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City’s sustainability efforts have silver lining

Claremont has been honored as the first city to receive the California Green Communities’ “Silver” status for outstanding sustainability efforts. The award was presented to the city Tuesday afternoon in front of a crowd of an estimated 135 business people at Claremont’s annual State of the City address held at the Candlelight Pavilion.

Claremont is one of 4 cities honored with the award for exemplary environmental practices. Monrovia, Riverside, and Santa Clarita have followed Claremont’s lead in achieved the silver ranking.

“Claremont has been a role model for other cities,” said Hal Conklin of Southern California Edison and president of USA Green Communities. “Nobody has done it quicker or better than Claremont so we wanted to be here today to give this award to them.”

California Green Communities was founded in November 2009 with the goal of challenging the state’s cities to reduce carbon emissions and build creative programming geared at living a more sustainable lifestyle by 2012. Among notable city achievements is the Claremont Home Energy Retrofit Program (CHERP), helping Claremont homeowners acquire upgrade, energy-efficient homes, installing solar voltaic panels at city facilities, and the creation of the Claremont Bicycle Priority Zone.

“The city takes its commitment to sustainability seriously. It is a priority for the City Council and is a consideration in every project and program we provide. Achieving the Silver level status validates the tremendous work this community has done,” said Mayor Sam Pedroza, later adding, “We can be proud of our accomplishments in these areas.”

Claremont will continue to hold sustainability as a top city priority, according to Mr. Pedroza. Staff is currently working on updating its sustainability plan, which will include the council’s goal of retrofitting up to 100 homes throughout the city with energy-efficient features.

“We will continue to identify ways our organization can assist our residents to conserve valuable resources,” Mr. Pedroza said. “We have a lot to get done this year, but with the help of staff and our community partners we can do it. I look forward to next year’s state of the city sharing the many accomplishments of 2012.”

For more on the city’s sustainable action plans and programming visit www.CaGreenCom.org.  

—Beth Hartnett

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