Category Archives: Policy

COMMUNITIES ACROSS CHICAGOLAND JOIN TO CREATE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

95 Communities Sign Greenest Region Compact To Mark Earth Day and Arbor Day

CHICAGO, Illinois, 2018-Apr-26 — /EPR ENVIRONMENT NEWS/ — The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus announced today that 95 Chicago-area communities of Chicagoland’s 275 cities, towns and villages that comprise the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus have signed the Greenest Region Compact (GRC). These communities will use the GRC as a guide to implement local actions that together will promote sustainability across the region with an emphasis on creating healthy, thriving communities.

The GRC represents consensus goals that build vibrant and strong communities, and sustain healthy environments for people and nature. The common goals and practical strategies in the Greenest Region Compact come from an extensive study of what the 275 Metropolitan Mayors Caucus communities are already doing to be sustainable and what sustainability goals they have already set for themselves. Mayors contributed to and agreed to support these goals, tailored for municipal action, in ten areas that include climate, economic development, energy, land, leadership, mobility, municipal operations, sustainable communities, water, waste and recycling.

“Mayors and community leaders really put their heads together to come up with the Greenest Region Compact. Now, communities of all sizes can benefit from this collaborative planning effort and leap ahead to take meaningful actions,” said Edith Makra, Director of Environmental Initiatives at the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus.

The Greenest Region Compact assembled practical, achievable and meaningful strategies into a companion guide: the GRC Framework. This tool enables communities to evaluate their current environmental initiatives and guide future efforts. Communities that have adopted the GRC are now working together towards these common goals, using the GRC Framework to guide and track their progress.

Examples of collaborative efforts include:

Goal – Advance Renewable Energy:
A national designation program, SolSmart recognizes communities that remove local barriers to solar energy and help grow solar markets. The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus led 12 GRC Communities and three counties to work together to earn SolSmart designation by streamlining local permitting, planning and zoning procedures, to make it faster, easier and more affordable for residents and businesses to go solar. Earning SolSmart designation helps municipalities prepare for solar development, an industry that is expected to grow in Illinois by 2,600 percent by the year 2030 because of a new state law.

Goal – Beautiful Landscapes That Are Good For The Environment:
The remarkable and beautiful monarch butterfly is endangered and new habitat is needed to protect them. GRC Communities are helping to restore the monarch butterfly by creating landscapes where milkweed—a plant vital to the monarch’s survival—can thrive. These landscapes support other native plants that provide nourishment and shelter for other important pollinator insects and birds. Twentysix GRC Communities are working with volunteer groups to create pollinator habitats along railroad tracks, in subdivisions, in parks and around schools and municipal buildings. These gardens bring together residents of all ages to learn, work together and even enjoy honey from community apiaries such as those in Hanover Park and Westmont.

Goal – Energy Efficiency:
Forty-four GRC Communities upgraded their own public facilities to reduce consumption of energy. To save energy and reduce carbon footprint, these communities switched lighting fixtures, upgraded ventilation, heating and cooling systems to maximize performance and energy efficiency. The Village of Schaumburg upgraded to high-efficiency lighting systems throughout their municipal facilities—from fire stations and Village Hall to the Schaumburg
Airport to save at least $150,000 each year in energy costs. River Forest replaced nearly 900 streetlights with energy-saving LED fixtures, saving 638,000 kW hours a year—enough to power 70 homes for a year. The total energy savings by all GRC Communities working together sequesters 23,802,023 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2). That is the amount of CO2 captured by 12,717 acres of US forests in one year.

“Working together across the region, our GRC Communities are having a positive impact on the environment and the lives of citizens. We strive for sustainable, healthy communities every day but celebrate this collective momentum as Earth Day and Arbor Day approach,” said John A. Ostenburg, Mayor of Park Forest and Chairman of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Environment Committee. “My fellow mayors and I will be out at Earth Day and Arbor Day events planting trees, learning about natural landscaping, collecting recyclable materials and celebrating our role as stewards of the Earth.”

Earth Day is Sunday, April 22. This year marks the 48th anniversary of Earth Day, which has become a global event intended to raise awareness of the environment.

Arbor Day is Friday, April 27. This year marks the 146th anniversary of Arbor Day which celebrates tree-planting and the importance of trees to the health of the environment.

About Metropolitan Mayors Caucus —
The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus is a membership organization of the Chicago region’s 275 cities, towns and villages. Founded in 1997, the Mayors Caucus pushes past geographical boundaries and local interests to work on public policy issues. The Caucus provides a forum for metropolitan Chicago’s chief elected officials to collaborate on common problems and work toward a common goal of improving the quality of life for the millions of people who call the region home. For more information, visit http://mayorscaucus.org.

About Greenest Region Compact—
The Greenest Region Compact (GRC) promotes sustainability in Chicago communities across the region with an emphasis on building strong and vibrant communities. The foundation of the GRC are 49 high-level goals that have been reached by consensus; not only are the goals aligned with important local, regional, national and global goals, but they also have support from 95 communities that have adopted the GRC. GRC consensus goals guide municipal action, support mayors in their role as environmental leaders, and foster collaboration that will have positive impacts on the region. For more information, visit http://mayorscaucus.org/initiatives/environment/rec.

Contact:
Edith Makra, ISSP-SA
Director of Environmental Initiatives
Metropolitan Mayors Caucus
312-201-4506
emakra@mayorscaucus.org

The GRC Communities are:
Algonquin
Algonquin
Township
Alsip
Arlington
Heights
Aurora
Bannockburn
Barrington
Batavia
Beach Park
Blue Island
Bolingbrook
Braidwood
Brookfield
Buffalo Grove
Burlington
Campton Hills
Carol Stream
Carpentersville
Cary
Chicago
Chicago Heights
Chicago Ridge
Countryside
Crete
Crystal Lake
Darien
Diamond
Elgin
Evergreen Park
Flossmoor
Fox Lake
Frankfort
Franklin Park
Geneva
Glencoe
Grayslake
Hainesville
Hanover Park
Hawthorn
Woods
Hebron
Highland Park
Hillside
Hoffman Estates
Homer Glen
Indian Head
Park
Island Lake
Johnsburg
La Grange
Lake Bluff
Lake Forest
Lakewood
Libertyville
Lincolnshire
Lincolnwood
Lombard
Long Grove
McCullom Lake
Midlothian
Minooka
Mokena
Mount Prospect
Naperville
Niles
Northfield
Northlake
Oak Brook
Oak Forest
Oak Park
Olympia Fields
Orland Park
Oswego
Palos Hills
Palos Park
Park Forest
Park Ridge
Plainfield
Polo
Posen
Richton Park
River Forest
Rolling
Meadows
Round Lake
Beach
Schaumburg
South
Barrington
South Chicago
Heights
Streamwood
Sugar Grove
Thornton
Waukegan
West Chicago
Westchester
Westmont
Wheeling
Winnetka
Worth

Banana sourcing policy holds key to feeding the world’s growing population says The Co-operative

Banana sourcing policy holds key to feeding the world’s growing population says The Co-operative.

In a move to mark this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight, The Co-operative today (Monday 27 February) announced a new banana sourcing policy, which could be the blueprint for feeding the world’s growing population.

The Co-operative, which was the first to launch Fairtrade bananas into the UK, has now switched all its bananas to 100% Fairtrade, with a unique sourcing model demonstrating unrivalled commitment to fellow co-operatives and small-scale growers, who between them will supply the bananas on a 50/50 basis.

All of The Co-operative’s bananas are now supplied by fellow co-operatives, 23 of which are made up of thousands of smallholder growers from countries including Peru, Colombia and Ecuador.

Bananas are the most popular fruit in the UK, and The Co-operative sells a staggering 230 million bananas a year – enough to circle the globe.

As part of its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, The Co-operative has pledged that if products can be labelled as Fairtrade, they will be, and by the end of 2013, the retailer hopes to be 90% towards this target.

Oxfam, which has teamed up with The Co-operative, believes that smallholder producers, many of which are co-operatives, are the key to feeding the extra two billion people that it is estimated will be on the planet by 2050, despite the gathering pace of climate change and dwindling natural resources. Together The Co-operative and Oxfam will campaign for increased international investment to help smallholder growers and co-operatives to feed the world sustainably.

At a time when the United Nations has designated 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives, they will also help to ensure that the role co-operatives play worldwide is recognised.

Group Chief Executive Peter Marks said: “Despite the economic downturn, Fairtrade sales in the UK continue to grow, and support for Fairtrade from our own customers and members is as strong as ever.

The switch to 100% Fairtrade bananas in more than 4,000 Co-operative stores in the UK is a demonstration of this commitment to Fairtrade, co-operatives and small-scale farmers.

“However, having been instrumental in bringing Fairtrade into the mainstream, we recognise the unique role we can play as a co-operative in going beyond Fairtrade and increasing support for our producers to tackle global poverty.

“Our new partnership with Oxfam is an example of this and is particularly timely given it’s the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives.”

Via EPR Network
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