Green Government Initiative

NACo’s Green Government Initiative provides comprehensive resources for local governments on all things green—including energy, air quality, transportation, water quality, land use, purchasing and recycling. GGI serves as a catalyst between local governments and the private sector to facilitate green government best practices, products and policies that result in financial and environmental savings. Through the initiative, NACo:
  • Develops strategies to save counties money while going green
  • Educates counties on techniques for implementing green strategies
  • Provides tools for counties to educate their communities on all things green
  • Promotes environmentally-preferable purchasing
  • Facilitates an open exchange with the private sector

Sign up now to be the first to know about how counties are going green!​​

​​​​​NACo 2014 Green Government Initiative Forum

Powering County Resilience: Renewable Energy Solutions Forum
​Sponsored by the National Association of Counties Green Government Initiative​

​March 20-22, 2014

​Hyatt Hotel
1111 E Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Click here for more information and to register for the event.

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Green Technology: How Tech Enables Counties to Invest in Renewables

Thursday, February 27, 2014; 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM Eastern Time

Recent advancements in technology have spurred interest and growth across the nation in renewable energy. Technology is allowing counties to more efficiently develop renewable energy programs - from siting new wind energy facilities, to creating energy from once unused sources including converting post-recycled solid waste into electricity, to ensuring reliable and secure transmission of energy via smart grids. By providing an easier path to renewable energy, technology is helping counties reduce energy costs and generate new economic activity, while meeting sustainability goals.

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Green Goods: How to Create Sustainable County Purchasing and Procurement Programs

​Wednesday, January 22, 2014; 2:00-3:15 PM Eastern time

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. 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.

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Grow Your County’s Green Building Industry: Policies, Codes, and Incentives

November 2013

Building green provides many benefits: efficient operations, higher property value, comfortable and healthy spaces, creation of skilled jobs, and more. County governments can support local construction economies and meet growing demand for green buildings with thoughtfully designed policies, mandatory codes, and voluntary incentive programs. In this webinar, the second of two, speakers will discuss best practices and common pitfalls of implementing county strategies, and highlight counties where these approaches are being piloted. 

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Updating Your County’s Green Building Toolbox

September 2013

In this webinar, the first of two, industry experts will outline best-available building rating systems, standards, and model codes, highlighting recent updates.

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Understanding the Smart Grid: A Guide for County Leaders

February 2014

In February of 2014, the National Association of Counties released an issue brief on the role that counties can play in advancing energy technology through the adoption of and investment in smart grid technologies.​

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Energy Efficient County Buildings

January 2013
In May of 2012, the National Association of Counties and the Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) launched a study to learn more about how counties use energy in their buildings.

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The County Sustainability Team

October 2012

A poster which visually demonstrates the various departments within county government that are influencing s​ustainability to better their communities. Hard co​pies of the poster are available upon request​.

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2012 Emerging Sustainability Strategies in America’s Counties

October 2012

NACo's Green Government Advisory Board identifies key trends influencing the emergence of new sustainability strategies providing efficiency and cost savings to county government.

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America’s Counties Experience the Benefits of Soy Biobased Products

October 2012

A brief look at how counties are using Soy Biobased products to save money and green their counties.​

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Green Government Initiative Newsletter

The Green Government Initiative Newsletter provides monthly 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:

CSI Blog Spotlight: Green Government rssicon.png
NACo Participates in Social Coast Forum

​Written by Alyssum Pohl, NOAA Digital Coast Fellow and Jen Horton​, NACo Program Manager.

Volunteers for the Oleta River Wetland Restoration Project in Miami-Dade County, Fla. represent a number of different partnership organizations. Source: Miami-Dade County.​

The second bi-annual Social Coast Forum provided an opportunity for participants from a wide variety of backgrounds to share tools and methods being used as part of successful coastal management.  Held in Charleston, South Carolina in late February, this interdisciplinary forum aims to understand people—where they live, what they do, what they value—and how the application and integration of this information aids in coastal decision-making.  Some common themes addressed at the forum included climate change, land use planning, ecosystem services and human uses of the oceans.


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2 weeks ago

Green Government Initiative Newsletter: February 2014

​​GGI Newsletter Header.png

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

REGISTRATION OPEN! County Renewable Energy Solutions Forum
GGI will be hosting the Powering County Resilience: Renewable Energy Solutions Forum in Santa Barbara County, Calif., from M...
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2 months ago

Registration is Open for NACo Renewable Energy Solutions Forum

Is your county looking to expand its energy portfolio or develop a renewable energy program? Renewable energies have become more efficient, reliable and affordable, and technology has allowed for renewable energy to be developed from once-unused sources.

To help you understand how renewable energy can help your county meet its sustainability goals and save money, NACo’s Green Government Initiative will be hosting the Powering County Resilience: Renewable Energy Solutions Forum this March 20-22in Santa Barbara. The one-and-a-half day forum will bring together county leaders and industry experts to share how they’ve implemented sustainable energy solutions, including geothermal heating and cooling and landfill-to-gas conversion. Through presentations, panel discussions and site visits, you will learn new wa...

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2 months ago

Coastal Resilience Planning Guide Now Available for Great Lakes Region

Written by Alyssum Pohl​, NOAA Digital Coast Fellow.
The Great Lakes Coastal Resilience Planning Guide (GLCR) is a website that provides regionally relevant resources related to natural hazards and climate change resiliency to county and municipal communities in the Great Lakes region.  Jeff Stone, project manager for the Association of State Floodplain Managers (one of many partner groups involved in the GLCR’s creation) says, “We created a resource which is regionally transferrable from one community to another, all around the Great Lakes.” The GLCR is a versatile tool, neatly organized into several sections that allow you to learn about and help mitigate the issues at hand from whatever background you may come.

For ...

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2 months ago

Environmental Purchasing Programs: Buying Green to Save Some Green

Written by Rob Pressly​, NACo Program Manager.
One of the most effective ways for a county to meet its triple bottom line is by changing what it purchases. A sustainable purchasing program, or an environmentally preferred purchasing program (EPP), can help counties purchase goods that reduce their impact on the environment and public health without compromising on quality or cost.

Through an EPP, a county considers a number of aspectsabout the goods and services it purchases, including the production, manufacturing, packaging and distribution, maintenance, reuse and disposal. EPPs can help counties save taxpayers’ money through reducing water and energy usage, lowering pollution rates, increased recycling rates, and decreasing the amount of waste sent ...

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3 months ago