Thursday, June 28, 2012

Richmond Wins Best Green Organization Award


The Virginia Sustainable Building Network (VSBN) has named the City of Richmond as the Best Green Organization for 2012. Each year, VSBN highlights and awards “green” businesses, organizations, design firms, and community programs that present the best “green” projects or programs in Virginia. Alicia Zatcoff, City Sustainability Manager, accepted the award today on behalf of the City during the VSBN Annual Meeting in Madison County.

The Best Green Organization category recognizes an organization for its leadership in promoting and advancing the principles of sustainable design, implementation of sustainable practices, or adoption of sustainable programs or ordinances. Richmond was recognized for its development of the RVAgreen Sustainability Plan and the many accomplishments under the City’s RVAgreen Program. 

“We are very pleased to receive this recognition for all the hard work the City Administration has put in to making Richmond more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “I am proud of the major steps we have undertaken under the RVAgreen Roadmap. Together, in partnership with the community and non-profits, we can follow this roadmap to improve the quality of life for city residents and have a more sustainable community. ”

RVAgreen efforts include the implementation of an anti-idling policy for City vehicles, transitioning the refuse fleet to compressed natural gas, building green alleys to prevent run-off from polluting the James River, building several new City buildings, including four new schools, which are all pursuing a minimum of LEED Silver certification, and hiring a Sustainability Manager. The City has also made vacant City property available for community gardens, hired a Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Coordinator to help guide the City towards becoming more walkable and bike friendly and is working towards making the James River more accessible to all residents. The RVAgreen Sustainability Plan is available at www.richmondgov.com/sustainability. 

Virginia Sustainable Building Network (VSBN) is the only statewide organization that brings together representatives from diverse sectors who are interested in building healthy, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly buildings and sustainable communities. 

VSBN's mission is to promote environmentally sound — or Green — building practices and sustainable development in Virginia. These building designs, methods, and materials save energy costs, reduce waste and promote recycling, reduce environmental impacts and exposure to unhealthy substances, strengthen local economies, and contribute to an enhanced quality of life.