Benchmark energy and water usage, identify savings opportunities in consultation with state programs, utilities and others to implement cost-effective energy and sustainability improvements.
The GreenStep 29 best practices
The GreenStep 29 best practices
- Make planning and tracking easier download this spreadsheet that lists all unique actions – approximately 175 – for all 29 best practices.
- Cities that implement a minimum number of best practices organized into these five topical areas will be recognized as Step Two and Step Three GreenStep Cities. See What are Step Two and Three Recognition Minimums?
- Cities should claim credit for best practices already implemented. Adding best practices over time will garner additional recognition.
- For each best practice, and depending on city category (A, B or C), a city needs to complete one or more actions from a list associated with the best practice. See What category is my city in?
Buildings and Lighting
Provide incentives for energy, water and sustainability improvements in existing residential, not-for-profit and commercial buildings/building sites.
Construct new buildings to meet or qualify under a green building framework.
Improve the efficiency and quality of street lighting, traffic signals and outdoor public lighting.
Create economic and regulatory incentives for redevelopment and repurposing of existing buildings.
Build public support and legal validity to long-term infrastructural and regulatory strategy.
Increase financial and environmental sustainability by enabling and encouraging walkable housing and retail land use.
Develop efficient land patterns that generate community health and wealth.
Adopt commercial development and design standards for auto-oriented development corridors and clusters.
Adopt development ordinances or processes that protect natural systems and valued community assets.
Create a network of green complete streets that improves city quality of life, public health, and adds value to surrounding properties.
Increase active transportation and alternatives to single-occupancy car travel.
Implement a city fleet investment, operations and maintenance plan.
Implement Travel Demand Management and Transit-Oriented Design in service of a more walkable city.
Adopt environmentally preferable purchasing policies and practices to improve health and environmental outcomes.
Add city tree and plant cover that conserves topsoils and increases community health, wealth, quality of life.
Minimize the volume of and pollutants in rainwater runoff by maximizing green infrastructure.
Increase active lifestyles and property values by enhancing the city's green infrastructure.
Improve local water bodies to sustain their long-term ecological function and community benefits.
Assess and improve city drinking water and wastewater systems and related facilities.
Implement an environmentally sound management program for decentralized wastewater treatment systems.
Increase waste prevention, reuse and recycling, moving to a lower-consumption, more cyclical, biological approach to materials management.
Prevent generation of local air contaminants so as to improve community health.
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.
Expand a greener, more resilient business sector.
Remove barriers to and encourage installation of renewable energy generation capacity.
Strengthen local food production and access.
Network/cluster businesses and design neighborhoods and developments to achieve better energy, social, economic and environmental outcomes in service of a more circular and equitable economy.
Plan and prepare for extreme weather, adapt to changing climatic conditions, and foster stronger community connectedness and social and economic vitality.