TRENTON – The large Garden State city most equipped to handle the new paradigm of 21st Century sustainability – for the third straight year – is Woodbridge, Middlesex County, according to the nonprofit organization Sustainable Jersey.
Over 62 percent of the state’s municipalities have voluntarily sought certification from the organization, which quantifies each town’s efforts to reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and improve environmental equity.
Today, Sustainable Jersey announced the winners of the municipal awards in four categories – Champions, Innovation, Leadership and Collaboration – selected from the 28 municipalities that achieved certification in 2011.
The winner of the Sustainability Champion Award in the large city category is Woodbridge. Summit, Union County, won the award for medium cities, while Cape May City, Cape May County, won for small cities.
Middlesex won for the third year in a row, certified this year with a record high of 625 Sustainable Jersey points.
“Sustainable Jersey serves as a benchmark for our sustainable initiatives, while providing the Township with additional resources needed to plan for our green future,” Mayor John McCormac said in a press release. “As a result, Woodbridge has implemented many sustainable initiatives and programs that serve to better manage the ways we use energy and other natural resources at work and home. Sustainable Jersey is an important vehicle by which our Township will continue to move into the future as a sustainable and environmentally-conscious community.”
Summit also won for the second year in a row.
The Leadership Award was presented to Hoboken, Hudson County, for demonstrating regional or statewide leadership and making the most of local resources through exceptional dedication and leadership.
The Innovation Award was given to Princeton Township, Mercer County, for pioneering or testing a significant innovation, recognizing creativity, originality, and forward-thinking that can lead to new best practices and strategies in sustainability.
The Collaboration Award was bestowed to Jersey City, Hudson County, for a municipality that partners with other organizations to implement a program or project, recognizing that many sustainability issues must be addressed on a regional scale or require the pooled resources of more than one partner.
The municipal award winners were selected by an independent review panel that included representatives from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, New Jersey Future, PSEG, Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/ArtPride New Jersey Foundation.
Sustainable Jersey will present the awards at a luncheon at the New Jersey League of Municipalities’ Conference on Tuesday at the Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel Crown Ballroom, second floor, from noon to 1:30 p.m.