Hillsborough named second most certified town in state by Sustainable Jersey

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Hillsborough has once again met the rigorous requirements to achieve Silver Certification by Sustainable Jersey.

The silver level means a municipality has made significant progress in a number of categories toward sustainability and is a statewide and national leader.

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Hillsborough is one of 55 towns, and one of three in Somerset County, that has attained certification in 2020 and will be honored at the Sustainable Jersey Virtual Awards Luncheon on March 11, according to information provided by the township.

This year’s achievement represents the following for Hillsborough:

  • Sixth year in a row Hillsborough achieved Silver Certification and ninth overall certification in 11 years
  • 645 total points earned, which breaks Hillsborough’s own record high of 525 points set in 2019
  • 57 total actions breaks Hillsborough’s own record high of 46 actions set in 2019
  • Actions accounted for 16 of 18 categories, breaking Hillsborough’s own record of 15 of 18 categories in 2018
  • 2009-20: Ninth Sustainable Jersey certification in 11 years for Hillsborough
  • 2009-20: Hillsborough named most certified town in Somerset County
  • 2009-20: Hillsborough named second most certified town in New Jersey

“Hillsborough has been at the forefront of sustainability issues since 2006 with notable projects in the areas of energy, economic development, green infrastructure, and environmental and habitat conservation. Hillsborough is the most Sustainable Jersey certified town in Somerset County and the second most certified town in New Jersey. We are very proud of our participation in Sustainable Jersey and of our ever expanding sustainable initiatives throughout the community,” Mayor Shawn Lipani said in the statement.

“Thank you to the efforts of our Business Advocate/Sustainability Director David Kois who once again spearheaded the submission along with the volunteers of the Sustainable Hillsborough Steering Committee and employees from our municipal departments. We are extremely proud of the municipal employees’ involvement and expanding sustainable initiatives throughout the community, as we continue to change the mindset to what sustainability really means,” Committeeman Doug Tomson, liaison to Sustainable Hillsborough Steering Committee, said in the statement.

Despite the COVID-19 public health crisis, it was a banner year for Hillsborough’s sustainability program, according to the statement. Kois was recognized as the Sustainable Jersey Hero of the Month for March 2020. Hillsborough was one of six New Jersey municipalities to participate in the National Clean Energy Challenge. Hillsborough also placed No. 1 in New Jersey and 12th in the Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation.

Notable new actions for which the township received credits toward the 2020 recertification included: companion animal management pledge, comprehensive litter abatement program, extreme temperature plan, green building education, green maintenance policy, green office operations program, material reuse program, online municipal public service system, recycled materials and composting, recycling and waste reduction compliance, according to the statement

The award-winning Sustainable Hillsborough project was initiated by the Township Committee in 2006. Hillsborough was one of the first 34 “pioneer towns” to enter into the Sustainable Jersey program in 2009. Hillsborough strives to save tax dollars, assure clean land, air and water, improve working and living environments as steps to building a sustainable community that will thrive well into the new century, according to the statement.

Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs. Currently, 81%, or 457, of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities are engaged in the municipal certification program.

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