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    Report marks accomplishments at five-year milestone 


    This week, the City of Grand Rapids released a sustainability plan report showing remarkable progress made in implementing a variety of sustainability goals.

    The Sustainability Plan Progress Report states that in the past five years, Grand Rapids completed over 81 percent of its targets with another 18 percent in progress. Those sustainability projects include the implementation of alternative fuels in city vehicles, use of renewable energy, installation of electric vehicle charging stations, investment in brownfield redevelopment projects, stepped-up flood resilience and planning, additional energy and water conservation measures, and continued dedication to improved water quality in the Grand River and its tributaries.

    According to Grand Rapids’ Energy and Sustainability Director, Haris Alibašić, this document serves as a snapshot of the cumulative work performed over the last five years of Sustainability Plan implementation.

    “2015 marks both the end of the FY11-FY15 Sustainability Plan as well as the final term for George Heartwell as the Mayor of the City of Grand Rapids,” Alibašić said. “With Mayor Heartwell’s leadership, and with support from city commission and the city manager, Grand Rapids departments provided the vision for the Sustainability Plan by initiating and implementing city-wide sustainability measures rooted in the triple bottom line, culminating in the 2010 release of the City of Grand Rapids first five-year Sustainability Plan.”

    Alibašić said that within the progress report, each target is color-coded with a green, yellow, or red indicator. Each target provides supporting evidence for grading. GREEN indicates significant or continued progress, YELLOW indicates moderate progress, RED indicates no progress. Of the 232 targets, 81 percent are achieved and completed, with just more than 18 percent (18.1 percent) seeing moderate progress, and less than 1 percent (0.9 percent) not yet implemented or acted upon. 

    “The Sustainability Report reflects Grand Rapids’ evolving focus on sustainability and provides a framework for an updated sustainability plan that will extend the City of Grand Rapids’ sustainability commitments beyond 2015 and my tenure,” Mayor George Heartwell said. “I’m very proud of the success we’ve had over the past five years and know that I’m leaving the plan in great hands.”

    “The City’s new FY16-FY20 Sustainability Plan will tie directly to the City’s Transformation Investment Plan, creating a comprehensive approach that links sustainability with streets and infrastructure, quality of life, and transforming city operations. The new FY16-FY20 Sustainability Plan will additionally use the extended quadruple bottom line approach, addressing economic vitality, environmental quality, social equity and government accountability,” Alibašić concluded.

    To view the Sustainability Plan Progress Report, please visit http://www.sustainablegr.org/​.