What started as a survey …
Broward County’s Energy and Sustainability Program (supported by a U. S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block grant) has been coordinating a county-wide effort to collect, analyze, share and celebrate the many successful sustainability initiatives in our community.
Through the 2011 Municipal Green Initiatives Survey, we gained a greater understanding of the scope and diversity of green/sustainability related programs implemented throughout the County. We found that, collectively, local governments in Broward County have taken significant strides and have a broad experience with various aspects of planning and implementing energy conservation measures and sustainability initiatives. The results are more than informative - they are inspiring! Check out our report, Sustainability in Broward County Florida: Local Government in Action, which summarizes the outcomes of the survey.
Because sustainability programs typically have multiple goals, cross-cutting themes, and both measurable and more general benefits, data collection for the survey proved to be especially challenging. The County worked with staff from various departments in all 31 municipalities. Communication and coordination became a critical component of administering the survey successfully.
The Survey provided an opportunity to begin a dialogue with energy and sustainability managers throughout the Broward community. Following the recommendation from the survey report, Broward County’s Energy and Sustainability Program has begun to organize events and workshops to bring these local experts and leaders together to discuss program goals and challenges, share success stories, discover opportunities for collaboration, and brainstorm new ideas for making Broward an even more energy efficient and sustainable place to live.
… has grown into a regional network!
The group, called Sustainability Stewards of Broward, involves over 100 local sustainability leaders from the tri-county region. Representing a diverse base of community knowledge and expertise, participants include energy managers, water engineers, city and transportation planners, elected officials, urban farmers, green builders, architects, education administrators and others. The workshop series for 2012 will focus on critical topics, such as: energy generation and conservation, sustainable funding models, and adaptation planning for climate change. Future workshops and events are open to the public and will be posted on the News section of this site.
The group is also committed to working together to build additional content for the Sustainability Clearinghouse. Best practices in a variety of fields related to sustainability - especially focusing on locally based programs and solutions - are highlighted here. An extensive database of online resources, such as relevant organizations, funding opportunities, and reports from around the globe, is also accessible here, on the Resources and Links sections. The Clearinghouse is a tool created by local government, for local government, and is expected to be a useful resource for Broward professionals and citizens interested increasing the effectiveness of their green programs.
For more information about the 2011 Municipal Green Initiatives Survey, the Sustainability Stewards of Broward group, or the Sustainability Clearinghouse, contact: Jill Horwitz, Natural Resource Specialist I, Broward County’s Energy and Sustainability Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.