Encouraging Local Governments To Reduce Their Environmental Footprint
The Green Communities Program is a voluntary certification program that helps local governments implement measures that will reduce their environmental impact. The program aims to create a greener, healthier and more livable region. To achieve this, the program is designed to help local governments:
- Reduce the environmental impact of the government through its buildings, fleets and practices
- Encourage their community to reduce its environmental impact
- Provide public education and outreach on sustainability issues
Benefits of Green Community Certification:
- Fosters civic pride
- Creates a positive image of a place to live or conduct business
- Sets an example for business and organizations seeking to reduce their environmental impact
- Leads to greater quality of life
How to Apply
Local governments are encouraged to contact ARC's Natural Resources Group at least six months prior to submitting an application to learn more about the certification process. The following documents explain the certification review and application process:
Green Communities Manual and Application Package
- Green Communities Manual
- Checklist of Measures for Certification
- Recommended Steps for Getting Started
- Application Cover Sheet
Application timeline for 2020 certifications:
- Applications are due by 5 p.m. on May 21, 2020 via electronic submission or mail.
- Applications will be 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 2020.
Educational Resources (includes green tip sheets and links to national and local resources).
The Green Communities Certification Process
Local governments earn certification points in the program by implementing sustainable policies and practices in the following categories:
- Green Building
- Energy Efficiency
- Green Power
- Water Use Reduction and Efficiency
- Trees and Greenspace
- Recycling and Waste Reduction
- Land Use
Based on the points earned, local governments may attain four levels of Green Communities Certification:
- Platinum: 330 – 435 points
- Gold: 280 – 329 points
- Silver: 230 – 279 points
- Bronze: 175 – 229 points
VIDEO - 2018 Green Communities Awards
Alpharetta, Chamblee, Cherokee, Decatur, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Sandy Springs received Green Communities certification in 2018. See why:
Certified Green Communities
In metro Atlanta, 20 local governments – 13 cities and seven counties – are currently certified under the Green Communities program.
See what each of the Green Communities did to receive certification at the following levels:
Green Communities Story Map
This map highlights just some of the green initiatives that certified Green Communities have implemented to lighten their environmental footprints. Many of these exemplify ways anyone can go green — at home and in the workplace.
Network + Knowledge
Want to learn more and meet members from our Green Communities program? Attend one of our quarterly Network+Knowledge sessions to hear the first-hand work our local governments do for a more eco-friendly region.
Green Matters E-Newsletter
Green Matters is an e-newsletter designed to give you a glimpse of important sustainability initiatives and funding opportunities happening around the metro Atlanta region and beyond. Sign up today!