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December 18
Green Government Initiative Newsletter: December 2013

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Welcome to the NACo Green Government Initiative​'s monthly newsletter! Each month you'll receive updates about programming and events to keep you up-to-date on all things GGI-related.  To make sure you're caught up on all of our workshops, forums, webinars and other items, click here​ to sign up for the Green Government Initiative Newsletter.

GGI Updates

Save the Date! County Renewable Energy Solutions Forum
GGI will be hosting the County Renewable Energy Solutions Forum in Santa Barbara County, Calif., from March 20-22, 2014. Hear from county leaders and industry experts about how they've implemented sustainable energy solutions, including geothermal heating and cooling and landfill-to-gas conversion, and learn how you can help your county reduce its environmental impact while cutting energy costs. Stay tuned for registration information. 

January Sustainable Purchasing Webinar
As counties strive to reduce waste, conserve energy and lower operational costs, purchasing recycled and environmentally-friendly goods, materials and services can greatly contribute to meeting a county's financial and sustainability goals. GGI will be hosting a free webinar, Green Goods: How to Create Sustainable County Purchasing and Procurement Programs, on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 from 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM EST. Join us to discuss how you can help your county develop an environmentally preferred purchasing program, navigate the myriad of product eco-labels and green purchasing guidelines and hear success stories from counties that have established sustainable purchasing and procurement programs. Register here to attend the free webinar. 

Raking in the Savings: Cutting Costs through Mulching Programs
Did you know that your county could save tens of thousands of dollars (or maybe even millions!) each fall by encouraging residents to mulch their leaves instead of bagging them? Check out our recent blog post to learn how mulching leaves can improve soil quality while providing significant savings in operational costs. 

New NACo Publication: Strategies to Bolster Economic Resilience 
NACo released a new report this month that suggests counties, regions and communities that can foresee, adapt to and leverage changing economic conditions are best positioned to attract and grow new businesses, retain skilled workers and promote a high quality of life. Strategies to Bolster Economic Resilience: County Leadership in Action features eight case studies demonstrating how some county leaders are pursuing innovative strategies to create healthy, safe, vibrant and economically resilient communities. Click here to read more about the report. You can download the full document here

Green Building Webinar Rewind 
Did you miss GGI's Grow Your County's Green Building Industry: Policies, Codes, and Incentives webinar last month, or want to re-watch the two-part series? Luckily for you, we've archived these sessions. Click here to view our Green Building Toolbox webinar, in which industry experts outline the best-available building rating systems, standards, and model codes, highlighting recent updates. You can view the second webinar in the series here. In this webinar, speakers discuss best practices and common pitfalls of implementing county green building strategies, and highlight counties where these approaches are being piloted. 

County Updates

President Obama Names Three GGI Board Members to Federal Climate Change Task Force
On November 1, President Obama announced appointments to his Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. Task Force members are composed of state, local and tribal officials, experienced in local climate issues, and are tasked with providing recommendations to the Administration on how the federal government can help state and local governments on resiliency and preparedness efforts. Three GGI Board members were chosen by the President for this Task Force: GGI Chair Salud Carbajal, Supervisor, Santa Barbara County, Calif.; GGI Vice Chair Paula Brooks, Commissioner, Franklin County, Ohio; and Kristin Jacobs, Mayor, Broward County, Fla. All of these local officials are well-versed in local impacts of climate change and will be an asset to the Task Force. For more information on the Task Force, click here

Will County, Ill., Progresses in the DOE's Better Building Challenge
As part of the DOE's Better Building Challenge, Will County, Ill. is committed to reducing energy use in several buildings by 20 percent by the year 2020. Through a number of initiatives, including installing energy efficient windows, reducing energy use in lights inside and outside the buildings, installing a revolving door to reduce heat or cooling loss, adding insulation and reflection to building roofs and even installing a green roof, the county has already reduced its energy by 13 percent.  Click here for information on the challenge, and the county's progress in meeting its energy reduction goals. 

Leading the way for Organics Recycling
The Ramsey/Washington County Resource Recovery Project, a partnership between Ramsey and Washington Counties, Minn., has launched an innovative program, BizRecycling, to provide free assistance to businesses and institutions that want to learn more about recycling opportunities for paper, bottles, cans, food and other organic waste. Click here to read more about the program and how it plans to help businesses in light of a state mandate to reach 15 percent organics diversion by 2030.

Interesting Links

Oneida County, N.Y. is Going Solar
The Oneida County, N.Y.Board of Legislators approved a plan to install solar panels on a 25-acre plot. The board expects the plan will save the county at least $250,000 per year over the next 25 years. Click here to read more.

Howard County's Robinson Nature Center wins "2013 Green Sustainable Tourism Award"
Howard County's LEED Platinum-certified James & Anne Robinson Nature Center was chosen as the winner of Maryland's Office of Tourism's "2013 Green/Sustainable Tourism Award." Features like geothermal heating/cooling and solar panels helped the building lower energy use by 30 percent, water use by 50 percent, and saved more than $18,000 in energy costs. Click here to read more. 

Addressing Climate Change at the County Level
Click here to learn more about how some New York counties are developing climate adaptation strategies. 

King County selected as founding member of Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council
King County, Wash. has been chosen as a founding member of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, which will develop best practices and standards for sustainable purchasing and procurement programs. Click here to read more. 


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For more information about NACo's Green Government Initiative, e-mail us at or 202.942.4224


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