Many GreenStep cities use an existing group, such as a city environmental commission or an existing civic group, as their GreenStep implementation or "green" team. Those forming a new committee to lead, coordinate and report on the implementation of GreenStep best practices may find these tips for creating and maintaining successful green teams useful, as well as the Organizing Guide from GreenStep.
Cities interested in using a college student intern to assist with one or more tasks - joining the GreenStep program, creating a green team, reporting on GreenStep actions completed, and working on new actions - should approach their local educational institution and use the GreenStep Intern Manual. Cities that need help in connecting with a local post-secondary school should contact their regional CERTs director. Some cities have worked with a local high school, whose students often can assist a city under a school-required service learning agreement.
A staff green team, or small working group (e.g., city manager, council member, citizen commission chair) exists; city participation in a multi-city/regional green team; annual news article/media to community members referencing GreenStep (& other programs as relevant); city web has a link to city's GreenStep web page.
A citizens group, city task force/commission or committee of city staff/officials exists to lead and coordinate sustainability/GreenStep implementation; a report available online with details on city's sustainability accomplishments.
A committee of city staff/officials and community members (business, education, religious) exists; annual report includes some metrics, such as dollars spent/saved, energy saved, and any sustainability indicators measured, and energy/carbon inventory data or ecological footprint data if gathered; participation in a county/multi-city green team.
Who's doing it
Bloomington - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
The City of Bloomington Sustainability Commission was formed in April 2017. The Sustainability Commission advises the Bloomington City Council, Bloomington City staff, and the Bloomington community on policies, practices, procedures and proposals that relate to the sustainable use and management of environmental resources that include air, water, energy, land and ecological resources, and waste. The Commission helps to ensure that such resources will be sustained and continue to provide for a high quality of life for present and future generations. They will be responsible for lead, coordinate and report on the implementation of best practices.
Complete: As a member of ICLEI, the City of Edina completed Milestone 1 using ICLEI's CACP software for the year 2007: A baseline inventory of carbon emissions generated by city operations, such as buildings, water pumps, city fleet, etc. was collected. Aggregate data were also collected for city-wide residential, commercial and industrial emissions. For 2008 all municipal sectors were entered into the CACP software except for water. For 2009, B3 data was entered for the 10 largest municipal buildings. The B3 data is complete for all buildings for 2010 and 2011 through June. Green Step City progress is reported to the community at the annual January meeting of the Energy & Environment Commission, which is televised on Edina Cable Ch 16. Each selected Best Practice in Edina's Green Step Cities program is reported on as well as each action within that best practice.
The results from the carbon emission inventory were used in a pilot project with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and published on their website in 2009-2010 (www.cdproject.net). Note that the 2010 results are published in the 2011 report. Edina also participates in the Regional Indicators Project for which its data is complete for 2008-2010. Each January EEC meeting is televised and includes a status report to the community on each Best Practice in the Green Step Cities Program. This was held on 1-12-12 and televised on cable Ch 16 and is available to the public to download.
Hopkins currently records all green activity on the City's website. There is also a GreenStep Cities poster located in the lobby of City Hall. The Green Intern at the City of Hopkins is also working on a pilot report to summarize the City's progress.
The city of La Crescent has had a Green Team in place for over a year now. It meets on a monthly to bi-monthly schedule to work on issues of sustainability. As we continue to grow we will work on ways to communicate and engage our citizens. The team has expanded over the year including more community members and school district employees.
We have seen an increase in awareness by not only city staff, but also community members and city council members. Sustainability is on the tip of everyone's tongue!
Maplewood has had a Green Team since 2008. The Green Team is made up of a group of employees that serve as the steering committee for the Green Step Cities program. In 2015 the Green Team focused on organics and energy with the implementation of the City Hall Campus Organics Collection Program, Energize Maplewood! Pilot Challenge, participation in the Power Down plug load study, and several Green Team events. The Green Team presents an annual Sustainability Report to the Environmental and Natural Resources Commission and City Council yearly. These presentations are broadcast live and replayed on the City's cable television channel. The annual sustainability report is also posted on the City's website.
The City of Maplewood is participating in the Partners in Energy Program with Xcel Energy. Through the program the City formed an Energy Action Team, made up of City residents, business owners, Council, Commission, and staff members. The Energy Action Team reviewed the City's energy data from Xcel Energy including energy used, programs participated in, dollars spent. With this information the Energy Action Team created energy actions that can be achieved over a two to three-year period. The energy actions are outlined in the plan called Energize Maplewood! which was adopted by the City Council in April 2015. Since that time the City has implemented two of the energy actions including the residential energy challange (Energize Maplewood! Team Energy Challange) and offering energy audits and energy efficiency improvements to businesses and churches (Building Tune Up Program). Xcel Energy is tracking the energy actions and energy reductions taken. The City will report on these goals.
In 2011 a group of public and private citizens began meeting to discuss environmental challenges in the City of Marshall. On April 26, 2012 the Marshall City Council officially designated the group as the Marshall GreenStep Committee. The committee is comprised of city staff, privates business owners, agencies, and concerend citizens. They meet monthly to share information and work on various GreenStep Best Practices. Prioritization and completion of Best Practices are coordinated with city leadership and departments.
Information about the GreenStep activities and Best Practice accomplishments is shared through newspaper articles, links from the City and Chamber websites, and frequent presentations to the City Council/Rotary/Kiwanis.
Two to three newspaper articles per year on Marshall GreenStep activities.
Weekly links from the Chamber newsletter to the Marshall GreenStep web page.
One to two presentations to the Marshall City Council each year.
Two to three presentations to the Marshall Rotary and Kiwanis clubs each year.
The Marshall GreenStep page has a direct link to the Marshall page on the Minnesota GreenStep Cities website so anyone can see the Best Practices completed.
The Oakdale Environmental Commission updates its Generation Green Sustainability Plan annually, and the plan includes a section on the city's progress towards GreenStep Cities recognition. This plan is available year-round on the city website. The Sustainability Plan includes an energy/carbon inventory comparing data back to 2007. The Environmental Management Commission also discusses the GreenStep cities program frequently during their televised monthly meetings.
The annual performance management report was presented to the City's Community Services Commission (GreenStep Cities citizen advisory group) on April 17, 2018, detailing progress on various best practices as well as sustainability and resiliency goals for the city. Feedback from the Commission helps advise the City Council and City staff on issues and topics relating to recreation, parks, public works, and sustainable efforts at their monthly meetings. The City also has a staff Green Team, which was originally created to pursue Richfield's solar efforts and subsequently has focused on GreenStep Cities progress as an advisory committee.
The St. Louis Park Environment and Sustainability Commission, through a dedicated Green Step work group, will evaluate present practices and recommend changes and additions as needed.
Green Step accomplishments are reported to the City Council through monthly meeting minutes and an annual report. Green Step program information and action steps will be publicized through City communications channels, and periodic news releases to the St. Louis Park Sun Sailor.
At a regular meeting January 8, 2018 the Belle Plaine Planning Commission, with staff support, agreed to lead implementation of the City's draft 2040 Comprehensive Plan outcomes pertaining to livability, sustainability, and stewardship. The PC will be the lead committee overseeing and implementing GreenStep, Solsmart, and Mayor's Monarch Pledge action items.
a) In December 2013, the Bemidji Sustainability Committee reported to City Council Bemidji's progress with MN GreenStep Cities. The Sustainability Committee will now have an opportunity to report their initiatives including their work with MN GreenStep Cities to the council on a quarterly basis.
b) The first-ever GreenStep Cities Celebration was held on Jan. 18th. About 100 community members attended the event including members of the City Council.
The City of Big Lake has a Sustainability Task Force, created this year by our MN GreenCorps member. The GreenCorps member also regularly sends out environmental education materials (newsletters), which are also posted on the City website and Facebook page. The Task Force is working toward achieving new MN GreenStep Cities' BPs such as reaching out to high school students about our work and educating local businesses about sustainability. There is a link to MN GreenStep Cities on the City's website.
Created in 2008, the Sustainability Commission, made up of community members, works to support city efforts to promote a green, sustainable and affordable community. They work to study strategies and make recommendations to aid the community to reach sustainability goals. The Commission, along with city recycling staff, initiated Coon Rapids joining the GreenStep program. They plan to use this as a way to track existing sustainability initiatives and as a tool to identify which areas need to be improved. They create a city Sustainability Report highlighting various departmental programs, metrics for tracking results and sharing this information with city staff and the community.
Coon Rapids has also published various articles related to joining the GreenStep program and plans to add more as various Best Practices are achieved. This information will also be available on the city website.
Cottage Groves Environmental Commission annual goals include achieving further in the GreenStep program. They receive a televised update twice per year on the next goals for implementation of Best Practices and create a reachable goal plan.
The commission also takes part in the communities Strawberry Festival each summer where members provide information to curious residents on their work in sustainable actions within the community.
In 2016 the communication department will be providing a 'weekly blast' via e-mail to residents including announcements, sustainable educational information and GreenStep updates. Currently, a monthly newsletter is distributed to residents which also includes sustainable actions the city is taking as well as opportunities for residents to take action in sustainable practices.
A page on the City's website is dedicated towards updating the community on the City's GreenStep best practices and progress. The City announced the participation of the City in the GreenStep Cities program via the City website, electronic reader board, community newsletter, and numerous local newspapers. Ongoing updates on progress are communicated via the City's newsletter and Eagan Patch (online newspaper). The Energy and Environment Advisory Commission also presents the City's GreenStep efforts and progress at the bi-annual City-wide open house, Showcase Eagan.
Green Steps Committee formed to report to the city council and the community on implementation of program best practices.
The city administrator formed a staff committee to perform the tasks of implementing additional best practices. The committee includes the city administrator, community development director, city engineer, parks and recreation director and municipal services director. Additional city staff members will be included as needed. The committee will report back to the city council on a regular basis so they can track the progress of becoming a Step 3 and more successful Green Steps city.
The City of Fridley has an Environmental Quality and Energy Commission comprised of seven members that advises the City Council on sustainability decisions. The Environmental Planner serves as the staff liaison to this commission.
The City provides updates on sustainability achievements through its website:
The Environmental Commission coordinates and monitors the implementation of the GreenStep Cities program. All Environmental Commission meetings are open to the public. A summary of actions completed by the City and entered onto the GreenStep Cities website will be included in the Commission’s Annual Report to Council which will be made available to the public via the City’s website.
A link to the City’s GreenStep Cities web page is available on the City website.
Hastings Environmental Protectors (HEP) is an existing group made up of Hastings residents who share a common interest in environmental health and sustainability efforts. The group has agreed to assist the City in its ongoing participation in the GreenStep Cities program. The group will help to identify outcome metrics as well as opportunities for achieving additional best practices. The City and HEP will team up to develop a sustainability report that will contain data showing the progress that has been made as well as summaries of other related efforts. This report will be made available to the public and will be used as a tool to report to the City Council.
The City of Hutchinson now has a page on its website that advertises its participation in GreenStep Cities and publishes important accomplishments in sustainability that the City has taken.
While this is the first full year (2015-16) that Hutchinson has participated in GreenStep Cities, the City plans on presenting its progress on GreeenStep Cities Actions annually to the City Council. The City already presents annually on energy reductions to the Council, and plans to expand on this by also presenting on progress in other areas of sustainability covered by GreenStep Cities. City Council meetings are broadcasted live and rebroadcasted by Hutchinson Video Cable Network.
The City also has a blog where major accomplishments are published and made available to the public. This has been used in the past to advertise GreenStep Cities accomplishments.
The City Council recently established a GreenStep Committee whose role will be to oversee and coordinate sustainable efforts within the community. Staff is in the process of creating a webpage on the city’s website that will keep the public up to date on the community’s sustainable efforts.
Efforts will be measured through actions and efforts implemented not only as part of the GreenStep program, but also through other sustainable practices that the city and community see fit to implement.
In April 2017, the Jordan Planning Commission received their yearly update on Jordan’s involvement in the GreenStep City program and provided feedback on priorities for the year. Additionally, the City of Jordan’s website contains information about Jordan’s status in the GSC program, and is updated with information on which best practices have been accomplished. To increase awareness of the city’s involvement, updates on achievements in the GreenStep program are noted in the city newsletter for all residents to find. Residents are encouraged to contact the city with questions/suggestions on how to become more environmentally friendly.
Beginning in 2017, the planning commission will have a yearly update on Jordan’s GreenStep Cities actions and successes. The commission will also offer feedback on which best practices and actions to prioritize moving forward.
A committee has been formed that includes: the MN GreenCorps member (as long as she is serving the city), a city council member, the city administrator, a member from the Parks and Rec Commission, a member from the Planning Commission, and two other community members. The committee will publish an annual report on the city's GreenStep participation, and publish various newspaper articles throughout each year. The committee meets on a monthly basis to discuss GreenStep implementation progress and plan projects.
The Marine GreenStep Cities Committee is comprised of a small group of citizens and a City Council representative. The GSC Committee works with City representatives, City staff, and the community to define and make progress on implementing GreenStep Best Practices.
The GSC Committee submits articles about GreenStep activities and accomplishments for publication in the City's quarterly newsletter.
The City of Newport has placed the Best Practices spreadsheet on its Sustainability webpage, which outlines the City's progress on the best practices and actions. The City will continue to update the spreadsheet and provide updated information to the Council on a regular basis.
The City of North St. Paul's Environmental Advisory Commission provides guidance for City's participation in the Minnesota Green Step Cities. The City has published newsletter articles on the process and the City Council has announced it's participation on air during City Council meetings.
The GNSC acts as a facilitator for all things sustainable in Northfield. They host frequent meetings and discuss ways to lead, coordinate, and report to community members on implementation of GreenStep best practices.
During meetings, the Northfield GreenStep Cities Coordinator will update the group on progress associated with the advancement of the GreenStep Cities Program
The Sustainability Commission is currently composed of eight citizen members with the purpose of providing advice to the City Council concerning environmental issues and initiatives confronting the City. The Commission works with citizens, government, businesses and local community organizations to protect and preserve the ecological resources of the community. Specifically, the commission is charged with recommending a sustainability plan to the City Council; assisting and advising the Council, Planning Commission and other City agencies in assessing the environmental impact of proposed undertakings; recommending environmental policies; completing studies; developing educational programs; and establishing volunteer programs and opportunities. In 2015, the Commission adopted the "Green Wing Energy Action Plan" which establishes energy reduction goals for the community. The Commission reviews GreenStep City best practices when taking into consideration implementing new initiatives. The commission meets the 4th Tuesday of every month at 5:30 p.m.
Rochester's Energy Commission meets monthly, and is in charge of informing community members regarding the progress of the MInnesota GreenStep Cities project. The agenda and minutes from each meeting are then posted on the Rochester's Energy Commission website for all to access. The website also provides links for community members own interests.
Currently Rochester is a Step 2 GreenStep City. We are completing the work in order to become a Step 3 City.
The City's Public Works Environment and Transportation Commission originally recommended participation in the MN GreenStep Cities program to the City Council. The Committee and staff will continue to coordinate GreenStep implementation measures and report on progress annually to the City Council and residents via the website, City newsletter, and an Annual Report.
The community-based committee, St. Cloud Area Sustainability Committee will be launching a St. Cloud Sustainable website in Summer, 2011. There will progress reporting on the identified best practices from the Sustainability Framework Plan as well as progress in ICLEI, GreenStep Cities, and MN B3 Energy Benchmarking. Also, there are quarterly sustainability updates at the St. Cloud Area Joint District Board meetings.
The City has a Sustainable Saint Paul team, which meets monthly to discuss sustainability efforts. Members include staff from the following departments/offices: the Mayor’s Office, Planning and Economic Development, Office of Technology and Communications, Public Works, Office of Financial Services, Parks and Recreation, Department of Safety and Inspections, and more.
The City publishes a quarterly sustainability newsletter (Sustainable Saint Paul Briefings). In the Summer 2016 edition, we will include an article on Saint Paul’s participation in the GreenStep Cities program. In addition, the city has a link to its GreenStep web page on our Sustainable Saint Paul website.
SR Green is an independent advisory committee on conservation and the environment for the City of Sauk Rapids. The committee usually met once a month starting in 2008 and through November 2015. The committee is now meeting on an as needed basis. The committee has included articles in the city newsletter on community gardens, the GreenStep Cities step two recognition block award, and weekly bike rides in the community. A link to the GreenStep Cities website is available on the city's Community Development page.
• Formation of Best Practices advisory committee with the mayor, a city councilman, and other private citizens serving on the committee.
• City webpage has a link to the city’s GreenStep profile
• Monthly-bimonthly newsletters are provided to committee members and the public at large
• Purpose of the committee is to further GreenStep City Best Practice actions
Online link on the city’s webpage to a report detailing the city’s GreenStep accomplishments
The City of White Bear Lake Environmental Advisory Commission provides guidance for City's participation in the Minnesota Green Step Cities. The City's website provides information about involvement in GreenStep Cities.
GreenStep Cities will provide resdient's information about the city's completed best practices at the City's Environmental Resource Fair in the summer of 2013.
The Woodbury Environmental Advisory Commission is the lead group helping city staff identify what GreenStep best practices to try implementing next. The commission is organized into subgroups to research specific topics and to find out what resources are available that could help the city move forward with additional practices or actions.
The city has a monthly newsletter (City Update), in addition to the Green Times newsletter, published three times each year. The March 2013 issue of the Green Times featured two articles on Green Step Cities.
On the city staff level, the Sustainability Specialist will be the lead staff person to coordinate GreenStep implementation. The city also has a staff Sustainability Committee made up of at least one staff person from each city department. As new policies and initiatives are developed, the sustainability committee will provide review and comments before implementation.
The GreenStep program will be featured on a page within the city’s sustainability web pages: www.woodburysustainability.com
The GreenStep initiative is being lead by a group of City staff known as the Green Committee. This committee is responsible for implementing the actions necessary to become a Step 3 GreenStep City and logging the changes made in the GreenStep website.
The City is publishing a GreenStep Cities newsletter article in the 2015 Summer edition to share our participation in the program. It will also be available on the City's website. These newsletters are out for the public at most city facilities and are mailed to each home.
In addition, the City began a "Green Team" of employees to promoting Sustainable Energy, Financial, and Environmental Practices for the City years ago. This mission: To consider and promote sustainable practices for the City's use of energy resources in its daily operations and delivery of services. Some activities included:
1) Learn about and understand the broader issues and context surrounding energy usage for now and into the future.
2) Educate and promote sustainable practices among other City employees. (Example: Encourage conservation by shutting off unnecessary artificial lighting during the day).
3) Act as a clearing house for information and training opportunities on sustainability so that other members of the organization can learn more about how energy sustainability can be achieved in their specific areas.
4) Explore and solicit ideas from within home departments for ways to create more sustainable energy usage within the department. (Example: Look at purchasing vehicles and equipment with fuel or energy consumption in mind).
5) Recommend City-wide policies to the City Administrator that support the team mission. (Example: Create a City-wide policy on the use of electric heaters and fans at individual workstations).
6) Recommend City-wide policies to the City Council that support the team mission, but may impact the delivery of services. (Example: Look at areas of a park that are currently mowed weekly that might be allowed to go natural without mowing).
While not currently active, the resources for lowering our environmental footprint are still available on the internal intranet to all employees.
The City passed a resolution to join the Minnesota GreenStep Cities Program in March 2011.
The City has also embedded the "We're a GreenStep City" on its homepage to give residents an opportunity to find out more about GreenStep as well as track how their City is doing in its initiatives. The City also publishes its Planning & Zoning Committee meeting minutes on line which allows readers to see what type of green measures the City is working on.
Burnsville became a GreenStep City on April 17th, 2012, and shortly after, began to enter completed Best Practices and Actions onto this GreenStep Cities website. On June 21st, Burnsville will be recognized as a Step 2 City based on the actions completed. After this ceremony, Sue Bast (Burnsville's GreenStep City coordinator), will develop an article for the cities newsletter that goes to all residents and some businesses. Sue will also write a press release. In the following year's Annual Sustainability Report, Burnsville's GreenStep City's status will be incorporated. This report is available online off the city's website.
A committee has been formed in order to pursue GreenStep initiatives and investigate ways to achieve our goals. The committee will be made up of Shannon Stassen (City Administrator), Dr. Katy Chapman (UMC Associate Professor, UMC Sustainability Coordinator), and a UMC Sustainability Department student intern. Anybody interested in joining the committee can contact Shannon Stassen. This committee will meet regularly and construct annual reports of the progress toward goals. A GreenStep page will be available on the city website that will keep community members informed on the current initiatives taken by the GreenStep committee.
The City produces an annual report detailing the events and progess of the past year. The 2011 report contains information on the implementation of GreenStep City best practices and is posted on the City's website for residents to view.
On May 4th 2015 at a city planning meeting, Tiffany Edholm the UMD GreenStep Cities intern for Gilbert lead a discussion about future best practices to implement. A final report of her experience was available as well as a detailed report about what Gilbert has already accomplished.
This meeting gets the city involved so they may carry the torch once the intern is gone. It creates an active decision making process. The meeting leaves the decisions of future projects to the city planning members.
The City publishes a quarterly newsletter called "Green Talk" that has informed residents on the City's participation in GreenStep Cities several times. The newsletter is developed by the City's Environmental Commission. Attached is one example.
The city of Minnetonka distributes a monthly newsletter to all residential property owners within the City. Included in the newsletter are energy-saving tips and energy-saving efforts initiated by the city. The newsletter also updates citizens on a yearly basis of the city’s GreenStep status. Further, GreenStep initiatives and status are provided in the news and events section of the city’s website.
The Citywide Action Team will be responsible for coordinating and reporting progress. The Citywide Action Team is a standing group comprised of staff from all City Departments and Divisions. The Citywide Action Team will utilize existing communication mediums such as social media, the City website, Citywide newsletters, and the local media to communicate the best practices which are implemented.
The City issued a press release on 1/14/15 explaining that the City Council passed a resolution to participate in the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program.
The In Touch - Spring 2015 newsletter, which is distributed to all residents and businesses in the city, provided an update on progress with the GreenStep Cities Program (page 2). The newsletter also contains a 2014 water quality report (page 6).
The City website advertises the City's participation in GreenStep cities and provides a link to the GreenStep website, where residents can view the City's progress. The City's sustainability web page also lists energy and dollars saved for specific projects that the city has completed. In April of 2012, the Spring Newsletter will advertise participation in GreenStep cities, provide a link to the website, and offer contact information for the City's GreenStep Coordinator.
The City periodically distributes literature and press releases related to advancements in the Greensteps program. Outlets utilized include: social media, email subscriber notices, printed and digital City newsletter articles, and general press releases to local media outlets.
The City's Environmental Quality Committee originally recommended participation in the MN GreenStep Cities program to the City Council. The Committee and staff will continue to coordinate GreenStep implementation measures and report on progress annually to the City Council and residents via the website and City newsletter.
Additionally the City is participating in the Regional Indicators Program and updates will also be shared.
The city has provided a link on the front page of the web site to GreenStep cities. Updates will be provided twice each year in the newsletter as information is available.
The city established an energy committee to work with Xcel Energy Partners in Energy program to further the clean energy agenda in the city. A plan has been activated and we will begin implementation of energy goals in late 2017.
The City's Planning Commission has been involved with the Minnesota GreenStep Cities Program since Victoria was selected as part of the pilot program. The Planning commission has received updates at different meetings on the program's progress. The city of Victoria gives an annual presentation to the City Council and public about Green Step Cities and why it is important and where to find the best practices on the website.
The Environmental Specialist, senior staff and the Environmental Commission coordinate the GreenStep Cities program. An annual report of the City’s program progress will be presented in December to the Environmental Commission and the City Council beginning in 2019. Information about GreenStep Cities is also promoted on the City’s website which also includes a link to the City’s GreenStep Cities progress.
A small group of South St. Paul Staff work collaboratively to further the City’s progress in the GreenStep Cities Program. Additionally, a GreenSteps page is available on the City’s website to keep residents informed about the program.
The Citizen's Environmental Quality Committee acts as an advisory to City Planning Commission. This Committee is responsible for the attainment of environmental goals and implementation of environmental policies, of the Winona 2007 Comprehensive Plan along with modifications of the plan as they occur. The committee meets monthly.