Towns Earn Statewide Recognition for Sustainability Efforts
Deep River and Essex were among 24 towns recognized for their efforts in sustainability by Sustainable CT, a statewide, voluntary certification program that supports sustainability best practices in Connecticut municipalities.
Sustainable CT is a non-profit organization guided by leaders from over 200 local governments, non-profit state agencies, businesses, academia, and communities. The organization aims to present a shared vision, road map, and tools for Connecticut municipalities to build thriving towns.
The non-profit released a press release on Oct. 31, announcing the list of towns that earned certification status for 2022. Deep River was listed among 15 towns earning bronze-level recognition. Essex was one of nine towns achieving silver-level certification, the high level of certification offered by the program.
For bronze certification, municipalities must complete the Sustainable CT Equity Toolkit and at least one “action” from the program’s list of categories. For silver certification, municipalities must complete three equity toolkits and at least one “action.” Actions categories include topics such as inclusive and equitable community impacts, thriving local economies, well-stewarded land and natural resources, vibrant and creative cultural ecosystems, dynamic and resilient planning, clean and diverse transportation systems and choices, renewable and efficient energy infrastructure and operations; inclusive engagement, communication, and education; strategic materials management, optimal health and wellness opportunities; healthy, efficient, and diverse housing, and effective, compassionate homelessness prevention.
Sustainable CT also awarded its first-ever Climate Leader designations. The program was piloted in 2022 to support the acceleration of municipal actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the changing climate. Through successful implementation of multiple climate actions, five towns earned distinction as the first cohort of Sustainable CT Climate Leaders including Fairfield, Glastonbury, New Britain, Stratford, and West Hartford.
“Congratulations to our first-ever Sustainable CT Climate Leaders and our 2022 certified communities,” said Lynn Stoddard, executive director of Sustainable CT. “We are inspired by the leadership and commitment of these communities. From elected officials and town staff to resident volunteers, these certified towns and Climate Leaders are improving opportunities and the quality of life for all.”
“We are thrilled to recognize additional communities that are using the Sustainable CT framework to build long-term resilience to climate change,” said Bryan Garcia, co-chair of Sustainable CT and president and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “Our support for equitable communities, affordable housing, clean and efficient transportation and energy, and resilient and accessible food systems, helps to strengthen and unify our communities faced with the impacts of climate change and its effect on our economy.”
Sustainable CT is celebrating its fifth anniversary and continues to see momentum and growth as a high-impact program. According to a press release, 129 municipalities are currently participating in the program, representative of 90 percent of the state population. Since its founding in 2016 and 2017, 62 municipalities have earned certification from Sustainable CT. Certification lasts for three years.
Deep River and Essex, among the 22 other certified towns, will be recognized at the Sustainable CT Award Celebration on Monday, Nov. 14 from 3 to 6 p.m. at West Hartford Town Hall.
For more information about Sustainable CT, visit sustainablect.org.