GAITHERSBURG – The city with the tree in its logo can claim an environmental milestone.
The University of Maryland’s Environmental Finance Center honored Gaithersburg as one of 14 Maryland municipalities to receive “Sustainable Maryland” certification, marking the second time the city’s received the award.
City officials received the re-certification, which is awarded to cities and towns based on their environmental sustainability initiatives, Friday at the Maryland Municipal League’s fall conference in Solomons.
Gaithersburg was one of the original eight awardees in 2013, and with its re-certification this year, it is the only Montgomery County municipality to receive the award.
“Receiving our second certification with Sustainable Maryland Certified reinforces the commitment that the City of Gaithersburg has made to sustainable practices in our community,” said Mayor Jud Ashman.
“By modeling the activity through our own municipal actions, we are encouraging an entire community to join our efforts to leave this planet a better place for future generations. I applaud the staff from the many divisions within our City government that worked so hard towards this re-certification. Their efforts are helping us garner recognition for the great things we’re doing in Gaithersburg.”
The environmental accomplishments for which Gaithersburg received honors include:
· adopting a resolution requiring LEED Green Building Silver certification for all future occupied municipal buildings;
· creating a Community Carbon Footprint report, which demonstrates a baseline of carbon emissions for the residential energy, commercial energy, industrial energy and transportation sectors; and
· entering into a group purchasing agreement to purchase 100 percent renewable energy credits to offset 100 percent of the city’s energy usage.
City Council member Ryan Spiegel, who also serves as president of the Montgomery County chapter of the Maryland Municipal League, accepted the award.
“I was proud to accept the award on behalf of the city, which recognizes Gaithersburg’s continued commitment to being a regional leader in environmental sustainability,” Spiegel said.
“We won’t just rest on our laurels from prior accomplishments; we will keep exploring new ways to embrace and expand sustainability, whether it’s installing electric car charging stations, researching ways to utilize solar power, or other ideas on the horizon.”