on Jun 15, 2016
2016 Sustainable State of the State Report and a new gold Sustainable Jersey standard released; NJ Electric Vehicle Charging Grant Program and Sustainable Jersey Solar Challenge announced.
Today over 300 mayors, municipal and school district staff, environmental commission and green team members together with state agency and non-profit employees, academics, businesses and the interested public met at The College of New Jersey to discuss strategies to make New Jersey’s future more just, inclusive and sustainable at the 2016 New Jersey Sustainability Summit.
“This unique Sustainability Summit, the largest sustainability gathering held in New Jersey, sets us on a defined course. And Sustainable Jersey broke new ground with the release of the first elements of the gold standard for energy and waste,” said Rick Dovey, chair of the Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees. “It is not an end point, but a starting point for making real progress.”
The event began with a welcome from Dr. Barbara Gitenstein, president of The College of New Jersey and a keynote address by Dr. Benjamin Strauss of Climate Central, followed by an update on New Jersey’s Sustainable State of the State Report and a preview of the Sustainable Jersey gold standard for energy and waste.
The one-day summit included more than 50 experts and practitioners that led 15 concurrent sustainability sessions where attendees discussed issues ranging from energy, waste, economic development and education to the arts and creative culture. The event abounded with connectors and thought leaders creating fertile ground within and between sessions.
“The 2016 State of the State Report is a critical document for New Jersey that serves as a report card on our progress while defining a gold standard for municipalities in terms of measured outcomes rather than prescriptive actions represents a bold step that no other state-level program has taken. We want to build consensus around the future we want and about how to track progress. The Summit gave us a valuable opportunity to continue to work toward these goals,” said Sustainable Jersey Co-Director Randall Solomon who co-authored the State of the State Report with colleague Melanie Hughes McDermott, Ph.D., a senior researcher for Sustainable Jersey.
HIGHLIGHTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Sustainable Jersey is a network and movement of 437 municipalities and 666 schools and school districts working collectively to achieve a sustainable future. “I’m encouraged by the level of energy at the Sustainability Summit. Attendees made it clear that they are ready to make the changes necessary. Sustainable Jersey is succeeding in changing the way people view New Jersey and our participants care passionately about their communities so they want to take action to improve their quality of life. The rigorous Sustainable Jersey certification framework allows New Jersey towns to tell their positive stories,” said Donna Drewes, co-director of Sustainable Jersey.