The Green Communities Program is a voluntary certification program for jurisdictions in the 10-county Atlanta Region to encourage local governments to become more sustainable. ARC developed the program to assist local governments in reducing their overall environmental impact. Local governments earn points in 10 categories by implementing specific policies and practices that contribute to overall sustainability. The categories are:
- Green Building
- Energy Efficiency
- Green Power
- Water Use Reduction and Efficiency
- Trees and Greenspace
- Recycling and Waste Reduction
- Land Use
Green Communities set an example by conserving energy, investing in renewable energy, conserving water, conserving fuel, reducing waste and protecting and restoring the community’s natural resources.
Measures are worth 5 or 10 points, depending on their difficulty and overall impact. Three levels of certification are awarded:
- Bronze: 175 – 229 points
- Silver: 230 – 279 points
- Gold: 280 – 329 points
- Platinum: 330 – 435 points
Applications for Green Communities Certification in 2015 are due May 26, 2016.
Video - ARC's Certified Green Communities Program
Green Communities Vision and Goals
An Atlanta Region Green Community is a community that is leading the way to sustainable living. ARC’s Green Communities Program is designed to encourage local governments to demonstrate leadership on environmental sustainability. Certified Green Communities set an example by conserving energy, investing in renewable energy, conserving water, conserving fuel, reducing waste and protecting and restoring the community’s natural resources.
- To promote measures that encourage local governments to work towards reducing the environmental footprint of the government through its policies, practices, buildings and fleets
- To promote measures that assist local governments in encouraging their community to reduce its environmental impact
- To provide assistance in public education and outreach on sustainability
Benefits of Green Community Certification
Green Community certification:
- Fosters civic pride
- Creates a positive image of a place to live or conduct business
- Sets an example for businesses and organizations seeking to reduce their environmental impact.
- Leads to greater quality of life
Green Communities Application Process
Applications will be accepted beginning January 5, 2015 through May 26, 2016. Jurisdictions interested in pursuing Green Communities certification should download the following materials to learn more about the certification review process and schedule:
Though not required, it is highly recommended that interested local governments contact ARC's Natural Resources Division to learn more about the certification process at least 6 months prior to submitting their application.
Application processing timeline:
- Applications due by 5 PM on May 26, 2016 via electronic submission or mail.
- Applications reviewed by ARC staff June through August
- Site visits take place September through October
- Advisory Review Team reviews applications in October
- Certified Green Communities announced in January
For more information, contact ARC’s Natural Resources Division.