Minnesota GreenStep Cities is a voluntary challenge, assistance and recognition program to help cities achieve their sustainability and quality-of-life goals. This free continuous improvement program, managed by a public-private partnership, is based upon 29 best practices. Each best practice can be implemented by completing one or more actions at a 1, 2 or 3-star level, from a list of four to eight actions. These actions are tailored to all Minnesota cities, focus on cost savings and energy use reduction, and encourage civic innovation.
History of the GreenStep Cities Program
During fall 2007, Minnesota’s Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) held regional listening sessions around the state to discuss community-based energy opportunities and the state’s Next Generation Energy Act of 2007. The idea was raised of creating a sustainable cities program, free to cities, that would challenge, assist, and recognize cities that were “green stars.” This idea was taken up by the 2008 Legislature, which directed the MPCA, the Division of Energy Resources at the Minnesota Department of Commerce, and CERTs to recommend actions cities could take on a voluntary basis. In a report titled: Minnesota GreenStep Cities, representatives from dozens of cities, non-profit organizations, businesses, and state government agencies provided the outline for what became the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program in June 2010.
In May 2012 the GreenStep Cities program received awards in the categories of Sustainable Communities and 2012 Partnership of the Year from the Minnesota organization Environmental Initiative.
In 2016 the Humphrey Institute School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota presented GreenStep with a State Government Innovation Award: one of ten awards to recognize state government entities engaged in innovation and service redesign.
In 2015, Jordan resolved to become a Minnesota GreenStep City, achieving Step 1. In 2017, Jordan’s Council, Commissions, staff, and residents worked hard to implement many best practices, resulting in Step 2 and 3 status. In 2020, the City began tracking its baseline performance of over 62 metrics, achieving Step 4. Finally, in 2021, the City achieved Step 5, the highest level and the highest rating in Scott County! This hard work has saved Jordan’s residents money by reducing resource use, increasing resource efficiency, and providing more green space for everyone to enjoy. A list of best practices accomplished to date can be found by clicking here.
Jordan Receives Statewide Recognition
2020-2021 City Sustainability Metrics
- 25% of Street Lights use LED lightbulbs
- 29% of City buildings and properties use LED lightbulbs
- 3% of residential solid waste is composted
- 23% of residential solid waste is recycled
- 182 private entities participate in renewable energy purchasing program through Xcel Energy
- 57% of housing is within one mile of fresh fruits and vegetables
- City building energy usage is automatically tracked through the B3 benchmarking database
- The opening of the Household Organics and Yard Waste site
- Designation as SolSmart Silver
2019-2020 City Sustainability Metrics
- 21% of Street Lights use LED
- 26% of City Building and Properties use LED
- 56% of housing permitted in 2019 was classified as affordable
- 100% of housing is within 0.5miles of parkland
- 11% of the land in the City is covered by tree canopy
- 120% of the City’s energy usage is offset by the Community Solar Agreement
2016-2017 City Sustainability Measures
- B3 energy Benchmarking software shows Jordan’s Energy Use Intensity is “significantly below the average benchmark”
- In 2017, Jordan Public Works was able to save 10-15 tons of salt per truck every snow event.
- In 2017, Jordan Public Works’ solid waste bag saved the city from transporting 20 loads of solid waste.
- So far, 4 residents have signed up for Composting services through Dick’s Sanitation.
- Designation as SolSmart Bronze
Questions or ideas regarding the GreenStep Cities program? Contact GreenStep Cities Coordinator, Nathan Fuerst at (952) 492-7929 or firstname.lastname@example.org