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Sustainability Metrics & Rating Systems

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Sustainability Metrics & Rating Systems

To create a sustainable Longmont involves not only setting sustainability goals, but measuring the city’s progress to completing each goal. Sustainability metrics and rating systems are tools that analyze policies, projects and progress to ensure that Longmont is implementing effective solutions to creating a sustainable community. Visit the Longmont Indicators Dashboard to learn about Longmont’s progress towards creating a sustainable community.

Sustainability Evaluation System

The City of Longmont Public Works & Natural Resources has developed a Sustainability Evaluation System (SES) as a tool for helping to make more sustainable decisions when developing or implementing plans, procedures, programs, and projects. The SES is made up of two modules, Exploring/Setting Goals, and Evaluating Alternatives. The first module can help identify what sustainability characteristics of projects or programs should be considered in the planning stages of a project or program. The second module can be used to evaluate the sustainability aspects of alternatives that have already been developed in a plan or preliminary design. A life cycle cost assessment also needs to be developed or available and is part of the Module 2 evaluation. Both modules of the SES are intended to be used by a team that encompasses different viewpoints or disciplines in order to provide a more comprehensive view of sustainability. The SES is based on the following 12 categories:

1)  Best Practices (Organizational)
2)  Best Practices (Assets and Infrastructure)
3)  Best Practices (Financial)
4)  Buildings and Infrastructure
5)  Energy
6)  Transportation
7)  Community and Individual Well-being
8)  Economic Vitality
9)  Materials and Waste
10)  Natural Environment
11)  Water Resources
12)  Water Quality

Each of these categories have numerous sub-topics that provide additional details and criteria to guide sustainable practices. The implementation of the SES assists Longmont in ensuring that the city’s projects and programs are cognizant of and consider the three pillars of sustainability, which are environmental protection, economic vitality and social equity.

National Rating Systems

Longmont developed its metric systems through researching national metrics and rating systems. National systems range from broad community metrics to rating systems that focus on specific areas of the community.

Below are a few examples:

STAR Community Rating System is a national rating system for evaluating sustainability.

Green Roads is a rating system specifically designed to evaluate transportation systems.

Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s Envision Program for evaluating sustainability in infrastructure.

For more examples, please review the Overview of National Metrics and Rating Systems that was developed during the creation of Longmont’s Sustainability Evaluation System.

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