SUMMIT, NJ – The City of Summit has been named a Silver Level Certified Community by Sustainable Jersey.
One of just six communities who raised the bar on their Sustainable Jersey certification, Summit’s new designation means it has been recognized by the state organization as completing more sustainable actions. Currently 350 or 62 percent of New Jersey towns have registered with the program and are pursuing the certification.
With the addition of the 2011 certified towns, there are a total of 96 Sustainable Jersey certified municipalities. The program is voluntary and each town has to meet and document their achievement of the actions. Typically a town will select 10-12 actions from a potential list of over 117 actions that include areas such as a commitment to environmental stewardship, community gardens, supporting local businesses, conservation of energy and water and waste reduction and recycling.
“At the end of the day, this is the Environmental Commission’s award,” said Mayor Jordan Glatt. “They’ve done a great job. At the beginning of my term, I sat down with Marion Glenn and asked her to head this up and lead Summit in that direction. And she just ran with it.”
Glatt said that he is seeing an increase in families who are moving to Summit because of its focus on sustainability.
“People are looking for that when they’re deciding where to move,” he said. “They want to know their community is environmentally friendly and committed to sustainable practices.”
Sustainable Jersey is a certification program for municipalities in New Jersey. Launched in 2009, Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that supports community efforts to reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and improve environmental equity. Sustainable Jersey is empowering New Jersey towns to build a better world for future generations. It provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward communities as they pursue sustainability programs. New Jersey is the first state in the nation to have a comprehensive sustainability program for communities that links certification with strong state and private financial incentives, and a fully resourced program of technical support and training. Sustainable Jersey is 100 percent voluntary and each town can choose whether it wants to get certified and the actions it wants to do in order to achieve enough points to get certified.
Currently, 62 percent of New Jersey’s towns and cities (350 towns across all 21 counties) have registered to become Sustainable Jersey certified. The program has distributed over half a million dollars to New Jersey communities to support an estimated 1,500 actions taken "on the ground" to make communities more livable, environmentally friendly and prosperous. Nearly 75 percent of New Jersey’s population lives in registered/ certified Sustainable Jersey communities.
“Today, becoming a sustainable town is simply good government,” said Pam Mount, Chair of the Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees. “There are real financial benefits from implementing practices that lead to cost savings in energy, water and garbage bills.”
The certified towns will be recognized at the annual Sustainable Jersey awards luncheon on Tuesday, November 15 at the New Jersey League of Municipalities’ conference. In addition to the award presentations at the luncheon, key note speakers will include James Florio, the former New Jersey Governor and Trustee of the Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees and project partners Joseph Fiordaliso, Commissioner of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and Michele Siekerka, Assistant Commissioner, Economic Growth and Green Energy, at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Summit will be honored at the Annual Sustainable Jersey Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, Nov. 15 in Atlantic City.