Pontiac, MI - The Michigan Green Communities (MGC) program has recognized Oakland County for its environmental leadership.
The county achieved silver status for exemplary action in multiple categories, including planning, climate resilience and adaptation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation and protection, and mobility.
"One of my first pledges to the residents when I became the county executive in 2019 was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the county government campus in Pontiac and Waterford by 2030 and in the county overall by 2050," said Oakland County Executive David Coulter. "I'm honored that the Michigan Green Communities program has recognized the county for the environmental sustainability plans we're developing that will ensure future generations have a safe and clean county where they can live, succeed and thrive."
Since hiring its first chief environmental sustainability officer, Oakland County has begun tracking and measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, developed a campus-wide sustainability plan, integrated solar energy in an upcoming renovation, and plans to install electric vehicle charging stations in two parking lot projects.
The county was also recently accepted into the 2022 LEED for Cities program which provides technical assistance to help communities reach their sustainability goals.
"You cannot manage what you do not measure - metrics and data are critical to sustainability – and we are already gauging our performance in reaching our sustainability goals," Erin Quetell, Oakland County's chief environmental sustainability officer, said. "The Michigan Green Communities Challenge is a great way for municipalities of all sizes to track and measure their sustainability successes."
As part of the 2021 MGC Challenge, 44 participating local governments were awarded gold, silver, or bronze seals of achievement reflecting community leadership in areas such as energy efficiency, climate adaptation and resilience, recycling, environmental justice, and more. Ten communities received bronze certification, 12 received silver certification, and 22 received gold certification.
The MGC program is open to all local governments in Michigan. MGC is a sustainability networking, benchmarking, and technical assistance program. It guides and supports communities in adapting to a changing climate, protecting infrastructure, improving the quality of life for residents, and creating a more environmentally and economically sustainable future for the state of Michigan.
MGC is supported by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services; the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; the Michigan Association of Counties; the Michigan Municipal League; and the Michigan Townships Association. More details about this program can be found at www.migreencommunities.com.