AP NEWS

Greenwich named a top ‘sustainable’ town

October 10, 2018

GREENWICH — Greenwich has been named one of five municipalities to earn the “silver” ranking by Sustainable CT, a statewide initiative by Eastern Connecticut State University designed to encourage towns and cities in the state to protect the local environment and build resilient local communities and economies.

In the initial year of certification, 22 towns were recognized by the program. The “silver” classification is its top ranking.

“It was and remains extremely important for Greenwich to be involved with this initiative because it expands the town’s continued efforts to be a steward of the environment not only locally, but regionally and globally,” said First Selectman Peter Tesei.

He added the town “has always been forward thinking in this area” and credited local groups including Greenwich Green and Clean and the Greenwich Tree Conservancy, plus town government for its work in recycling.

“This initiative embraces all aspects of life in Greenwich from the arts, schools and business to its diversity,” Tesei said. “Having earned a silver certification from Sustainable CT is an affirmation of the commitment of the town and its residents to preserve and protect our natural resources for future generations.”

Sustainable CT praised Greenwich for its “efficient, resilient and inclusive best practices.”

The town will be among those recognized at the Annual Convention of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities on Oct. 30 at Foxwoods Resort.

Patricia Sesto, town director of environmental affairs, pointed to several accomplishments that earned the town the silver ranking, including the ban on disposable plastic bags that went into effect in September, planning and zoning regulations to promote sustainability and a townwide plan to preserve open space.

“There is a lot of prestige to this ranking,” Sesto said. “This was not an easy certification to earn and it goes beyond just the Conservation Department. This is also delving into the Department of Public Works and the Planning Department and even our tax assessor. It goes into arts and culture in the town. It really goes everywhere. It goes into the schools as we attempt to educate and promote sustainability. That’s what the state wanted to see. They wanted to see the entire community be engaged and not just one department.”

Sesto said the silver ranking will help the town will win grant money for future sustainable initiatives. She predicted two of those initiatives: reducing Styrofoam waste throughout town and increasing energy efficiency in Town Hall.

According to Sustainable CT, the 22 recognized municipalities, which included Stamford, Fairfield, Westport, New Haven and West Hartford, “demonstrated significant achievements in nine sustainability impact areas ranging from thriving local economies and vibrant arts-and-culture to clean transportation and diverse housing.”

Before the rankings were revealed, participating municipalities were reviewed by partners in the Sustainable CT initiative and independent experts in the field.

“We are inspired by your leadership and eager to share your accomplishments in building efficient, thriving, and resilient communities,” said Lynn Stoddard, executive director of Eastern Connecticut State University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy, which administers the program.

kborsuk@greenwichtime.com

AP RADIO
Update hourly