BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ - Bernards Township's list of "green" initiatives taken over several years, including reducing energy consumption, ending pesticide use on public lands, and installing solar panels on public lands, has earned the township re-certification as one of only 27 municipalities throughout the state to again attain a Sustainable Jersey certification at the silver level.

Bernards Township is scheduled will be honored at the sixth annual Sustainable Jersey awards luncheon on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at the statewide League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City, according to an announcement by the township.

To become Sustainable Jersey-certified at the silver-level, Bernards Township was required to submit documentation to show it had completed a balance of the required sustainability actions, adding up to a minimum of 350 action points.

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In addition to reaching 350 points, each community had to create a "Green Team," with one having initially been established in Bernards by former Mayor Mary Pavlini even before the state program was launched in 2009, and to select at least three out of eleven priority action options.

Bernards Township achieved 425 action points and completed five of the 11 priority actions, including an energy audit for municipal buildings, fleet inventory, municipal carbon footprint, natural resource inventory and a prescription drug safety and disposal program.

Bernards Township one of first six New Jersey towns to achieve silver-level certification

This is the third round of certification for Bernards Township. In 2009 they achieved bronze-level certification, followed by silver-level certification in 2011 – one of only six statewide at the time. “Becoming Sustainable Jersey certified is a significant achievement, especially at the silver-level,” said Pam Mount, chair of the Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees. “The certified towns demonstrate tremendous leadership and are a testament to how much we can accomplish with impressive sustainability initiatives in New Jersey.”

Certified towns excelled in areas such as improving energy efficiency and health and wellness, reducing waste, sustaining local economies, protecting natural resources, and addressing diversity and equity. “Collectively the 417 participating Sustainable Jersey towns are a powerful force in New Jersey,” said Donna Drewes, co-director of the Sustainable Jersey program. Randall Solomon, co-director of the Sustainable Jersey program congratulated the certified towns. “I commend the towns that have achieved certification for their demonstrated commitment toward the long-term goal of a sustainable New Jersey.”

About Sustainable Jersey

Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue "sustainability" programs for municipalities in New Jersey that want to go green, save money and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long term.

Currently, 417 of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities are participating in the sustainability certification program. In 2014, the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program will be launched in partnership with New Jersey School Boards Association and other statewide educational organizations.

Sustainable Jersey’s partners include the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, The Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Clean Energy Program. Program underwriters include the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Surdna Foundation and BPU. Previous Sustainable Jersey Small Grants program cycles have been underwritten by Walmart, PSEG and the New Jersey Department of Health. Sponsors include South Jersey Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas, Church and Dwight, Covanta Energy, Energy Solve, Terhune Orchards, Bayshore Recycling, Good Energy, EcoMatters, Spiezle Architectural Group, Waste Management of New Jersey, Pennoni Associates, Inc., Investors Bank, and Concord Engineering. The program underwriters for Sustainable Jersey for Schools are the New Jersey School Boards Association, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program and Bayer Foundation. The founding sponsors for Sustainable Jersey for Schools are South Jersey Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas and NJM Insurance Group with additional support coming from Pennoni Associates, Inc.

The Sustainable Jersey website is at www.SustainableJersey.com, and is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SustainableJersey.