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.

Statewide Awards

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.

Jordan’s Involvement

In 2015, Jordan resolved to become a Minnesota GreenStep City. Since gaining Step 1 status, the city, its council, and commissions have worked hard to implement many best practices. As a result, Jordan has achieved status as a Step 4 city in 2020, 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

2019-2020 City Sustainability Measures

  • 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.

Questions or ideas regarding the GreenStep Cities program? Contact GreenStep Cities Coordinator, Nathan Fuerst at (952) 492-7929 or nfuerst@jordanmn.gov

Other Environmental Resources