Sustainability & Smart Energy Use

Rising energy costs and a growing awareness of climate change have led cities across Minnesota to take action. Many cities are displaying "green" leadership by undertaking initiatives that increase energy efficiency or protect the environment in other ways.

A documentary co-produced by the League and Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) highlights the green leadership of cities. “Green Cities: Leading The Way” focuses on the efforts of four Minnesota cities—Barnesville, Elk River, Minneapolis, and New Ulm. The League sent DVDs of the documentary to member cities.

The cities in the League-TPT documentary are true leaders in the realm of sustainability and smart energy use. However, they aren't the only cities that are doing remarkable things for our environment. More than 25 cities submitted information to be considered for the documentary.

2008 LMC report highlights green efforts

Sustainability was also a focus of the League's 2008 State of the Cities Report, which reveals that 58 percent of responding Minnesota cities have implemented at least one initiative to increase their energy efficiency.

View the State of the Cities Report 2008 (pdf)

The motivations for “going green” are many. Common goals include:

  • Achieving long-term cost savings associated with many energy efficient technologies;
  • Combating pollution;
  • Satisfying environmental regulations;
  • Reducing a city’s impact on the environment;
  • Creating healthier work environments;
  • Setting an example for the larger community; and
  • Finding potential job and economic opportunities through the creation of “green-collar jobs.”

Read more and access sustainability resources