Awards: Sustainable Community & Environment

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Arlington Named Global Climate Action Leader

Arlington is one of 122 global cities and counties named a Climate Action Leader by Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) 2022 A-List, and one of just 36 cities in the United States with this distinction.

Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) Achievement Award -- 2017

Arlington County's Energy Lending Library program has received the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) 2017 Achievement Award.

Washington Council of Government Climate and Energy Leadership Award
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) presented the 2021 Climate and Energy Leadership Awards to Arlington County for its Lubber Run Community Center Project.

Virginia Recreation and Park Society
The Four Mile Run Restoration project received in November 2018 VRPS “Best New Environmental Sustainability Project” Award for 2017.

No. 17 Best Bike City in US
Named 17th best biking city in America by Bicycling magazine in October 2018, up from 25 in 2016.

U.S. Green Building Council
Through updated sustainability metrics data, the County was recertified as a LEED Platinum level community in fall 2018, having first been certified in 2017.

Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership Awards
Arlington Central Library won first place in the government category at the Third Annual Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership Awards Event hosted by the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council in November 2018.  Electricity use at the facility in 2017 was less than half the amount of electricity used there in 2000, thanks to a number of energy efficiency upgrades over the years coordinated (and funded) by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE) program and the Facilities Management Bureau.

VACo Recognizes the Recipients of Go Green Certification
The Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) named Arlington one of the recipients of the 2018 Go Green Awards, a program designed to encourage implementation of specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save local governments money. The award was accepted in October by Board Chair Katie Cristol.

U.S. Green Building Council, National Capital Region
The County’s Green Building program was named a winner of the 2018 Community Leader Award for Excellence in Government, Advocacy or Policy by the USGBC-NCR. (July 2018)

Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards
For the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE) and the Four Mile Run Restoration project, Arlington was honored with two silver medals as an environmental and conservation leader in government. (April 2018)

U.S. Department of Energy
The U.S. Department of Energy gave Arlington County its SolSmart designation in early 2018 for making it faster, easier and more affordable for Arlington homes and businesses to go solar. SolSmart is led by the Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and federally funded. Some 175 communities have won the SolSmart label since the program launch in 2016. (January 2018)

U.S. Green Building Council
Arlington County was been named first Platinum level community in the world under the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) new LEED for Communities program.   The certification recognized County leadership in creating a sustainable and resilient urban environment with long-proven success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, managing stormwater, ensuring economic prosperity and focusing on education, affordable housing, health and safety for residents and businesses. (December 2017)

Urban Library Council
The Urban Library Council presented a 2017 Top Innovators Award to the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE) for the Energy Lending Library, which is offered to the public through Arlington Public Library. Patrons can borrow a box of LED Bulbs, a thermal camera, an energy meter and books to help improve and guide energy efficiency projects. The popular program has been replicated regionally and nationally. (October 2017)

Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments 
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) presented a 2017 Climate and Energy Leadership Award to the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE) for the Energy Lending Library, available to the public through Arlington Public Library. The first-of-its-kind program in the U.S. has led to hundreds of loans of a thermal camera, a box of 10 different LED bulbs, and energy meter, and Do-It-Yourself energy retrofit books. (October 2017)

VACo Achievement Award
The Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) honored the County’s Energy Lending Library program as an innovative effort to help residents save energy and leave a lighter environmental footprint. Arlington’s Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE), in partnership with the Arlington Public Library, launched the first-of-its-kind Energy Lending Library program in 2016, with the goal of increasing energy awareness and encouraging residents to make their homes more energy efficient. Arlington was one of 17 counties recognized with the Achievement Award for model government programs. (August 2017)

Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards
The Arlington County Solid Waste Bureau was recognized as a Bronze Level Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award recipient in the Environmental Project category. The Environmental Project category is intended to recognize activities or processes initiated by a facility or organization within the past five years that are directed at a single goal – to reduce waste and pollution or otherwise improve the environment beyond what is required by regulation. Arlington County was recognized for our Year-Round Yard Waste Collection Program. The ceremony took place at the 28th Annual Environment Virginia Symposium at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington. (April 2017)

No. 2 Best Green City for Families
SmartAsset has determined the best green cities for families, and Arlington takes the number two spot! Nearly 42 percent of all workers in Arlington use some form of clean transportation to get to work, the 13th-highest clean-commuter percentage of any city in our analysis. And Arlington also boasts a very high quality of life. The unemployment rate of 2.4% ranks as the third lowest of any city in the study, while the violent crime rate is 24th-lowest. (April 2016)

Solid Waste Garners Gold Award
Arlington received the Gold Award from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) for Special Waste Management  for our Earth Products Recycling Yard. (Aug. 2015)

Top “Greenest City” in America
Arlington was named #3 “Greenest City” by NerdWallet — based on environmental quality, methods of transportation, sources of energy and housing density.

2015 Arlington Green Patriot Award
George Mason University recognized Helen Reinecke-Wilt of Arlington’s Green Home Choice program; Helen has helped numerous homeowners optimize energy efficiency. She helped Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE) to develop the Energy Masters Program and continues to volunteer her time and expertise to help improve energy and water efficiency in affordable housing units. (April 2015)

Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR
Arlington County’s Justice Center earned the EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification. Completed in late 2009, an energy- and water-saving performance contract updated lighting, HVAC controls and water fixtures to contemporary best practice. Heat recovery ventilators were also added. These improvements, combined with on-going monitoring of building systems, pushed the energy performance of this complex over the threshold to qualify for the ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance. (Nov. 2014)

Platinum “Green” Community
The Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) awarded Arlington its sixth “Go Green Virginia” award, which recognizes environmental policies and practice actions that reduce carbon emissions and save money. Arlington earned the highest certification of Platinum with a perfect score of 200. (Oct. 2014)

Best Waste Reduction and Recycling Program
Arlington County received the award for “Outstanding Leadership” from the Virginia Recycling Association for notable waste reduction efforts. (May 2014)

APA 2014 National Planning Award in Environmental Planning
Arlington County’s Community Energy Plan was named a winner of the American Planning Association (APA) 2014 National Planning Achievement Award in Environmental Planning. The award “honors efforts to create greener communities that reduce the impact of development on the natural environment and improve environmental quality.” The APA’s National Planning Awards are the profession’s highest honor.

Government Green Fleet Honors
Arlington was named one of the Top 50 Government Green Fleets (#34) and Allen Mitchell, Equipment Bureau Chief, was named one of Green Fleet’s Top 40 Sustainability All-Stars for outstanding achievements in green fleet sustainability in 2013.

Top “Green Fleet”
Arlington County is ranked no. 7 in the nation for Government Green Fleets, according to Green Fleet Magazine. Several factors played a role in Arlington’s Top 10 recognition, including the County’s Green Fleet policy to guide vehicle acquisition, significant use of alternative fuels including bio-diesel and CNG, a fleet of 166 hybrid and two electric vehicles, the CNG fueled ART bus fleet, the Community Energy Plan for its focus on emissions, energy use and transportation strategies, and more. (Oct. 2012)

Arlington & Alexandria ELC Wins State Award for Advocacy
The Arlington & Alexandria Extension Leadership Council (ELC) won the state award for program excellence and leadership in advocacy — the top office recognized out of the 107 unit offices of the Virginia Cooperative Extension. The ELC supports local programs in horticulture, youth development, nutrition, personal finance, and consumer education (April 2012).

Arlington Conservationist of the Year
The Northern Virginia Conservation Trust recognized Toby Smith for his efforts to create the 18-acre Long Bridge Park, from its former industrial use. Mr. Smith chaired the Long Bridge Park Design Advisory Committee. (2012)