Enter/update building information into the MN B3 Benchmarking database, and routinely enter monthly usage data for all city-owned buildings/infrastructure that consume energy/water.
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Buildings and Lighting
Benchmark energy and water usage, identify savings opportunities in consultation with state programs, utilities and others to implement cost-effective energy and sustainability improvements.
Make no/low cost indoor lighting and operational changes in city-owned/school buildings to reduce energy costs.
Invest in larger energy efficiency projects through performance contracting or other funding or through smaller retro-commissioning/retrofit projects in city-owned/school buildings.
Implement IT efforts and city employee engagement to reduce plug loads, building energy use and workflow efficiency.
Improve the operations & maintenance of city-owned/school buildings and leased buildings by using a customized online energy efficiency tool, asset management tool, green building framework or green lease.
Provide incentives for energy, water and sustainability improvements in existing residential, not-for-profit and commercial buildings/building sites.
Create or participate in a marketing/outreach/incentive program to promote/achieve residential energy/water use reduction and energy efficiency.
Integrate green building and EV charging best practices information and assistance into the building permit process.
Describe energy/water efficiency outcomes and other green building practices at businesses and not-for-profit organizations located within/nearby the city.
Describe energy/water efficiency outcomes and other green building practices at businesses and not-for-profit organizations located within/nearby the city.
Conserve/protect drinking/groundwater resources by creating a water-wise landscaping ordinance/guidance, WaterSense purchasing program, or guidance on rainwater harvesting and home water softener use.
Improve the efficiency and quality of street lighting, traffic signals and outdoor public lighting.
Require energy efficient, Dark-Sky compliant new or replacement outdoor lighting fixtures on city-owned/private buildings and facilities.
Replace the city's existing street lighting with Dark Sky-compliant LEDs, modifying any city franchise/utility agreement and adding smart grid attributes.
Coordinate traffic signals and/or optimize signal timing to minimize car idling at intersections yet maintain safe and publicly acceptable vehicle speeds.
Use LED/solar-powered lighting for a flashing sign or in a street, parking lot or park project.
Relamp/improve exterior building lighting for city-owned buildings/facilities with energy efficient, Dark-Sky compliant lighting.
Replace city-owned parking lot/ramp lighting with Dark-Sky compliant, energy efficient, automatic dimming lighting technologies.
Replace the city's existing traffic signal indications with LEDs.
Create economic and regulatory incentives for redevelopment and repurposing of existing buildings.
Create/modify a green residential remodeling assistance/financing program to assist homeowners in adding space or features such as EV charging, renewables to their existing homes.
Build public support and legal validity to long-term infrastructural and regulatory strategy.
Adopt climate mitigation and/or energy independence goals and objectives in the comprehensive plan or in a separate policy document, and include transportation recommendations such as becoming an EV-ready city.
Develop efficient land patterns that generate community health and wealth.
Locate or lease a property for use as a school, city building or other government facility that has at least two of these attributes:
Create incentives for vertical mixed-use development in appropriate locations (downtown, commercial districts near colleges or universities, historic commercial districts, commercial districts with minority-owned businesses).
Adopt commercial development and design standards for auto-oriented development corridors and clusters.
Participate in regional economic development planning with representatives from surrounding townships, cities, the county and business interests to:
Adopt infrastructure design standards that protect the economic and ecologic functions of the highway corridor through clustering of development, native plantings and incorporating access management standards.
Adopt development ordinances or processes that protect natural systems and valued community assets.
For cities within metropolitan areas, incorporate woodland best management practices addressing protection of wooded areas into zoning or development review.
Preserve environmentally sensitive, community-valued land by placing a conservation easement on city lands, and by encouraging/funding private landowners to place land in conservation easements.
Create a network of green complete streets that improves city quality of life, public health, and adds value to surrounding properties.
Modify a street in compliance with the city's complete streets policy.
Identify, prioritize and remedy complete streets gaps and lack of connectivity/safety within your road network by, for example, bike/pedestrian plan, adding a bike route/lane, truck route, sidewalk or mid-block alley.
Identify and remedy street-trail gaps between city streets and off-road trails/bike trails to better facilitate walking and biking.
Implement traffic calming policy/measures, including lane conversions (road diets), roundabouts, low-speed streets, shared space and depaving, in at least one street redevelopment project.
Increase active transportation and alternatives to single-occupancy car travel.
Increase walking, biking and transit use by one or more of the following means:
Conduct an Active Living campaign such as a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program.
Prominently promote mobility options: public transit; paratransit/Dial-A-Ride; cab services; rental cars; bike lanes; trails; airports.
Promote carpooling, ridesharing, carsharing, and bikesharing.
Implement workplace multi-modal transportation best management practices - including telework/flexwork - in city government, businesses or at a local health care provider.
Add/expand public transit service.
Implement a city fleet investment, operations and maintenance plan.
Efficiently use your existing fleet of city vehicles by encouraging trip bundling, video conferencing, carpooling, vehicle sharing and incentives/technology.
Right-size/down-size the city fleet with the most fuel-efficient vehicles that are of an optimal size and capacity for their intended functions.
Phase-in operational changes, equipment changes including electric vehicles, and no-idling practices for city or local transit fleets.
Phase in bike, e-bike, foot or horseback modes for police, inspectors and other city staff.
Document that the local school bus fleet has optimized routes, start times, boundaries, vehicle efficiency and fuels, driver actions to cut costs including idling reduction, and shifting students from the bus to walking, biking and city transit.
Retrofit city diesel engines or install auxiliary power units and/or electrified parking spaces, utilizing Project GreenFleet or the like.
Adopt environmentally preferable purchasing policies and practices to improve health and environmental outcomes.
Establish purchasing preferences that support local, Minority, Disability, and Women-Owned businesses and, working with a local business association, develop a list of locally-produced products and suppliers for common purchases.
Require purchase of U.S. EPA WaterSense-certified products.
Set minimum sustainability standards to reduce the impact of your concrete use, asphalt, roadbed aggregate, or other construction materials.
Require printing services to be purchased from companies participating in Printing Industry Midwest’s Great Green Printer initiative, or certified by the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership.
Lower the environmental footprint of meetings and events in the city.
Use national green standards/guidelines for purchasing/investments such as cleaning products, furniture, flooring/coatings.
Add city tree and plant cover that conserves topsoils and increases community health, wealth, quality of life.
Maximize tree planting along your main downtown street or throughout the city.
Build community capacity to protect existing trees by one or more of:
Conduct a tree inventory or canopy study for public and private trees.
Minimize the volume of and pollutants in rainwater runoff by maximizing green infrastructure.
Complete the GreenStep Municipal Stormwater Management Assessment.
Adopt and implement guidelines or design standards/incentives for at least one of the following stormwater infiltration/reuse practices:
Improve smart-salting by reducing chloride use in winter maintenance and dust suppressants to prevent permanent surfacewater and groundwater pollution.
Increase active lifestyles and property values by enhancing the city's green infrastructure.
Plan and budget for a network of parks, green spaces, water features and trails for areas where new development is planned.
Adopt low-impact design standards in parks and trails that infiltrate or retain all 2 inch, 24-hour stormwater events on site.
Create park/city land management standards/practices that maximize at least one of the following:
Develop a program to involve community members in hands-on land restoration, invasive species management and stewardship projects.
Improve local water bodies to sustain their long-term ecological function and community benefits.
Conduct or support multi-party community conversations, assessments, plans and actions around improving local water quality and quantity.
Adopt and publicly report on measurable surface water improvement targets for lake, river, wetland and ditches.
Adopt goals to revegetate shoreland and create a local program or outreach effort to help property owners with revegetation.
Assess and improve city drinking water and wastewater systems and related facilities.
Compare the energy use and financial performance of your facilities with other peer facilities using standardized, free tools.
Optimize energy and chemical use at drinking water/wastewater facilities and decrease chloride in wastewater discharges.
Implement an environmentally sound management program for decentralized wastewater treatment systems.
Clarify/establish one or more responsible management entities (RMEs) for the proper design, siting, installation, operation, monitoring and maintenance of septic systems.
Arrange for assistance to commercial, retail and industrial businesses with water use reduction, pollution prevention and pretreatment prior to discharge to septics.
Increase waste prevention, reuse and recycling, moving to a lower-consumption, more cyclical, biological approach to materials management.
Improve city operations and procurement to prevent and reuse, recycle and compost waste from all public facilities (including libraries, parks, schools, municipal health care facilities), and minimize use of toxics and generation of hazardous waste.
Address concerns over consumer products and packaging through encouragement/implementation of one or more of:
Publicize, promote and use the varied businesses/services collecting and marketing used, repaired and rental consumer goods, especially electronics, in the city/county.
Improve/organize residential trash, recycling and organics collection by private and/or public operations and offer significant volume-based pricing on residential garbage and/or incentives for recycling.
Prevent generation of local air contaminants so as to improve community health.
Replace small internal combustion engine lawn and garden equipment (e.g. lawnmowers, weed whips, etc.) with lower polluting equipment.
Decrease air emissions from vehicle idling, business trucking, and pollutants/noise from stationary engines/back-up generators.
Install, assist with and promote publicly available EV charging stations or public fueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles.
Resilient Economic and Community Development
Adopt outcome measures for GreenStep and other city sustainability efforts, and engage community members in ongoing education, dialogue, and campaigns.
Inclusive and Coordinated Decision-Making: Use a city commission or committee to lead, coordinate, report to and engage community members on the identification and equitable implementation of sustainability best practices.
Communicating Progress on Goals: Organize goals/outcome measures from all city plans (social, environmental, economic) and report to community members data that show progress toward meeting these goals.
Measuring Outcomes: Engage community members and partners in identifying, measuring, and reporting progress on key sustainability and social indicators/ including energy use/greenhouse gas emissions, social vitality/social inclusion outcome measures.
Public Education for Action: Conduct or support a broad sustainability education and action campaign, building on existing city & community relationships, networks & events involving:
Engaging the Next Generation: Engage wide representation of community youth and college students by creating opportunities to participate in city government (including commissions).
Expand a greener, more resilient business sector.
Create or participate in a marketing/outreach program to connect businesses with assistance providers, including utilities, who provide personalized energy, waste or sustainability audits and assistance.
Promote sustainable tourism in your city, and green tourism resources to tourism and hospitality businesses in/around the city.
Strengthen value-added businesses utilizing local "waste" material.
Conduct or participate in a buy local campaign for community members and local businesses.
Remove barriers to and encourage installation of renewable energy generation capacity.
Promote resident/business purchases and/or generation of clean energy by:
Promote financing and incentive programs, such as PACE, for clean energy:
Report installed private sector-owned renewable energy/energy efficient generation capacity with at least one of the following attributes:
Strengthen local food production and access.
Facilitate creation of home/community gardens, chicken & bee keeping, and incorporation of food growing areas/access in multifamily and residential developments.
Create, assist with and promote local food production/distribution within the city:
Measurably increase institutional buying and sales of foods and fibers that are local, Minnesota-grown, organic, healthy, humanely raised, and grown by fairly compensated growers.
Plan and prepare for extreme weather, adapt to changing climatic conditions, and foster stronger community connectedness and social and economic vitality.
Prepare to maintain public health and safety during extreme weather and climate-change-related events, while also taking a preventive approach to reduce risk for community members.
Increase social connectedness through engagement, capacity building, public investment, and opportunities for economically vulnerable residents to improve their economic prosperity and resilience to climate change.
Encourage private sector action and incentivize investment in preventive approaches that reduce risk and minimize impacts of extreme weather and the changing climate for human health and the built environment.
Protect public buildings and natural/constructed infrastructure to reduce physical damage and sustain their function during extreme weather events.
Protect water supply and wastewater treatment facilities to reduce physical damage and sustain their function during extreme weather events.