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ARC Recognizes Five Communities for Leading the Way in Sustainability

Posted on: Jan 27, 2016

Contact: Cheryl Mayerik
Phone: 404.463.3296

(ATLANTA – Jan 27, 2016)

Rockdale County and the cities of Atlanta, Norcross, Peachtree Corners and Woodstock were recognized by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) for their leadership on sustainability issues.

These communities were certified through ARC’s Green Communities program for demonstrating new levels of commitment to environmental stewardship or exhibiting continued leadership in sustainability practices.

“These local governments are to be commended for making their communities more sustainable places,” said Kerry Armstrong, ARC chairman. “Their efforts to conserve energy, reduce waste and protect natural resources set an example for the entire region.”

ARC developed the Green Communities Program in 2009 to recognize local governments that invest in programs and policies that lead to a more sustainable region. The nationally recognized program showcases the ways in which local governments are helping transform the region by reducing their environmental footprint.

The following communities received certification points for their programs and policies to reduce their environmental impact:

  • City of Atlanta – Recertified, upgraded to Gold
  • City of Norcross – Recertified Gold
  • City of Peachtree Corners – Certified Bronze
  • Rockdale County – Certified Bronze
  • City of Woodstock – Recertified, upgraded to Gold

Examples of sustainable measures achieved by these communities include:

  • The City of Atlanta became the first city in the southeast to pass a comprehensive Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance for large commercial buildings and is the first city in the nation to require water audits.
  • The City of Norcross ensures that all of its residents live within a ½ mile of a publicly accessible park or greenspace.
  • The City of Peachtree Corners has adopted a Night Sky ordinance to reduce excess light pollution and conserve energy.
  • Rockdale County harnesses enough solar energy on the roof of a county fire station to power the equivalent of 3,800 homes each year.
  • The City of Woodstock rewrote its parking ordinance to encourage sustainable parking lot practices, such as permeable pavement, rainwater harvesting and storage, and usage of paving materials that have a high solar reflectance value.

These five local governments have had the following cumulative impact during the past four years:

  • 52 million kWh of green power produced
  • 535 additional acres of protected greenspace
  • 17 community gardens cultivated
  • 668 metric tons of reduced emissions
  • $8.2 million in energy savings
  • 3.5 million gallons of water saved or reused

Since 2009, 20 jurisdictions in the 10-county region have been certified. Cities and counties earn Green Communities certification by implementing practices and policies in 10 categories, ranging from energy efficiency and green building to transportation and water efficiency. ARC’s Green Communities program was the first program in the country seeking to transform a region by promoting sustainability through a “green” certification program for local governments.

Complete information about ARC’s Green Communities Certification Program, including the measures each community has implemented, is available at

The Atlanta Regional Commission is the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 70 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.

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