Where will leadership and progress come from in an era of declining federal interest in sustainability issues? We believe that it will come from all of us, working together.
If a more sustainable, prosperous and equitable New Jersey sounds like a good goal, I hope you will attend Sustainable Jersey’s 2017 New Jersey Sustainability Summit on June 21, 2017. We will share a vision for the future, update our progress and renew our commitment to a joint approach to making progress for achieving this vision through collective action.
Sustainable Jersey is fueled by our participating local communities — 444 municipalities and 897 schools and districts. As an organization, we are a connecting force between municipalities and schools, and scores of public, private and governmental entities.
Where once sustainability wasn’t present in the local conversation, now there are hundreds of new green teams and sustainability commissions created as formal bodies of local government and in the public schools, all charged with driving change on these issues. Where once local leaders felt isolated, now they can move forward supported by a vast network of allies providing technical assistance, grants, political support and recognition for their efforts. Where once they saw their effort as part of a local initiative, now they can see how their local progress contributes toward achieving a broad vision for the future of our State.
Collective impact initiatives require a common agenda, a backbone infrastructure to coordinate action and participants from across all sectors of the community. The fact that collectively municipalities and schools have implemented and documented nearly 8,000 discrete actions as part of their Sustainable Jersey efforts is a direct result of commitments and efforts made by diverse individuals and organizations throughout New Jersey at all levels. Sustainable Jersey looks to collaborate, support and amplify the efforts of the existing resources in New Jersey to achieve a shared vision.
Create a Vision and Inspiration for the Sustainable New Jersey Movement
Working with experts, partners and local leaders, Sustainable Jersey has over 300 best practices and performance standards for communities that are intended to move us toward sustainability. Thousands of local volunteers and officials have dedicated their time and resources to implementing the best practices and meeting the standards. All of this is done by people relying on an intrinsic belief that things need to change and a broad unwritten consensus about the general direction in which we need to go.
Track Our Progress
Agreement on the ways success will be measured and reported is also significant. Sustainable Jersey has indicators to track progress so that we can ensure that over time our work is yielding results that are commensurate to the long-term challenges.
The goals and indicators in the 2016 New Jersey Sustainable State of the State Report, provide us with a better picture of why we are engaging in sustainability efforts, and help guide the future creation of Sustainable Jersey’s standards and actions. The establishment of “Gold,” Sustainable Jersey’s highest level of certification, forges the link between the municipal program and the broader, long-term outcomes desired.
This is outlined in the Sustainable State 2016 Update & the New Gold Standard. A 2017 update on our progress will be provided at the Summit on June 21.
2017 New Jersey Sustainability Summit Highlights
The Sustainability Summit keynote speaker will be Chris Daggett, president and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Chris directs efforts to build the capacity of grantees by connecting leaders across sectors to foster a culture of collaboration. Chris comes with decades of experience leading regional efforts in the federal and state government, nonprofit and private industry arenas. Chris will share his insights on the long-term implications and relevance of collective impact on today’s climate.
Sustainability Summit participants will have a choice of attending one of six breakout sessions and one of six information sessions. Led by practitioners and community leaders, these sessions will present what is being done, and what can and should be done, at the local level in areas ranging from water resources, energy, waste, civic engagement and local economies to school and municipal green teams. Each session will include the collective action that can take your local action to the next level. Read the full descriptions of the breakout and informational sessions
Each session will include the collective action that can take your local action to the next level. Read the full descriptions of the breakout and informational sessions here.
2017 New Jersey Sustainability Summit: Breakout Sessions
- Complete Streets: Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?
- Need Help? Strategies and Resources to Support Local Sustainability Initiatives
- Promoting A Clean Energy Future at The Local Level
- Protecting Our Natural Resources: Local Action, Regional Impact
- The Art of Sustainability: Turning Creativity into Problem Based Solutions
- Waste Not, Recycle More! Waste Management Strategies at The Local Level
2017 New Jersey Sustainability Summit: Information Sessions
- Coding for Community Demonstrations
- Funding Helps! Tips for A Successful Grant Application
- Helping Your Local Businesses Be More Sustainable
- LEAD NJ: Strengthening Leadership at The Local Level
- New Jersey Clean Energy Program: Save Money and Energy at The Local Level
- Shining the Light on Solar
When communities act individually, they can solve their own problems. When they act together, they strengthen their ability to make local progress and are also able to address challenges across New Jersey and then make progress on national and global problems. Be a part of this movement and register for the 2017 New Jersey Sustainability Summit: www.bit.ly/2017SustainabilitySummit
The 2017 Sustainability Summit sponsors are Investors Bank and Church & Dwight. Summit partners include New Jersey Audubon, New Jersey Future, New Jersey League of Municipalities, The College of New Jersey and Together North Jersey.