2020 Certification Application Cycle

Sustainable Jersey operates on a once a year submission cycle, with an initial certification application submission deadline. Only those applicants that submit by the initial deadline will be considered for certification that year.  See the chart below for details on the structure and timing of the application cycle.

Note: Any actions that are marked approved an expire after the initial submission deadline do not need to be updated in your application.  Once the application is submitted, these actions will be set to expire at the end of the year.


2020 Certification Cycle Adjustments


NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 disruptions in municipal activities, the timeline for certification in 2020 has been adjusted.  The initial deadline has been changed from May 17 to June 14.  Municipalities that submit by June 14 will be guaranteed two rounds of review on their application to meet the deadline for certification and be recognized at the Sustainable Jersey Annual Luncheon.  If a municipality is not ready to submit its application by June 14, but does apply by July 30, Sustainable Jersey will make every effort to review the application and provide feedback so that additional updates can be submitted by the September resubmission deadline.

A webinar was held to review the changes and answer your questions about the certification timeline and process. View the webinar and recording here.



First RoundSecond RoundThird Round
Submission DeadlineJune 14September 11*Nov. 22
Return DateMid-JulyMid-OctoberMid-Dec.

*Revisions must be submitted by this date in order to be considered for certification and recognized at the Sustainable Jersey Annual Luncheon.


Timeline Details

Timeline & Submission/Resubmission Requirements
June 14 (Previously May 17)

Application Submission Deadline

  • Application must indicate all actions the municipality plans to complete for credit by marking those actions “Completed.”
  • Sustainable Jersey understands that some 2020 activities and initiatives may not have been able to take place due to the COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, for actions that are intended to take place on annual basis, documentation from 2018-2020 will be accepted. A list of actions in this category is available here.  A municipality seeking recertification that may have these actions appear as “Expired” in its application can resubmit for points if the documentation is from 2018-2020 by simply changing the action status from Expired to Completed. For actions not on the list, Sustainable Jersey will consider approval of an expired actions based on previously submitted documentation on a case-by-case basis based on the date of the documentation provided and the reasons why the action could not be updated due to the COVID-19 related disruptions.
  • Action requirements do not have to be completed until the November final application deadline. However, to be recognized at the NJLM conference, all action requirements must be completed by September 11*.
Municipalities unable to meet the June 14 deadline are encouraged to apply when they are ready. Sustainable Jersey will make every effort to review applications submitted after June 14 and before July 30 in a timely manner to allow municipalities time to make updates by the September resubmission deadline.

First Round Review Comments Provided

  • Each action will be marked as “Approved” or “Must Revise” and comments will be provided.
  • If the application includes actions marked as “Must Revise” the municipality can complete required activities and/or documentation in order to receive credit for these actions.
Sept. 11*

First Resubmission Deadline

  • Revisions to applications that include “Must Revise” actions must be submitted by this date in order to be considered for certification and recognized at the Sustainable Jersey Annual Luncheon to be held at the 2020 NJLM Annual Conference in November.
  • New application submissions will be accepted but will only receive two rounds of review.

Second Round Review Comments Provided

  • All municipalities that have met the certification requirements will be certified at the bronze or silver level based on the accumulated point total and considered for the Sustainable Jersey annual awards. Annual award recipients will be determined following this round of reviews. Sustainability Champions are based on approved point totals following the October certifications.
  • For those certified in this round, each revised action submitted will be marked as “Approved”, or “Must Revise,” and comments will be provided.
  • Certified communities and annual award winners will be recognized at the Sustainable Jersey Annual Luncheon to be held at the 2020 NJLM Conference in November.
  • For municipalities that have not achieved certification or seek to increase their point totals, there will be one final opportunity to complete actions marked as “Must Revise” and submit their applications for final review.
Nov. 22

Final Application Submission Deadline

  • This is the final opportunity for municipalities that submitted in June to resubmit outstanding actions.

Final Decision on Pending Applications

  • Each action will be marked as “Approved” or “Not Approved” and comments will be provided.
  • Final determination will be made on whether the municipality has been awarded enough points to achieve bronze or silver certification.  Municipalities certified on this date will be recognized at the 2021 Sustainable Jersey Annual Luncheon during the NJLM Conference.
  • Municipalities that do not receive certification can reapply in 2021.  Actions that were approved during the 2020 cycle and have not expired by the 2021 submission deadline will automatically be counted as part of the 2021 application submission.