WILLIMANTIC, Conn. — For the past year, the Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) at Eastern Connecticut State University has partnered with municipal leaders statewide and the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) to create the vision for a sustainability certification program for Connecticut’s cities and towns. “Sustainable CT: Local actions, Statewide impact” launched today, Nov. 15, 2016, at CCM’s 50th Annual Convention.
“Sustainable CT is a program designed for mayors by mayors,” says Betsy Paterson, chair of the CCM Task Force on Sustainability, and former Mayor of Mansfield. “We wanted to be sure to create a certification program that would work for all municipalities, small or large, urban or rural.”
Moving into the design phase, the vision of Sustainable CT will be expanded to include a sustainability road map for towns – made up of a menu of voluntary, coordinated actions to make communities healthier, safe, resilient, efficient and livable. The road map and support resources offered through Sustainable CT will help towns take actions from installing LED street lights, to creating community gardens, to designing vibrant downtowns and more. The program will be modeled, in part, after the highly successful Sustainable Jersey. Municipal representatives and experts from around the state will be engaged to design the program and ensure that it is built for the Nutmeg State. A robust stakeholder process is planned for January 2017.
“Sustainability is not new to Connecticut towns,” said ISE Director Lynn Stoddard. “Sustainable CT will build on current sustainability success stories and provide a comprehensive program that supports and accelerates municipal sustainability action throughout the state. Sustainable CT will build community and help municipal budgets, especially important in our current economic state.”
The Institute for Sustainable Energy is coordinating development of Sustainable CT, with support from three Connecticut-based philanthropic foundations: The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Common Sense Fund, and the Hampshire Foundation.