The City of Petersburg has been awarded the platinum level certification, the highest level, in the 2015 “Go Green VA Challenge”, which is part of the Virginia Municipal League’s (VML) larger “Go Green Virginia” environmental initiative. The award was recently presented to the City at VML’s annual conference on October 6th.
This is the fourth year that Petersburg has received a certification from VML’s Green Government Challenge. Mayor W. Howard Myers, in turn, will present the award to Petersburg’s Department of Public Works at the October 20 City Council meeting. “This recognition demonstrates the City’s investment and outreach programs that are key to the City’s Strategic Plan to create a more livable and sustainable community to meet future generation’s needs. We will continue to develop policies that protects the environment and creates a healthy community” says City Manager, William E. Johnson, III.
VML’s platinum-level certification is awarded to localities scoring more than 175 out of 200 possible points. The City was evaluated on 10 categories and 44 action items including energy efficiency, waste management, renewable energy and innovative initiatives. Last year the City was recognized as a gold level certified “Green Government”. The “Go Green Challenge” is designed to encourage implementation of specific environmental policies and actions that reduce carbon emissions generated by both local government and the community. Petersburg earned the award for many initiatives including:
• Performed an Energy Efficiency study of the City’s Facilities to develop an Energy Improvement Plan which will reduce greenhouse gas emission and provide an energy guarantee savings related for the maintenance and operations of water, lighting, HVAC and roofing; and
• Undergoing a Performance Contract to improve the energy efficiency for all occupied City facilities
• Adopted a policy of LEED Certification for all public facilities for construction and renovations; and
• The new City Hall is being designed to meet LEED Certification
• Implemented a City-wide recycling collection program with Container First Services LEED certified recycling program; and
• Adopted a Green Fleet Policy to reduce twenty percent of the City’s annual usage of petroleum by January 2018; and
• Completion of the Virginia Tech’s Environmental and Sustainability Management System Training Program (ESMS) to develop best practices to reduce environmental impacts and increase operating efficiency; and
• Petersburg Area Transit provided a trolley in Downtown to help promote transit and biking; and
• Established a new Adopt a Planter program and working with local business to encourage a friendly challenge to recycle and implement sustainability practices within their business
• Added 5-miles of new bike lanes as part of the City’s annual pavement schedule; and
• Installed 11,500 water meters with Automated Meter Reading System (AMR) to improve conservation of water and reduce vehicle emissions by 9 tons of Co2.