A Look Back: 5 Top Highlights in the 2015 Green Progress Report

In honor of Earth Month, My Green Birmingham is excited to help promote the many green and sustainability related events and other programs happening all throughout April in and around Birmingham. Yet, we’re also proud to draw attention back to the many important developments that occurred throughout the previous year in Alabama to help make our state a greener place to live, work, and play.

Each year, the Green Resource Center for Alabama (GRCA) releases the state’s Green Progress Report. The report provides an in-depth look at close to 100 green-related projects and sustainability initiatives that collectively make a lasting impact for the state of Alabama. Read the complete reports.

Get inspired to make your own difference this year with a look back at the 2015 Top 5 Green Progress Report Highlights.

Birmingham Awarded 3-Star Rating for Sustainability Leadership

In April, Birmingham was awarded a 3-STAR Community Rating for sustainability leadership, becoming the first community from Alabama to achieve certification under the national STAR Community Rating System (STAR). The STAR Community Rating System is a sustainability rating system for cities, towns, and counties, which helps communities evaluate themselves across seven areas related to sustainability, such as built environment, economy and jobs, health and safety and natural systems.

Mobile & Prichard AL Among 22 Communities Selected Nationally to Receive EPA Assistance to Advance Sustainability Goals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Mobile and Prichard, AL are among 22 communities nationally selected to receive technical assistance to pursue development strategies that support smart growth and sustainability goals and encourage local economic development. EPA selected this year’s recipients from among 121 applicants to the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program. EPA staff and national experts will conduct one to two-day workshops in the communities that focus on the specific sustainability tool each community requested in its application to EPA.v

Alabama Power Approved for Generation of up to 500 MW of Renewable Sources

In 2015, the Alabama Public Service Commission voted to approve a proposal by Alabama Power to construct up to 500 megawatts of renewable energy generation projects in the state over the next six years. The plan allows Alabama Power to build its own renewable projects or purchase power from other renewable-generated sources. The company has identified solar as one of the areas for potential growth in renewables. 500 megawatts of solar is enough renewable energy to serve about 100,000 homes during an hour of peak sun intensity on cloudless days.

Toyota Honored for Commitment to Environmental Excellence

In 2015, the Toyota automotive company won its 11th consecutive Energy Star Partner of the Year award, the most by any automaker. Toyota’s engine plant in Huntsville was among North American manufacturing facilities recently honored for environmental sustainability by the EPA. Toyota said it has saved nearly $600 million, reduced 14 billion kilowatt hours of energy and cut CO2 emissions by 40 percent per vehicle since benchmarking began in 2002. Toyota Motor Manufacturing on Cottonvalley Drive was recognized for its efforts to protect the environment through “superior energy efficiency.” The Energy Star award is the highest level of EPA recognition.

Robins and Morton Diverts 88% of Construction Waste, Wins Sustainability Circle of Excellence Award

In June 2015, Waste Management presented Birmingham-based contractor Robins & Morton with a Sustainability Circle of Excellence Award for outstanding recycling and diversion performance within the construction industry. Waste Management emphasized that Robins & Morton’s diversion efforts rank among the top five percent of contractors using their online tracking system, Diversion and Recycling Tracking Tool or DART®. This tool calculates the amount of waste diverted from landfills and converts recycling totals into environmental statistics. So far in 2015, Robins & Morton has diverted more than 40,000 cubic yards of construction and demolition waste from landfills, averaging an 81 percent waste diversion rate.

See the complete 2015 Green Progress Report here.

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