Sustainable Jersey representatives announced that Highland Park has met the rigorous requirements to achieve Sustainable Jersey “Silver” certification. Highland Park is one of 52 municipalities that have attained certification in 2021 and was honored at the Sustainable Jersey Annual Luncheon on November 16, 2021 in Atlantic City at the New Jersey State League of Municipalities Conference. Sustainable Jersey’s participating communities represent over 81 percent of the state’s municipalities.
“Highland Park’s commitment to environmental sustainability is reflected through virtually all municipal operations,” said Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler.
“Highland Park has been able to achieve Silver certification because of Sustainable Jersey’s leadership and because of Sustainable Highland Park’s commitment to effective policy implementation. We are proud of the work we have achieved, but there is still much, much work to be done and I look forward to working with Sustainable Jersey to reach more milestones as we help lead New Jersey towards a 100% green energy state by 2050,” Brill Mittler added.
To become Sustainable Jersey certified at the silver-level, Highland Park submitted documentation to show it had completed a balance of the required sustainability actions, meeting a minimum of 350 action points. In addition to reaching 350 points, each community had to create a green team and select at least three out of thirteen priority action options. Highland Park did all of the 13 priority actions by completing 1) climate adaptation: flooding risk, 2) diversity on boards & commissions, 3) energy efficiency for municipal facilities, 4) energy tracking & management, 5) fleet inventory, 6) green business recognition program, 7) municipal carbon footprint, 8) municipal water story, 9) natural resource inventory, 10) prescription drug safety and disposal, 11) recycling and waste reduction education and compliance, 12) sustainable land use pledge, and/or 13) water conservation ordinance].
“The certified towns exemplify the commitment we need to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. As New Jersey faces issues such as the climate crisis, a growing equity divide and environmental pollution, it is essential that we support municipalities as they do the hard work to meet these challenges at the local level,” said Randall Solomon, executive director of Sustainable Jersey. “These communities are helping New Jersey build back better after the COVID-19 pandemic and it is our honor to work with them as we strive for a better tomorrow!” Certified towns excelled in areas such as improving energy efficiency, health and wellness, reducing waste, sustaining local economies, protecting natural resources and advancing the arts.