupied by the central city.
 Further information is available online

 Land-use planning should protect
ecosystems and open space as these
areas often provide critical natural

 Biological Conservation and
 Open Space Preservation
As our nation's  population continues to
grow and as development of open space
continues,  preserving  special   natural
places and  prime  agricultural land be-
comes ever more important. Open space
can be a soggy wetland, a verdant forest
or a breezy grassland. These ecosystems
provide habitat for an abundance of wild-
life, critical protections such as flood con-
trol, and add to aesthetic appeal and  a
general sense of well-being.

Preserving  open space is a  frequently
used  strategy in comprehensive  munici-
pal sustainability planning and  garners
high levels  of public support  because of
the attractiveness of open spaces and
their value to local residents both  socially
and economically. Open space preserva-
tion can provide  aesthetic appeal and
recreation opportunities,  while enhanc-
ing local real estate values and  making
communities more livable.  Burlington,
Vermont; Westchester  County; Sarasota
County, Florida; Brownsville,  Texas; and
Davis, California all provide excellent ex-
amples. Lake Champlain  Bikeways, for
example, a  public-private partnership  in
Burlington,  Vermont connects  various
practical as well as historic sites  around
the city, appealing to both residents and
visitors alike.

Best Practices and


Techniques to safeguard environmentally
sensitive areas vary  across communities
and  types  of surrounding  ecosystems.
EPA identifies three of the most common
•  protecting wetlands
•  establishing buffers along  rivers and
•  creating  greenbelts and  conservation
 Plan Smart New Jersey identifies three
 key open space  protection tactics. First,
 it  promotes conservation easements, re-
 strictions requiring a property to be main-
 tained forever in an underdeveloped or
 natural state.  Second, it encourages de-
 veloper set-asides, which  are  voluntary
 protections created when  projects  are
 planned. The  Plan Smart guide suggests
 that for maximum effect, "the jurisdiction
 should encourage developers to set aside
 land in stream corridors, mature forests,
 and other key environmental areas iden-
 tified  during the planning process, or  it
 should use the in-lieu contributions to
 purchase this  land." And third, it includes
 outright  purchase, which, "provided  the
 jurisdiction is  committed to maintaining
 the land in a natural state, is the best way
 to ensure that land remains preserved."
 Measuring Success

 Some  specific indicators  for biological
 conservation  and  open space preserva-
 tion are:
• acres of land in easement
• acres of protected wetland areas
• number of bike  paths in proximity to
 popular sites



To measure and assess the status of eco-
system health, it is important to  have
good indicators. EPA discusses this topic
in its report, Community Based Environ-
mental Protection.

New Jersey's Plan Smart Full Guide

The Defenders of Wildlife Incentives for
Conservation  has extensive information
on available approaches.  and
policy/habitat conservation/private
lands/landowner incentives



Solid Waste Generation and Recycling
According to EPA statistics for 2006, the
average person in the U.S. generated 4.6
pounds of waste per day and recycled 1.5
pounds. The energy saved by recycling
is the equivalent  of more than 10 billion
gallons of gasoline per year. Yet, the two
most  common  management  strategies
for  municipal garbage are to construct
local landfills to dispose of solid waste or
to transport the waste to other communi-

As populations increase, landfills reach ca-
pacity and newer facilities remain  difficult
to site. If municipalities choose to  remote-
ly dispose of their waste, they incur the
added cost of transporting it. These costs
include depreciation of vehicles,  person-
nel  hours  to transport trash, fuel  for the
vehicles, as well  as administrative costs
and uncertainty associated  with contract

Wherever your trash goes, a comprehen-
sive sustainability plan should have the
goal of reducing the amount of trash that
enters the waste stream. Solutions include
programs to encourage recycling and re-
using materials, increasing composting of
organic waste and turning waste into us-
able energy. More and more communities
are  looking at their waste stream  as a po-
tential source of energy. The term waste-
to-energy is used for many different types
of projects, including capturing  landfill
methane for electricity generation or fuel
use, diverting organics for  processing in
anaerobic digesters, or converting waste
vegetable oil into biodiesel.

As we  reduce  our waste  stream,  more
land can  be used for other services, and
less money needs to be spent to man-
age waste. A community  sustainability
plan should address the 3 R's of the waste
stream — reduce, reuse and recycle.

In addition, many items placed in house-
hold trash are hazardous  materials that
should be disposed of properly. These
include paints  and  chemicals,   batter-
 ies, electronics (E-waste) and light bulbs.
 Construction debris and materials (C&D)
 come from  waste  that results from the
 construction, renovation and demolition
 of buildings, roads and  bridges.  While
 C&D is  not  accounted for in municipal
 solid waste,  the municipal waste stream
 includes building demolition  and renova-
 tion materials from construction.

 Best Practices  and


 A waste audit is a crucial first step  in reduc-
 ing the flow of garbage. It can identify op-
 portunitiesforwaste diversion, prevention
 and  reduction, and increasing recycling.
 Review  historic data to  determine how
 much is being thrown out, how  much is
 being recycled (if a program exists), and
 any other programs that your community
 may have in place. It's also important to
 document the costs associated with dis-
 posal and reduction programs.

 Once a basic inventory is complete and
 a  baseline  is defined, you  can  identify
 targets. Your initial target could  be as
 simple as starting  a recycling program (if
 one doesn't exist) or expanding  an exist-
 ing program. Using the  baseline  inven-
 tory, you can monitor and compare future
 waste generation to see if your program
 is a success.
 Reducing Waste:
• Implement a "Pay as you Throw" system
 that charges residents for what they actu-
 ally throw out to encourage them to dis-
 card less to save money.
• Use full cost accounting, which identifies
 and  assesses the costs  associated  with
 managing a solid waste facility to account
 for the real costs of solid waste manage-
 ment. It  also assists  with short and  long-
 term planning by local  policy makers to
 identify opportunities to streamline and
 improve operations.


• Implement or expand a compost program.
Organize short-term seasonal events spe-
cifically for grass clippings, fallen leaves or
Christmas trees. Later, transition to a long-
term municipal-run food waste program
for residents, farmer's  markets, local  res-
taurants/businesses  or schools and hos-
• Make  better purchases. Buying products
that are longer lasting or recyclable, con-
tain less packaging materials, and are less
harmful to the environment is a  proac-
tive step to reducing your municipal solid
waste. Refer to the green procurement
section for more information.

Reuse and Recycling:
• Improve information on how to recycle
properly and create incentives for recy-
cling programs in your community.
• Provide opportunities for second  life or
reuse of soft used  items, such as a materi-
als and waste exchange.

Safe Disposal of Hazardous Waste:
Both commercial  and  residential hazard-
ous wastes  are harmful  to  the  environ-
mentand to human health if notdisposed
of in the appropriate manner. Whether it's
an annual or year-round program, house-
hold and commercial hazardous  waste
should be a part of your municipal solid
waste reduction program to ensure these
materials are disposed of appropriately.

Electronics waste  is an increasing com-
ponent of local waste streams and the
new frontier in solid waste management.
Many municipalities and facilities have in-
stituted programs to address  hazardous
materials  in the waste stream.  E-waste
programs are  still relatively young, and
often experimental.  As a  result,  E-waste
is  generally handled through special  col-
lection events ratherthan as a continuous
collection program.

According  to EPA,  approximately  1.9
to 2.2  million tons of used or  unwanted
electronics was disposed of in 2005. The
majority, 1.5 to 1.9 million tons, was  dis-
posed  of in landfills, while only  345,000
to 379,000 tons were recycled. It is clear
 Total MSW Generation, 2006
         (251  Million Ions)
that there is  still considerable  room for
improvement,  and  e-waste  strategies
should be an integral component of any
local sustainability planning effort.

Construction  and Demolition  (C&D) dis-
Keeping  this  material out of the waste
stream can conserve landfill space. C&D
waste  reduction can also  be addressed
through green building practices and by
setting up recycling centers for building
 Measuring  Success

 Some specific indicators for solid waste
 generation and recycling are:
• reduction of the waste stream reaching
 local landfills or being exported
•increased percentage of recycled  materi-
 als (e.g.,  metal, plastic, glass, paper, yard
 trimmings and E-waste)
• reduction in the amount of recycled  ma-
 terials found during a secondary sort
                                        Source: EPA, 2007

• creation of a waste stream baseline via an

TIP: EPA has developed a voluntary, stan-
dard  methodology for  measuring  recy-
cling rates. This Web site helps state and
local  government  officials learn  more
about the standard methodology:



The waste section of EPA's Web site offers
information on all types of waste oppor-
tunities, educational resources and  pro-
grams to dispose of, reduce,  reuse and
recycle things found in the waste stream.

EPA Waste Assessment Web site offers in-
formation  on evaluating what is thrown
away and  what is recycled in your com-

Decision Makers' Guide to Solid Waste
Management aims to provide cost-effec-
tive solutions to solid waste management
that protect quality of life and the  envi-

The EPA WasteWise  partnership program
assists organizations  in reducing solid
waste as well as  improving cost savings
and benefits to  the  environment. The
Web  site offers a variety of information
about the  program, including resources
on reducing waste, planning and imple-
menting your programs, and reporting
your results and celebrating success.

EPA's Pay As You Throw (PAYT) program
offers several resources for local officials
looking to  implement a PAYT program.
EPA Full Cost Accounting Resource.

The Florida State Department of Environ-
mental Protection has a Web site devoted
to full cost accounting with access to soft-
ware  and a  report entitled The  FUNda-
mentalsof FCA.

EPA offers information about composting
as well as resources on  local legislation,
environmental benefits, publications and

The state of Maryland has an annual goal
of reducing  its waste by 40 percent and
a credit system that became effective in
2000 to assist participating counties and
Baltimore. The  Web site offers  informa-
tion on the state's initiative to divert waste
through source reduction.
LandPrograms/Recy cling/source_

EPA's  In Your Community Web site.

Consider  generating  less  trash  overall.
EPA provides tools for local communities
to encourage the decrease  in overall con-

Communicate the success of your recy-
cling and reduction programs to constitu-

This  Web  site provides the  latest infor-
mation on EPA guidelines for procuring
recycled-content  products.  It  contains
the  latest comprehensive procurement
guidelines, upcoming events and infor-
mation on designated products.

Materials and waste exchange programs
exist all  over the globe and serve as op-
portunities to match up buyers and sell-
ers by creating a market for recyclable and
reusable commodities. This Web site pro-
vides links to international, national and
state specific exchanges.

San  Francisco  EcofindeRRR is a govern-
ment Web site that  allows residents to
look up what can be recycled, reused or
disposed of, how to do it, and where to
bring it. It's a great resource to help iden-
tify opportunities that may exist in your

EPA's Recycle on the Go initiative encour-
ages recycling in public places.

The mission of Earth 911 is "to deliver ac-
tionable local  information on  recycling
and product stewardship that empowers
consumers to act locally, live  responsibly
and contribute to sustainability." The Web
site and its 1-800-CLEANUP number offer
information and resources on  recycling
and reuse  locations across the nation. is a cost effective and en-
vironmental conscious solution that gives
communities  incentives for encouraging
recycling to minimize the rising costs of
waste disposal.  In addition it  manages
and provides reports to track the success
of the program.
San Francisco's Zero Waste  Program de-
fines the city's aggressive goal of reaching
zero waste by 2020. Its Web site contains
information on the programs available in
the city and how it plans to reach its goal
through reducing, reusing and recycling.

EPA developed the  Resource  Conserva-
tion and Recovery Act (RCRA) on-line pro-
gram  to encourage the reuse  and recla-
mation of hazardous materials.

EPA provides Information on the  proper
disposal of paints, pesticides, cleaners, oils
and other types of household hazardous
waste to prevent  contaminated ground
water and other pollution.

EPA e-cycling resources and tips are avail-
able on-line.

Goodwill Industries and Dell Computers
partner with local  communities to create
recovery programs for electronics in an
effort  to reuse and recycle this potential
waste stream in an  environmentally  re-
sponsible way.

Waste-to-energy information is  available
on EPA's Web site.

EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program

                            Solid Waste  Case  Study:
                            San Francisco, California
                            Moves Towards Zero Waste
In 2003, San Francisco adopted aggressive waste reduction goals. By 2010, the city aims to divert 75 percent of
waste headed to the landfill; by 2020 the goal is to divert 100 percent of the waste stream. According to the De-
partment of Environment's Strategic Plan, they are currently two thirds (69 percent) of the way to reaching their
zero waste goal. The city has made rapid progress by implementing a 3-cart system for waste collection, providing
grants, forging partnerships and promoting a host of other recycling and waste reduction initiatives.
The 3-cart system is a convenient, user-friendly system that encourages recycling of waste by making the process
as easy as possible. Containers are color coded to help sort waste into the appropriate cart: bottles, cans and paper
in the blue cart, compostable items (food scraps and yard waste) in the green cart and all non-recyclable, non-
compostable garbage in the black cart.

The ecofindeRRR Web site-based program has a quick and advanced search function to find out how to dispose of
almost anything. The extensive database of options can be sorted by material, location, services (e.g., pick up, drop
off, etc.), end use (e.g., recycle, repair, reuse, etc.), and by associated costs (e.g., buy back, free, payment, etc.).
                      " rnvironment, the Commission on the Environment, the Board of Supervisors and the
Mayor nas oeen extremely successful at creating policy by passing resolutions and ordinances that help reach the
zero waste goal. The intent is to have the government lead by example while encouraging the general public and
private sector to follow along. Recent resolutions are encouraging innovative approaches such  as "precautionary"
purchasing to minimize waste, a demolition debris recovery plan and a new program to recycle computers and

SF Environment also offers a variety of grant programs that disperse approximately $600,000 a year to initiatives
that increase the diversion of waste in a cost-effective way. Funds are available to nonprofit organizations for proj-
ects ranging from reuse and recycling to market development and education.
The work of SF Environment's Zero Waste team involves a broad spectrum of partners to carry out, promote and
develop effective programs. Partners range from local haulers to city agencies as well as hundreds of other for-
profitand nonprofit organizations.
For more information see: www.sfenvironment.ora/


              Energy, Air Quality and  Climate

              Communities need reliable sources of affordable energy. With rising fuel prices and
              growing concerns about the impacts of fossil-fuel power generation, sustainable energy
              solutions have never been more important, especially at the municipal level. Energy
              based on fossil fuels, whether for electricity, heating or transportation, results in air pol-
              lution. Fossil fuel consumption causes both chemical and particulate air pollution, better
              known as smog. Ozone and acid rain can be problems too, depending on local condi-
              tions. The burning of fossil fuels contributes more than 80 percent of total annual U.S.
              greenhouse gases.
              Improving energy efficiency and adding
              renewable energy sources can help com-
              munities reduce air pollution  while  re-
              ducing the output of greenhouse gases.
              In turn, reduced air pollution can improve
              public health and lower energy costs. By
              integrating energy efficiency strategies
              into your community  planning process,
              the cost of improvements can be kept to
              a minimum. Renewable energy develop-
              ment, biofuel production and retrofits or
              upgrades of existing infrastructure often
              create new opportunities for green collar
              jobs. Combining these approaches with
              transportation efficiency improvements
              discussed earlier  make an even bigger
 Best Practices and


 Save Energy

 Energy efficiency is often the best place
 for localities to start when trying to make
 more effective use of resources. Although
 efficiency upgrades can require initial in-
 vestment,  by increasing the level of effi-
 ciency, these upgrades frequently pay for
 themselves in nine months to three years
 as shown by the Portland case study.

 Strategies  to  promote energy efficiency
•conducting an energy audit of city build-
 ings to identify the most cost-effective
 projects. Utilities and energy service pro-
 viders often offer them.
• joining Portfolio  Manager and  save
                       Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Sector, 2006
                                    total emissions = 7.074 MMT CCh e
                             Agriculture (8%)

                      Residential (17%)
                       Commercial (17%)
       Industry (30%)
                                                         Transportation (28%)
Source: US EIA DOE 2006

 money and energy by tracking building
 energy use
• bringing the ENERGY STAR challenge to
 your community
• encouraging and supporting private au-
 dits  in both  businesses  and residences
 through  the provision  of  information,
 technical support or even economic in-
 centives or awards
• starting a weatherization program in lo-
 cal neighborhoods with old housing stock
• promoting the  ENERGY STAR "Change-A-
 Light" program  to local businesses. By re-
 placing older lighting systems with higher
 efficiency lighting, communities can reap
 significant gains in both  energy use and,
 in many cases, operation and  mainte-
 nance spending as well
• supporting energy  efficiency upgrades
 by local industry to Improve the efficiency
 of appliances; heating, ventilation and air
 conditioning systems; and industrial pro-
 cess equipment
• purchasing energy efficient equipment,
 appliances. See the  Green Procurement
 Use Renewable Energy

 Local governments  can  buy renewable
 energy, and promote consumer option
 programs. Building  and  maintaining re-
 newable energy installations can  be a
 source of new "green collar" jobs for com-
 munities. Three great examples are de-
 scribed online at:
 energy/prog rams/clean power-choice-

 Communities can also promote distrib-
 uted generation or, the use of small-scale
 power generation technologies located
 close to where energy is used. Examples
 of distributed generation power can be
 sourced by fuel cells, microturbines, pho-
 tovoltaic panels and small scale wind.This
 strategy avoids the loss of energy during

transmission and can boost local econo-
mies through new development and lo-
cally earned profits. More importantly, it
can give facilities energy reliability during
extreme storms.  Renewable energy can
potentially  offer more  stable costs  in a
market of rising energy costs. Local strate-
gies to promote clean energy include:
• micro-generation
•on-site solar
• combined heat and power
• wind
• landfill methane capture

TIP: To find out how energy is produced
in your community, type in your zip code

Measuring Success

Measurements of success  for energy can
• dollars saved on energy costs
•  units  of energy consumption reduced
(e.g., Btu's)
• amount of local energy supply from re-
newable sources
• amount of pollutant emissions reduced
(e.g.,C02,SOx, NOx)
• jobs created to meet  energy efficiency
and renewable energy demands



Look to ENERGY STAR, the EPA/U.S. De-
partment of Energy program  that goes
beyond labeling energy  efficient appli-
ances to assist building and utility owners
and operators and local governments in
conserving energy.
ENERGY STAR Challenge for Communities

EPA also has a Green Power Partnership

The U.S. Department of Energy's Technical
Assistance  Program offers expert consul-
tation to local  governments on renew-
able energy and energy efficiency. re .e n e rgy.g ov/wi p/ta p .cfm

The U.S. Department of Energy also runs
a Solar America Cities program that pro-
vides implementation guides for cities.

The California Distributed Energy Resourc-
es Guide is produced by the California En-
ergy Commission.

Alliance  to  Save Energy (ASE) is a non-
profit  coalition of business, government,
environmental  and consumer leaders.
The ASE supports energy efficiency as  a
cost-effective energy resource  under ex-
isting  market conditions and advocates
energy-efficiency  policies that minimize
costs to society and individual consumers,
and lessen greenhouse gas emissions and
their impact on the global climate.

American Council for an Energy Efficient
Economy (ACES) is a nonprofit organiza-
tion dedicated  to  advancing energy  ef-
ficiency as a means of promoting  both
economic prosperity and  environmental

Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE),
a nonprofit public benefits  corporation,
develops national initiatives  to promote
the manufacture and purchase  of energy-
efficient products and services.

This online calculator can help analyze po-
tential energy and economic savings for
homeowners by switching to more effi-
cient appliances, lighting and other forms
of efficiency.

Information  about energy cost-saving

New York State's Energy Smart Communi-
ties Program:

                       Energy Case  Study No.  1: Portland, Oregon
                       Energy Challenge Saves City Millions
In 1991, Portland, Oregon established the "City Energy Efficiency Challenge/'This bold initiative started with energy
audits at eight city bureaus that each contributed one percent of their energy bills to help fund the efforts. The city
then obtained a small low interest loan of $777,000 to help fund energy efficiency measures.

The $2.6 million spent on energy efficiency improvements during the first three years generated average internal
rate returns of 25.7 percent, with a pay-off time of 3.8 years. By the late 1990s, the energy savings reached $1 million
per year, with total savings of $9.46 million between 1991 and 2001. Current annual energy savings are $2 million
per year, or 15 percent of the city's energy bills.
In addition to dramatic energy efficiency improvements and considerable savings to local taxpayers, Portland has
also turned its energy sources "green."  In 1995, the city entered into an agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric to
receive five percent of its electricity from renewable sources. As of 2007, Portland receives 10 percent of its electric-
ity from renewable sources, and is looking to increase its use of renewable power.

Further information is available  online at: enerqv.shtml
                        Energy Case Study No. 2:  Fresno, California
                       "Cow Power" Powers up the Grid
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has teamed up with BioEnergy Solutions on a biogas-to-pipeline injection
project. It produces renewable gas from animal waste, and is the first project in California to deliver pipeline-quality,
renewable natural gas to a utility. It delivers up to three billion cubic feet of renewable natural gas a year to PG&E.

This system reduces methane emissions by 70 percent at Vintage Diary, a 5,000-cow dairy in the town of Riverdale.
Since methane has a global warming potential  21 times more potent than C02, this approach could be an effec-
tive climate change fighter. Manure from the cows is flushed into an almost 300,000 square-foot covered lagoon,
which traps the methane gas  released during manure decomposition. The methane is scrubbed to meet PG&E's
standards for power plants and then delivered to the utility through the  pipeline. The utility uses the methane to
create electricity for its central  and northern California customers.

BioEnergy Solutions, founded  by David Albers, a third-generation dairyman and owner of Vintage Dairy, pays for
and installs the infrastructure needed to process the manure and pump the methane into the PG&E pipeline. Pro-
ceeds from gas  sales and emissions credits are used to help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of other dairy
Further information is available online through the U.S. Department of Energy:


            ,   1


Protecting Water Quality and Ensuring

Future Supply

Community prosperity relies on continuous access to clean water, from reliable drinking
water supplies to clean waters that support recreation and viable commercial and sport
fishing industries. Water is becoming more scarce around the world, as populations in-
crease, surface waters and our aquifers are drained faster than nature can recharge them.
Many local governments, particularly in the arid West and Southwest, including Salt
Lake City and Las Vegas, have been aware
of the importance of water  resources
for some time now. Other communities
with rapid  population growth and vari-
able rainfall are just beginning to come to
terms with the harsh reality that water is a
precious and scarce resource, which must
be used wisely and conserved whenever

The physical scarcity of water is not the
only concern. Local fisheries are very sen-
sitive to watershed health too. Protection
of local watersheds helps to ensure the
long-term  health and profitability of rec-
reational and commercial industries for all
communities. The "dead zone" in the Gulf
of Mexico, expected to grow to the size
of New Jersey, threatens to permanently
cripple Gulf fisheries.

Often, municipal   water  management
strategies must be shared across regional
borders because watersheds overlap mul-
tiple jurisdictions  and water treatment
facilities serve multiple communities. Mu-
nicipalities are also influenced by a myriad
of federal, regional and local standards for
water treatment, quality and conservation.
The most common approach is to address
the need for water resource sustainability
through a  targeted water strategy. How-
ever,  many communities also address wa-
ter resource concerns through land  use
planning and other smart growth policies
with a goal of conserving valuable water

What is common to all localities is the on-
going potential for improvements in local
water use  efficiency and  water resource
protection. Water resources  can  be pro-
tected and conserved through a variety
of strategies  involving: efficient  use  of
municipal supplies; on-site collection, wa-
ter recycling and treatment; wastewater
treatment system improvements; and the
reduction of non-point source pollution
of local watersheds and aquifers.
Best  Practices and


Promote Water Conservation

Using water efficiently is the key to pro-
moting  water  conservation and saving
money.  EPA estimates that the average
household spends as much as $500 per
year on  its water and sewer bill. Conserv-
ing water also reduces energy use, which
translates into additional savings.

EPA's WaterSense program  helps protect
the future of our nation's water supply by
promoting water efficiency and enhanc-
ing the  market for water-efficient  prod-
ucts, programs and practices:

water resources and decreases reliance on
polluting fertilizers and  pesticides.  Land-
scaping  with beautiful, drought-resistant
plants in arid climates enhances  the local
aesthetic and helps to retain much-need-
ed moisture.

TIP: For  more information,  look to  EPA's
Greenscapes Website:

Landscaping with native plants is a cre-
ative way to conserve water and beautify
communities, especially in communities
with desert-like climates. The  Southern
Nevada Water  Authority program on
landscapes provides  recommendations
for arid areas.

The U.S. Department of Energy, within its
Department of Energy  Efficiency and Re-
newable Energy, has a program that spe-
cifically addresses water efficiency.

Green  building practices promote water
conservation and wastewater  reduction.
Some green buildings  and  facilities use
water catchment systems and gray water
recycling and treatment to capture rain
water and reuse wastewater. Green  roofs
provide stormwater control in addition to
reducing the heat island effect of urban-
ized areas. Green buildings  often incor-
porate water efficient  technology  such
as aerators, low-volume toilets,  low-flow
showerheads  and  water-efficient  land-
scaping and/or irrigation systems.   estimates   that
many commercial buildings could reduce
water use by 30 percent or more through
efficiency  measures. More  information
and practical examples can be found at
feat u re/2008/01/3 0/usinq-wate r-

Protect Local Watersheds from
Point Source Pollution

Point source water pollution is pollution
that can be traced back to a specific dis-
charge source, like a factory or wastewater
treatment plant.  Discharges from  these
sources are  usually controlled  through
government permits that set limits on the
amount they are permitted to release into
the environment.

Communities that have centralized waste-
water collection and treatment systems
are already part of the National Pollution
Discharge  Elimination  System  (NPDES),
the federal regulatory program that sets
limits on pollution.

For areas that don't have existing public
wastewater treatment systems, switching
to centralized ones may or may not be re-
alistic, or  even the preferred option. This
depends  on local characteristics such as
population density, climate, topography,
geology and how  close drinking  water
sources are to housing. If you  are from a
smaller community, see:

Municipal  storm sewer systems are con-
sidered  point  source   pollution under
many circumstances and  are regulated
under the federal NPDES program.

The use of green  design  principles can
naturally filter stormwater run-off, divert-
ing it from wastewater systems and storm
drains. Green  infrastructure reduces de-
mands on local  wastewater  treatment
plants, lowers costs and energy  use, and
protects natural water bodies from pollu-
Protect Local Watersheds from
Non-point Source Pollution

Non-point source pollution is water pollu-
tion from urban run-off and unregulated

 non-industrial or  agricultural  sources.  It
 affects local watersheds, coastal habitats
 and degrades water quality posing threat
 to long-term water security and environ-
 mental health.

 Some  strategies  to address  non-point
 source pollution are:
• collection and treatment of runoff prior
 to its entry into waterways
 MSC  ID/118/C ID/3084
• preservation and construction of  local
 wetlands  as  buffers for aquatic  natural
 Resource Jvlanagement/wetlands.htm
 www.e p a .g o v/0 WO W/wet lands/restore/
• on-site runoff retention and/or treatment
 of run-off  and provisions for surfaces that
 are not impervious
• partnerships with local industry for efflu-
 ent reductions through  green industrial
 practices  and water conservation  mea-
• education of the general public about
 the specific  non-point sources in  their
 communities and the options for  mini-
 mizing impacts
• watershed monitoring  with  local  non-
 profits,  schools  and other community
 groups to  identify problem areas
 Measuring Success

 Indicators of successful water efficiency
 strategies might include:
• reductions  in community  water con-
 sumption, set benchmarks related to lo-
 calities  with  similar characteristics (e.g.,
 population, climate, topography)
• participation in both private sector part-
 nerships and residential water efficiency
• number of new construction  (munici-
 pal buildings and/or general  public) and
 renovation projects with water efficiency

 Watershed  health can   be  monitored
• annual rates of local compliance with fed-
 eral and state water quality regulations
• chemical and physical water quality in-
 dicators  (e.g.,  pH,  temperature,  nutrient
 levels, water clarity, the presence of toxins
 and harmful bacteria)
• the  level of treatment required to  pro-
 duce  safe drinking water and any changes
 to treatment regimes
• population  levels and  health  of local
 plants and animals (water and land)
• surface water flows and aquifer recharge
• the relative amount of each local stream
 or river that  is "day I it," or not diverted
 through underground  pipes  beneath
 buildings and roads, and  has a  natural
 buffer around it
•the ratio of water-permeable surfaces and
 green spaces to paved surfaces or spaces
 occupied by buildings with conventional
• the percentage of tree canopy cover for
 new construction  projects



EPA and other federal agencies provide
substantial funding for local water infra-
structure development, as well as water-
shed protection and  conservation  pro-
grams. The following  links are guides for
water project funding sources.
guide dwsrf funding  infrastructure.pdf
dwsrf swp-funding-matrix.pdf

Understanding the  regulations  is  the
key to planning  for and acquiring  fund-
ing. Funded partly by EPA, the National
Environmental Service Center's National
Environmental Training Center for Small
Communities  developed  an invaluable
compendium  of the  regulations, poten-
tial changes and pertinent contacts.
regulations  chart.pdf

EPA's Consumer Confidence Reports are
important guides for  community water
providers serving at least 15  connections
or 25 people year-round.

EPA's Office of Ground Water and Drink-
ing  Water has extensive information on
water quality and local drink water.

EPA also regulates total maximum daily
loads (TMDLs), which is a "calculation of
the  maximum amount of a pollutant that
a water body  can receive and still  meet
water quality standards, and an allocation
of that amount to the pollutant's sources."
Reports are available for each EPA region
and by state as well as an interactive map.
 Georgia Pollution  Prevention  Assistance
 Division has an informative "Successful
 Water  Efficiency Programs for Non-Resi-
 dential Water Customers" presentation.

"Benchmarking  Performance  Indicators
 for Water and Wastewater Utilities: 2007
 Annual Survey Data and Analyses Report,"
 produced by the American Water Works
 Association  and Water Environment Fed-

 Ontario, Canada, Ministry of the Environ-
 ment's Water Conservation Case Study

 EPA Information and  Resources on Non-
 point Source Pollution

 Water Environment Research Foundation
 report  has  information and case study

 Some states are pursuing water quality
 trading schemes to promote  watershed
 protection and support the development
 of sustainable infrastructure. EPA provides
 information  about eligibility and which
 states participate.

 Conservation Technology Information
 Center Water Quality Training Guide

 EPA's Water Quality  Trading  Scenario:
 Multiple  Facility  Point Source  Trading

Water Case Study:
 •dona Arizona is "Water Wise'



•7s 1




                                                  X~ '

                                                                                         — -

Green Building
Environmentally sound building is central to local sustainability. Each building material
has its own history of energy and water use, raw material extraction and possibly even
environmental pollution. The selection of environmentally sound recycled and raw ma-
terials can substantially reduce both on-site and off-site environmental impacts of con-
The U.S. Green Building Council estimates
that the construction of buildings  cur-
rently accounts for 30 percent of all  raw
materials used in the U.S. A 1996 study,
found that disposal of used  building  ma-
terials comprises 60 percent of non-indus-
trial U.S. waste. It also found that 20 to 30
percent of building debris was already be-
ing recovered for recycling yet  more op-
portunities exist to divert C&D waste from

A  recent  boom in  green  building  has
brought with it a wealth of new resources.
Green building  products, services and in-
formation are more  accessible than ever
before. The cost of green building has be-
come cheaper too. The cost gap between
green and conventional building is clos-
ing. Long-term cost savings far outweigh
any additional upfront costs; relative cost
is  actually related to project design and
management, and  not necessarily  be-
cause of green building practice.

The U.S. Green Building Council lists gov-
ernment initiatives  as  the  primary  fac-
tor driving recent green building sector
growth,  and anticipates a   62  percent
growth  in public sector green building
projects. Larger  cities such  as Boston ,
Chicago, Dallas, New York, Portland (OR),
San Francisco, San Jose (CA), Seattle, and
Washington,  DC have   already  created
mandatory green building  requirements
for all municipal buildings, as have smaller
cities such as Chula Vista (CA), Greensburg
(KS), Pleasanton (CA), Scottsdale (AZ), and
West Hollywood (CA).
 Best Practices and


 EPA and partners such as the U.S. Green
 Building Council  developed extensive
 guidance and resources for green build-
 ing and locating green building materi-
 als that are accessible through Web sites
 and  publications. EPA outlined major ele-
 ments of green building:
• energy efficiency and renewable energy
•water stewardship
• environmentally preferable building ma-
 terials and specifications
•waste reduction
• toxics
• indoor environment
• smart  growth and sustainable develop-

 While there are multiple rating  systems,
 the U.S. Green  Building Council's Leader-
 ship in Energy and Environmental Design
 (LEED) Green Building Rating System has
 become the  most commonly used stan-
 dard for green building.

Strategies to increase green building in
your community:
• consider mandating all city-owned or fi-
 nanced buildings meet LEED criteria
• offer expedited review for permits and
zoning applications for buildings meeting
 green building criteria, such as LEED
• offer incentives (FAR or other) for green
 building components such as green roofs,
 bike racks and  electric car recharging ar-
• establish a building material reuse facil-
 ity for wood, windows, doors and paint
• offer green building training to construc-
 tion industry members and building op-

• develop a local directory of green build-
ing businesses and services
• designate a district with tax incentives to
encourage the development of local busi-
nesses that specialize in green building
materials and supplies

TIP: Shop for ideas from other cities for
green building ordinances:

Measuring  Success

Success is measured in numerous ways in
the field of green building, although the
most typical measures focus on efficiency
savings for energy and water or  renew-
able energy generated.  Indicators  of suc-
cess might include:
• usage of green materials  in  local new
construction and renovations
• local availability of green building  materi-
• number of local LEED certified buildings
and accredited professionals
• number of people employed and  overall
economic growth of local green construc-
tion-related industries
• amount of construction waste being di-
verted, or measureable decreases  in con-
struction-related waste production
•attendance ratings at green buildings like
schools or businesses
• employee satisfaction and retention rates
compared to industry standards
• amount of renewable energy generated
by green buildings
• cost  per square foot  of public  green
building projects and savings in annual
operations costs

Harder  to  measure, but equally  impor-
tant, are  more  subjective  indicators of
success, such  as perceived local quality of
life, health and well-being of building oc-
cupants, aesthetic contributions of green
buildings and community pride.

The  sustainability  of  building materials,
and even whole buildings,  can also be
quantitatively  measured  through  "life-
cycle assessment."  Life-cycle assessment
is an analytical process through which a
product, in this case a building material, is
evaluated throughout its entire life for its
environmental impact. This includes the
natural resources used, pollution  gener-
ated and any environmental degradation
involved in its production, shipment, use
and eventual disposal.

Fortunately,   simplified   models  and
computer-based  systems  have  been
developed to assist in this process, and
life-cycle assessments have already been
completed for many  construction prod-
ucts. Similar tools  exist for calculating
specific impacts, such  as greenhouse gas
contributions, and can easily be located
through Web sites such as the U.S. Green
Building Council's "Resources" page.



EPA information on green building

U.S. Green Building Council  ayPaqe.

A Green Playbook for Local Governments

California Sustainable Building Toolkit

A Sourcebook for Green and Sustainable

Field Guide for Sustainable Construction

Building  Design  and Construction Net-

Green Building Forum


Greener Buildings

Materials and Products
EPA  Comprehensive Buildings and Con-
struction Resources Page

GreenSpecฎ-listed  green  building prod-

Building Materials  Reuse Association Na-
tional Directory

EPA  Comprehensive  Procurement Guide-
lines material supplier database m/user/cpg_

Green Building Pages, an online resources
and green product locator

Forest  Stewardship  Council sustainable
forest products/green building Web site

The  ENERGY  STAR  qualified  products
directory lists energy efficient building
technologies (e.g., heating, cooling, elec-
trical, insulation and windows).
www.e n e rgysta r.g ov

Greenguard   Environmental   Institute's
Greenguard Product Guide

Green Seal's lists of environmentally certi-
fied products (windows and doors)

EPA's WaterSense Program  Web site has a
directory of water efficient products.
The South Coast Air Quality Management
District's green solvent database  has in-
formation on non-toxic substances (e.g.,
solvents and adhesives).

EPA offers life-cycle assessment resources,
including the Life-Cycle Assessment 101

                         Green Building Case Study:
                         Portland, Oregon
                         Green Building Campaign Reaps Rewards
Portland has established itself as a national leader in green building. With 36 LEED certified buildings, Portland
currently ranks with cities such as Chicago and Seattle, which are known for their leadership in green building and
distinguished by the large numbers of green buildings they contain.

In 2001, Portland adopted a resolution mandating LEED certification for all city-funded construction and major
renovation projects. This policy also formalized the efforts of Portland's newly formed Office of Sustainable Devel-
opment, prescribing proactive engagement with the public and green building stewardship. Also developed was
the "Green Investment Fund," to provide grants for green building projects.

In 2005, Portland adopted another resolution to strengthen the previous policy, increasing the requirement for
new city construction projects to LEED Gold certification, and also requiring existing city buildings to be brought
up to LEED Silver certification.

Portland has a comprehensive outreach program, and offers free technical assistance to those interested in partici-
pating in its booming green building economy. Through its Office of Sustainable Development and its Web site,
the city offers an abundance of information and organizes regular outreach efforts.
Green building owners have reported lower energy bills and, in many cases, reduced operation and maintenance
costs. Portland is now reaping the fruits of its bustling green construction economy, with the infrastructure firmly
in place for continued success in efforts toward sustainable development.

For further information on Portland's green building program, go to:
GreenBuild Expo:
LEED Projects:


 Green  Procurement

The U.S. has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with
 a per capita GDP of $46,000. The ability for local governments to influence the economy
 through purchasing decisions is enormous.
 Green  procurement - buying environ-
 mentally friendly  products whenever
 possible - is one of the easiest strate-
 gies to implement at the local level. It
 can  be done incrementally as  equip-
 ment or supplies  are purchased and
 contracts are renewed. A  key  advan-
 tage of green procurement is that the
 principles are applicable at almost  ev-
 ery level of commercial activity, from a
 single-person household to the largest
 organization in the world. In 1993, EPA
 introduced the Environmentally Prefer-
 able Purchasing (EPP) Program, helping
 federal  agencies to "use  sustainable
 practices when buying  products and
 services." Procurement choices happen
 at almost every aspect of an organiza-
 tion: transportation, energy supply, wa-
 ter use, packaging, office materials and
 waste management to name but a few.

 Green procurement is a sound strategy
 and  a good initial step toward sustain-
 ability. It is:
• easy to initiate and grow over time
• relatively inexpensive and can often
 lead to net savings
• a market stimulus for environmentally
 preferable products
•a way to improve employee health and
• a method to reduce existing and  po-
 tential liabilities
 Measuring Success

 Some specific indicators of successful
 green procurement are:
• amount  of post-consumer recycled
 products used (e.g., office supplies, bags
 supplied by vendors, etc.)
• number and volume of cleaning prod-
 ucts purchased from an approved green
• use of non-toxic carpets, paints and
• percentage of energy-efficient lighting,
 equipment and  heating/air condition-
 ing systems
• percentage of water-efficient fixtures
• services rendered for green events and
 purchases  from green food suppliers


 For full access to all the tools available
 please visit EPA's EPP Web site

 EPA's  Comprehensive  Procurement
 Guidelines Supplier Database is a search-
 able guide to providers of everything
 from bicycle racks to signage.

 EPA's "EPP Assistant"  allows users to
 quantify and  prioritize their  green pur-
 chasing efforts through a  life cycle as-

The "General Services Administration's
SmartPayฎ Purchase Card Training" is a
tool developed by GSA to help federal
purchasers properly  design  and  carry
out a purchasing plan. ing/

The "Federal Green Construction Guide
for Specifiers" is a comprehensive guide
to procuring green building  products
and construction services.

The "Green  Cleaning Pollution Preven-
tion  Calculator"  figures  the  projected
environmental benefits  of purchasing
and using green janitorial services and

The U.S. Department of Energy has a tool
to educate consumers about fuel  econ-
omy, including gas mileage, greenhouse
gas emissions, air pollution ratings and
safety information for new and used cars
and trucks.

U.S. Department of Energy Alternative
Fuels and  Advanced Vehicles Data Cen-

The Paper Calculator allows an organiza-
tion to compare the  environmental im-
pacts of different paper choices.


 Regardless of budget, population or de-
 mographics, the development of plans for
 a sustainable future, or the update of ex-
 isting plans, is just the first step in a much
 larger  process. Your success  will rely on
 your ability to follow through.

 The implementation of the elements in
 any sustainability plan will rely on  the
 education, commitment  and action  of
 not only the government, but residents,
 businesses and civic organizations alike.
 Strong cross  communication will create
 feedback  loops, best practices and help
 to ensure increased buy-in, participation
 and, ultimately, the success of your  sus-
 tainability plan. This  is not a surprising
 finding, but it emphasizes the importance
 of outreach  and  community education
 throughout the process of plan  develop-
 ment and through implementation.

 Change can be difficult to sell, so it's im-
 portant to identify the interests  and con-
 cerns that will drive support for your local
 plan.  Plans for change may be driven by
 the community, the government or start
 one  way  and end up another, but  the
 most important ingredient for success is
 engagement. The following are  some ac-
 tual examples of actions or activities that
 drove  support for sustainability plans in
 various locations:

• Concerns about climate change, air pol-
 lution  and a host of other environmental
 issues  spurred community members In
 Westchester  County, New York to push
 for a  more comprehensive approach to

• Community  interest in  greening  the
 town on a small scale led to a conference
 in Chequamegon, Wisconsin that created
 much  broader local interest. Town Hall
 meetings proved to be an effective venue
 for raising  and discussing issues in Burl-
 ington, Vermont and Greensburg, Kansas.

• In Cleveland, Ohio, key players working
 together in the government water de-
 partment  started  thinking about  how
 they could  make improvements.

• Lancaster,  Pennsylvania took a top-down
 approach to priority setting, demonstrat-
 ing that decisions can be made by the
 mayor or  city council to make  sustain-
 ability a priority, hire consultants, look at
 energy efficiency, conduct cost-benefit
 analyses of programming options or to
 establish a  task force.

• Ann  Arbor, Michigan started with a pilot
 project approach, tackling energy  effi-
 ciency, which generally pays for itself, and
 realized other ways to save money.

ซAnn Arbor was successful in hiring a new
 energy policy staff member despite over-
 all cuts, when it demonstrated that the
 person's activities could save them one
 percent of its annual  energy costs and
 fully cover the salary for that position. The
 savings were easily accomplished and ex-
 ceeded in the first year.

• The interest in sustainability on the part
 of one member of the local government
 in Ann Arbor ultimately  expanded into
 a whole new  department. The strategic
 planning department has members from
 all  sectors, and  although it might  not
 brand itself as such, it has become the
"policy center" for the government.

• Bowling Green,  Ohio found an intern
 from  a local university to look at current
 practices and make recommendations.

• Brownsville,  Texas  surveyed its  primary
 businesses  and  performed a needs  as-

sessment. When businesses believe their
needs will  be addressed by a sustainabil-
ity plan, they may be more likely to partici-
pate and support the endeavor.

Goal   Setting,   Targets

and  Performance



The old adage, "If you can't measure it,
you can't manage it"  holds true for sus-
tainability  planning. Once  your plan  be-
gins implementation,  it is  important to
gauge  whether or not efficient and ef-
fective  progress is being made towards
its goals. This can  be  achieved through

Each section of this guide  provides met-
rics to emphasize that careful tracking is
essential to the success of any program.
Metrics and goals should not only be es-
tablished for each  element of your plan,
but taking a holistic approach is  recom-
mended to link all governmental activities
to the goal of sustainability. Once some
overarching goals have been set, a series
of measurement tools can  be employed
to establish baselines (e.g.,  a greenhouse
gas inventory)  and future assessments
can ensure that targets are being met.
From the baseline metric, all governmen-
tal and  community programs and sectors
can and should be active participants in
the sustainability process.

Targets are more difficult to establish, so
in some cases it is important to begin by
tracking data. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, its
annual  "State of Our Environment  Report"
highlights the direction in which the city's
indicators  are  heading. Burlington, Ver-
mont started its planning process in 2000,
setting  a 10 percent greenhouse  gas re-
duction by 2005, and established goals
based on this over-arching target. It's a
good idea to record targets in a matrix for
easy reference. Ultimately,  goals, targets
and indicators are  important to creating
accountability and public support.
Wrapping Up and

Moving  Forward

The challenges you face at the local  lev-
el - from ensuring that daily critical  ser-
vices are provided to anticipating future
threats - are  substantial. We  hope this
guide has shown that ideas, approaches
and  resources that foster sustainability
are plentiful. There is no magic bullet or
single solution for how to best plan for a
sustainable future, but  there are a grow-
ing array of approaches that have worked
for communities of every size and shape.

Although the approaches are diverse, the
best plans take comprehensive views that
aim to simultaneously improve efficiency,
lower costs, protect the environment and
provide a healthy future for generations
to come.

Every city, town and county faces its own
set of challenges and opportunities. Every
community has a unique mix of resources,
talent and ideas with which to create so-
lutions. By learning from good examples,
you can create and implement  a plan
unique to your community that will lead
to a sustainable future.

Preparing the Guide

This planning guide is based on reports
prepared for EPA by the Columbia Univer-
sity School of International and Public Af-
fairs. One report compared and analyzed
information from fourteen  sustainability
plans developed by municipalities around
the country, and a second assessed infor-
mation  obtained  from interviews with
planners and officials from  sixteen local
governments that had no prepared sus-
tainability plans. The researchers selected
localities in all 10 EPA regions as well as
places ranging in population from small
towns to large cities.

Special thanks to the Columbia University
School of International and  Public  Affairs
and Faculty Advisor Dr. Steven Cohen.

Kelsey Bennett
Nicholas Cain
Radulph Hart-George
Jeremy Newman
Paige Olmsted
Keith Parsons
Plinio Ribeiro
Celine Ruben-Salama
Kyle Smith
Glenn Sonntag
Sofia Treviho Heres
Jill Weyer

Produced by:
U.S. EPA Region 2
Office of Policy and Management  and
Public Affairs Division
Check this Web site for updates to this

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Region 2
290 Broadway
New York, NY 10007

Official Business
Penalty for Private Use $300

November 2008