Sustainability Resources

The following are resources from the League and other organization to help cities with their sustainability efforts.

League Resources

  • Minnesota GreenStep Cities: The League is a partner in the GreenStep Cities initiative. This initiative is a voluntary program to identify, support, and recognize implementation of sustainable best practices. The initiative aims to identify best practices for cities, provide benchmarks and indicators to assess achievement, point cities toward tools and sources of assistance, recognize the efforts of local governments and help cities lead the way to more sustainable communities.

Green/Sustainability Resources

  • CERTs Light Resources. There are a lot of new lighting options out there today, so the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) has created a suite of resources to help you find your way. CERTs has a new bulb guide, recycling options, links, and an e-mail help line. Their Right Light Guide will illuminate the main differences between the types of bulbs available, how to identify the brightness of light bulbs, how to read the new labels, and even a shopping list to take to the store. Cities may wish to let their residents know about this new guide to help them as they seek greater efficiency.
  • ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability: ICLEI provides technical consulting, training, and information services to build capacity, share knowledge, and support local government in the implementation of sustainable development at the local level. One of their latest projects, the International Local Government Greenhouse Gas Protocol, offers guidelines for quantifying greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group: Part of the Governor’s Next Generation Energy Initiative, the group was charged with developing a comprehensive set of state-level policy recommendations that considers the costs and benefits of each recommended option.
  • Minnesota Department of Commerce Office of Energy Security: Energy Info Center The Office of Energy Security offers several resources including a listing of current funding opportunities. Legislation passed in 2008 created several local government energy programs that will be administered through the Department of Commerce.
  • Minnesota Green Communities: Minnesota Green Communities, a collaboration of the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, Family Housing Fund and Enterprise, offers information and links to numerous resources on building sustainable, green affordable housing and communities. A sustainable community can be fostered through landscaping practices, housing, building and development codes, job creation, policies and standards.
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency: The MPCA offers several programs and resources on sustainability that are targeted at cities, including
    • The Green Building Program was developed to help communities find environmental solutions that are both economically viable and compatible with social needs.
    • The Sustainable Communities resource page offers a collection of resources for sustainable development activities at the community level as well as information on training, consultation, technical assistance, financial assistance and referrals.
    • NextStep: Minnesota Sustainable Communities Network offers many resources, including tools, fact sheets, reports and case studies on various topics including buildings, business, communities, energy, transportation, statewide/global, and more.
    • Minnesota Climate Change Corps (pdf) offers free assistance to cities, counties, and other communities looking to reduce energy costs and become more sustainable. Types of assistance available include: sustainability assessments and advice on sustainability planning; recommendations on energy conservation and waste reduction initiatives; carbon baseline assessments, and assistance for GreenStep Cities participants.
  • Office of the State Auditor Best Practices Review: Reducing Energy Costs in Local Government: The report presents the findings of a survey of local governments, recommendations, case studies of best practices and numerous resources for reducing energy costs. Also included are cost/benefit analyses on various technologies and services to reduce energy costs.
  • State of Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines (MSBG)(B3): The guidelines are region-specific, tailored to the needs of public buildings and technical in nature. All new buildings and certain types of additions funded in whole or part by Minnesota bond monies after January 15, 2004, must comply with the guidelines.