NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On November 15, New Brunswick's city government was awarded "bronze" status from the non-profit organization Sustainable Jersey during the New Jersey League of Municipalities annual conference.
The certification marks the second time the city's sustainability policies have been recognized by the statewide organization focusing on sustainable practices at the local level.
Sustainable Jersey, which provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs, ranks New Jersey's municipal governments based on a points system: the more a municipality works towards sustainability, the more points they get.
Local governments registered with the non-profit receive one of three categorizations: no certificate, a bronze certificate, or a silver certificate based on how many points they get.
A bronze certificate requires communities to establish a "green team," implement two of twelve priority actions, complete actions in six of nineteen of their categories, and receive a total of at least 150 points.
The bronze certificate was awarded to 158 municipalities in the Garden State.
The prestigious silver certificate was awarded to only 40 municipalities. That status requires a "green team," as well as implementing three of twelve priority actions, completing actions in eight of nineteen of their categories, and receiving a total of 350 points or more.
The program has existed since 2010, but New Brunswick did not achieve bronze status until 2015.
After scoring 235 points in last year's rankings, the city improved its total by another fifteen points, for a total of 250.
In 2015, New Brunswick was allotted 235 points for the following reasons:
Jennifer Bradshaw, New Brunswick's Public Information Officer, is excited about the progress and says the city already is thinking of how to improve its score yet again in 2017.
"We are pleased with this growth. We intend to continue working with each department to examine policies and practices as they correspond with Sustainable Jersey's Actions," said Bradshaw.
"We also plan to continue our existing work with Rutgers University and Middlesex County Sustainable Jersey Hub for the betterment of our shared community in these areas."
As a first step, the city's Green Team is planning a meeting before the year's end to wrap up 2016 and discuss goals for 2017, according to Bradshaw.