Certification Overview

There are two levels of certification, bronze and silver.  The requirements for each are listed below.  Bronze certification means a municipality has made a commitment to sustainability and succeeded in implementing the first significant steps. Silver certification means a municipality has made significant progress in a number of categories toward sustainability and is a state-wide and national leader.

Bronze certification requires:

  • Establishment of mandatory green team
  • Implement 2 of 12 priority actions
  • Complete actions in 6 of 18 categories
  • Total of at least 150 points

Silver certification requires:

  • Establishment of mandatory green team
  • Implement 3 of 12 priority actions
  • Complete actions in 8 of 18 categories
  • Total of at least 350 points

Detailed Requirements

Each level of certification requires the establishment of a mandatory Green Team.  Municipalities accumulate points for taking actions in a variety of categories in the respective certification level.  Along with attaining a certain number of points, a number of “priority actions” must be completed in order to qualify for certification.  The associated number of points, priority actions, and actions taken within a certain number of categories for bronze and silver certification listed above must be met. 

Priority Actions

There are a variety of actions municipalities can take to become more green and sustainable to earn certification with Sustainable Jersey.  As indicated, priority actions must be completed, and can be chosen from the following actions:

  • Climate Adaptation: Flooding Risk
  • Diversity on Boards & Commissions
  • Energy Tracking & Management
  • Energy Efficiency for Municipal Facilities
  • Fleet Inventory
  • Green Business Recognition Program

  • Municipal Carbon Footprint
  • Natural Resource Inventory
  • Prescription Drug Safety and Disposal
  • Recycling and Waste Reduction Education and Compliance
  • Sustainable Land Use Pledge
  • Water Conservation Ordinance

Prerequisite Actions

There are a number of actions in the program that have a prerequisite - meaning one action must be completed and approved before credit can be awarded for the subsequent actions.  These actions can be worked on simultaneously, but will only be approved once the prerequisite has been met. Prerequisite actions are listed in bold text.

Companion Animal Management Pledge

Companion Animal Mgmt Plan

Establish a Creative Team

Creative Assets Inventory
Creative Placemaking Plan
Utilizing Your Creative Assets

Brownfields Inventory & Prioritization

Brownfileds Marketing
Brownfields Reuse Planning

Hold a Green Fair

"Green" Your Green Fair

Farmers Markets

Making Farmers Markets Accessible

Adopt a Complete Streets Policy

Institute Complete Streets

Environmental Commission

Environmental Commission Site Plan Review

Easement Inventory and Outreach

Easement Inspections and Evaluations

Community Forestry Plan and Tree Cover Goal

Tree Hazard Inventory
Tree Maintenance Programs
Tree Planting Programs
i-Tree Assessment of Municipal Trees

Fleet Inventory

Driver Training
Meet Target for Green Fleets
Purchase Alternative Fuel Vehicle
Vehicle Conversions

Green Grounds & Maintenance Policy

Efficient Landscape Design
Integrated Pest Management
Minimize Water Consumption
Recycled Materials and Composting

Municipal Carbon Footprint

Community Carbon Footprint

Documentation

All actions taken by municipalities to score points toward certification must be accompanied by documentary evidence and will be reviewed by the project partners. Only efforts that meet the standards described in the actions will be accepted and counted toward certification.  To further fulfill the requirements of completing actions in either a minimum of 6 or 8 categories (depending on the level of certification), municipalities can choose from 150 actions.  These actions include ordinances, programs, policies and procedures, and facility improvements.  To assist municipalities in their efforts toward certification, each action has detailed resources and step by step “how to” directions for completing the action. 

Recertification

Once your municipality is certified, the certification is good for 3 program years, at which time your municipality will need to recertify.  However, a municipality may recertify at any point prior to this third year. Furthermore, a certified municipality is able to recertify at either level and does not need to advance to, or retain Silver certification. Please note that individual actions expire independently of your certification.  Therefore, some actions will be marked as expired and need to be updated when you recertify.