Sustainable Jersey Research Reports


A Municipal Guide to a Lead-Safe Community

July 2021

Lead is a potent toxin which is still pervasive in the places where we live, play, work and raise our families. This is especially true in New Jersey, with its legacy of housing, infrastructure, and industry that pre-dates the banning of lead from paint, gas and plumbing. Young children who absorb even the smallest traces of lead suffer lifelong, pernicious effects – which are disproportionately experienced in communities of color and low-income communities.

Municipalities can do a great deal to support healthy, lead-safe homes and a healthy, lead-safe and equitable environment for their residents. A Municipal Guide to a Lead-Safe Community presents 18 practical strategies, including 8 Sustainable Jersey actions, that municipalities can implement today to reduce lead exposure and protect public health.

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Advancing Social Equity through the Sustainable Jersey Program: Analysis and Potential

January 2020

This report documents the initial outcomes of the Sustainable Jersey equity initiative (2017-2019): a shared framework for understanding social equity; the results of a screen of the entire suite of actions for potential equity impacts; and a quantitative analysis of municipal certification and grant awards with respect to equity variables. It concludes with a discussion of next steps for comprehensively integrating social equity in the program in order to support municipalities to dismantle barriers to opportunity in their communities and across the state of New Jersey.

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Statewide Change, One Community at a Time: A Comparative Study of Collaborative State-Local Sustainability Programs

April 2016

This study identifies twelve statewide programs across the U.S. that recognize local governments for achieving voluntary sustainability standards.  Certification or other municipal rating systems are generally a signature element of these programs; yet, certification is often merely the most visible form of collective action among many aiming to coordinate priorities, policy, and resources among state and local, public and private actors. 

Funded by the Surdna Foundation, this study was guided by a working group comprised of representatives of five state-local sustainability programs including: Minnesota GreenStep Cities, Sustainable Maryland, Sustainable Pennsylvania, Wisconsin Green Tier Legacy Communities and Sustainable Jersey. Key personnel from Green Cities California, Clean Energy Communities (CT), the Florida Green Building Coalition, Massachusetts Green Communities, Michigan Green Communities, Climate Smart Communities (NY) and Go Green Virginia also contributed to the report.

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