(June 21, 2018—St. Cloud, Minn.) The League of Minnesota Cities presented the City of St. Cloud with the 2018 Sustainable City Award today at the League’s Annual Conference for the city’s “Renewable Energy and Efficiency Initiative.”
The award is presented annually to recognize sustainability efforts by a city among those cities participating in the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program.
St. Cloud began its “Renewable Energy and Efficiency Initiative” (REEI) in 2014. Since implementing the initiative, the City has become a national leader in innovative, cost-effective, and sustainable practices. St. Cloud completed numerous energy-efficiency projects, and added eight solar arrays to city property.
The city currently generates 80 percent of its electrical energy demand with its wastewater treatment facility, which uses a combination of biofuel and solar to help the city meet its goal of providing services from renewable sources by the end of 2018. St. Cloud also aims to complete three additional energy-efficiency projects by the end of 2020. Two projects, one at the wastewater treatment facility and a streetlight improvement project, have already been completed.
Several of the GreenStep Cities 29 best practices have been accomplished though this initiative, to date, including Benchmarks and Community Engagement, Renewable Energy, Local Air Quality, Efficient Existing City Buildings, and Efficient Water/Wastewater.
To be considered for the Sustainable City Award, cities self-nominated a project, program, or initiative involving one or more of the 29 best practices. The project, program, or initiative must have also achieved one or more of the following: improvement of the quality of a city service, development of an effective or innovative way to solve an old or common problem, modification of a program from another community or organization to fit city needs, discovery of a way to save the city money without compromising service results, and/or creative involvement of city staff or citizens in making a decision.