On January 8, cities and partners around the state are celebrating 10 years of the GreenStep Cities program guiding and supporting cities to become more sustainable. In fact, 134 cities are now participating in the program — that’s 15 percent of Minnesota cities, representing almost half of the state’s population.
From Aitkin to Wyoming, Cities across Minnesota are working to make their communities more energy efficient, healthy, and environmentally conscious by joining the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program.
Minnesota GreenStep Cities is a voluntary program that helps cities by providing a framework for sustainability improvements — best practices, model ordinances, tools to make planning and tracking activities easy. A menu of program best practice actions, based upon evidence from Minnesota cities, focus on cost savings, energy use reduction, and innovation.
Cities are saving money, and lots of it: $8,370,000 on energy costs per year. GreenStep cities are also working to increase their resilience to climate change:
- 35 cities have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent
- 25 cities now have climate goals
- 58 percent have changed to LED street lights
But wait! There’s even more! Cities have also:
- Completed 4,210 actions within the GreenStep 29 best practices
- Installed more than 130 electric-vehicle charging stations
- Certified more than 229 green buildings
- Created more than 587 renewable energy sites
- Upgraded infrastructure to withstand severe weather events
Learn about the GreenSteps that Inver Grove Heights, South St. Paul, and West St. Paul are taking to reduce their carbon footprint:
In June 2019, the City of Shoreview received the League of Minnesota Cities' 2019 Sustainable City Award for its “Water Consumption and Groundwater Awareness Project.”
Learn more about GreenStep Cities and the great work of Minnesota municipalities on the Minnesota GreenStep Cities web site.