Sustainable Communities


Sustainable CT

Local Actions. Statewide Impact.

Sustainable CT is a voluntary, sustainable community certification program currently under development. We welcome your input and participation. Please sign up to receive program news. This website will be the temporary home for Sustainable CT. Stay tuned for updates!

We invite you to attend one or more regional forums for inspiration, education and conversation on Connecticut’s developing, voluntary sustainable communities certification program–for towns of every size. The forums will be held at different locations throughout January. Register for a forum below.

Register Now!


TN 5 Play Video Check out this short video about Sustainable CT.


Sustainable CT will be a robust certification program that includes:

  •     A road map for towns and cities that includes a menu of voluntary actions to make communities healthier,       safe, resilient, efficient, and livable.
  •     A flexible design that meets the needs of all municipalities (urban, rural, large, small).
  •     Resources and support, including funding, to help municipalities implement actions.
  •     Public recognition for municipal sustainability achievements.

Want to learn more about Sustainable CT? Watch an informational webinar hosted by the Governor’s Council on Climate Change.

Sustainable CT is a partnership of municipal leaders, philanthropic foundations, the Institute for Sustainable Energy, and other stakeholders.  The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities’ Task Force on Sustainability  developed a vision and recommended program framework. Three Connecticut-based foundations are providing funding to develop Sustainable CT:  Emily Hall Tremaine FoundationCommon Sense Fund, and the Hampshire Foundation. The Institute for Sustainable Energy is leading and coordinating program development and providing technical support.


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The SustainableCT Energy Network resource site for local Task Forces has moved to http://www.sustainablectenergy.org

Program Vision

Sustainability is “the need to ensure a better quality of life for all, now and into the future, in a just and equitable manner, whilst living within the limits of supporting ecosystems” (Julian Agyeman, Just Sustainabilities).

Sustainable CT will be a robust certification program that includes:

  •      A road map for towns and cities that includes a menu of voluntary actions to make communities healthier,      safe, resilient, efficient, and livable.
  •      A flexible design that meets the needs of all municipalities (urban, rural, large, small).
  •      Resources and support, including funding, to help municipalities implement actions.
  •      Public recognition for municipal sustainability achievements.

Sustainable CT seeks to help cities and towns across the state become more vibrant, healthy, resilient, and thriving places for all of their residents. Sustainability actions, policies, and investments deliver multiple benefits and help towns make efficient use of scarce resources and engage a wide cross section of residents and businesses.googled10

Program Development Timeline

February 2016 – November 2016: The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) Task Force on Sustainability includes municipal elected leaders and met from February 2016 through October 2016 to define a shared vision and recommend a framework for the certification program and launched that vision at the CCM Annual Convention (November 2016) – view the presentation. The Task Force also developed a toolkit, Sustainable Communities: A Municipal Toolkit.

November 2016 – November 2017: The Advisory Committee, including municipal leaders plus representatives from state agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, and academia, will oversee program development.  During this period action groups, composed of interested stakeholders, will identify sustainability actions in the following areas:

  •     Clean and diverse transportation systems and choices
  •     Efficient  physical infrastructure and operations
  •     Strategic and inclusive public services
  •     Dynamic and resilient planning
  •     Well-stewarded land and natural resources
  •     Thriving local economies
  •     Healthy, efficient and diverse housing
  •     Vibrant and creative cultural ecosystems

November 2017: The first certification cycle of Sustainable CT will launch at the 2017 CCM Annual Convention.

Program Background

Sustainable CT is a partnership of municipal leaders, philanthropic foundations, the Institute for Sustainable Energy, and other stakeholders.  The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities’ Task Force on Sustainability  developed a vision and recommended program framework. Three Connecticut-based foundations are providing funding to develop Sustainable CT:  Emily Hall Tremaine FoundationCommon Sense Fund, and the Hampshire Foundation. The Institute for Sustainable Energy is leading and coordinating program development and providing technical support.

Municipal leaders participating on the CCM Task Force on Sustainability:

                      • Betsy Paterson, Mansfield, Chair
                      • Don Stein, Barkhamstead
                      • Ted Shafer, Burlington
                      • Steve Nocera, Danbury
                      • Laura Francis, Durham
                      • Jim Hayden, East Granby
                      • Ed Bowman, Fairfield
                      • Nancy Nickerson, Farmington
                      • Sara Bronin, Hartford
                      • Matthew Hart, Mansfield
                      • Dan Drew, Middletown
                      • Deb Hinchey, Norwich
                      • Kurt Miller, Seymour
                      • Lisa Pellegrini, Somers
                      • Thomas Madden, Stamford

Program Development 2016-2017

During the 2017, the Advisory Committee will oversee program development and recommend a long-term governance structure. The Advisory Committee is made up of representatives from municipalities, state agencies, non-profits, businesses, and academia. Members include:

                          • Ted Shafer, First Selectman, Town of Burlington, Chair
                          • Carl Amento, Executive Director, South Central Regional Council of Governments
                          • Randy Collins, Advocacy Manager for Public Policy and Advocacy, Connecticut Conference of Municipalities
                          • David Fink, Consultant, Partnership for Strong Communities
                          • Laura Francis, First Selectman, Town of Durham
                          • Scott Jackson, Commissioner, CT Department of Labor
                          • John Kibbee, Director, CT Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency, Eversource Energy
                          • Rob Klee, Commissioner, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
                          • Kurt Miller, First Selectman, Town of Seymour
                          • Kristina Newman-Scott, Director of Culture, CT Department of Economic and Community Development
                          • Megan Saunders, Executive Director, Stamford 2030, Business Council of Fairfield County
                          • John Simone, President and CEO, CT Main Street
                          • Christina Smith, Executive Director, Groundwork Bridgeport
                          • Lynn Stoddard, Director, Institute for Sustainable Energy, Eastern Connecticut State University

Sustainability in Action

Connecticut has a rich and vibrant history of sustainability, one that the Sustainable CT program will build on and up. From our big cities to our small towns, CT leaders and citizens alike have demonstrated their commitment to creating more eco-friendly, mindful, and resilient communities. The examples below highlight the sustainability work of several municipalities:

Municipal Forum: Climate Change and Sustainability: Practical Solutions for Your Municipality
The Institute for Sustainable Energy, with support from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Common Sense Fund, and Hampshire Foundation, hosted a municipal forum on September 17, 2015. The forum featured presentations from Connecticut mayors, town managers, planners, economic development directors, and other municipal professionals on topics ranging from: transit-oriented development, resilience and climate adaptation, microgrids, eco-tech parks, energy retrofitting, composting, and local foods. View presentations and the event recording.

Sustainable Communities: A Municipal Toolkit 

In 2016 Title page of CCM Sustainable Communities ToolkitCCM published a guide for Connecticut communities entitled, “Sustainable Communities: A Municipal Toolkit.” The toolkit features case studies and best practices that have been implemented around the state, featuring examples in: sustainability planning, energy efficiency, local foods, land use and transportation, materials management, resilience and climate change adaptation, and clean energy generation. Check out the toolkit to learn more about the good work happening in our state!

Sustainable CT:
What’s YOUR Local Vision?

January 2017 Regional Forums

Join us and be a part of community conversations on Sustainable CT, Connecticut’s developing, voluntary sustainable communities certification program for towns of every size. Forums are free, open to all, and organized by the Institute for Sustainable Energy in partnership with Connecticut’s nine Councils of Government.

Forums will be held at the following dates and locations:

               Tuesday, January 10: 1pm – 2:30pm, Brookfield Town Hall

               Thursday, January 19: 11am – 12:30pm, Middlesex Community College, Middletown

               Thursday, January 19: 7pm – 8:30pm, West Hartford Town Hall

               Wednesday, January 25: 2:30pm – 4pm, Three Rivers Community College, Norwich

               Friday, January 27: 9am – 10:30am, Seymour Town Hall

Register Here to attend one or more forums.

Sustainable CT is a partnership of municipal leaders, philanthropic foundations, the Institute for Sustainable Energy, and other stakeholders.  The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities’ Task Force on Sustainability  developed a vision and recommended program framework.  Three Connecticut-based foundations are providing funding to develop Sustainable CT:  the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Common Sense Fund, and the Hampshire Foundation. The Institute for Sustainable Energy is leading and coordinating program development and providing technical support.