2020 Virtual Annual Meeting Breakout Sessions- May 4-8th:
Next week SSDN will be hosting nine different breakout sessions starting Monday, May 4th. Breakout session Topics include:

  • Planning for Resilient Communities- May 4th at 2:30pm EST
  • Disposable Plastics and Styrofoam Campaigns and Policies- May 5th at 10:30am EST
  • Building Electrification- May 5th at 2:30pm EST
  • Internal Collaboration with City Departments- May 6th at 10:00am EST
  • Working with your Regulated Utility on Solar Energy Procurement- May 6th at 3:30pm EST
  • Innovative Funding Policies for Climate Action- May 7th at 10:30am EST
  • Incorporating Sustainability and Equity into Planning- May 7th at 2:30pm EST
  • Strategies for Flood Mitigation and Stormwater Attenuation- May 8th at 10:30am EST 
  • Electric Vehicles- Policies, Promotion, Access, Infrastructure, and Adoption- May 8th at 2:30pm EST

Be sure to also join us for the Georgia Drawdown presentation on Wednesday, May 6th, where we will learn how Project Drawdown inspired a team of researchers to identify key elements of strategy to achieve carbon neutrality for the state of Georgia.  

Please note, the 2020 SSDN Virtual Annual Meeting is for SSDN members only. Contact SSDN Network Coordinator Vanessa King if you have any questions. 

Virtual Earth Day Summary from SSDN Communities:

Fifty years ago, millions of people took to the streets on the very first Earth Day. They were demanding clean air and environmental protection, leading in part to the Clean Air Act, and other environmental protection laws. Today, climate change is still one of the biggest challenges faced around the world and more than ever it is the time to unite and advocate for the health of our earth!  

Last week many of us celebrated the 50th birthday of Earth Day from home. This year’s celebration came with its challenges, but these challenges led to a great opportunity for SSDN member communities to engage families looking for activities for their children, and folks learning from home that are interested in learning more about how they can make a difference.
In an effort to showcase the innovative ways our SSDN communities celebrated Earth Day virtually, the Network hosted a member listening session and gathered a list of resources, social media shares, workshops and Earth Day 2020 challenges that our members shared over online platforms. Check our our blog post to learn more about their efforts!

SSDN member Andrew Saunders promoted to Central Services Department Director for Athens-Clarke County, GA
Andrew previously served as the Sustainability Officer for Athens-Clark County since July 2017 when the Sustainability Office launched as a division of the Manager’s Office. In this position, he coordinated the development of a Sustainability Plan, reduced municipal energy expenses by $450,000 in less than 18 months, coordinated the community commitment to 100% renewable energy, secured $1.9 million in outside funding from grants and donations, and oversaw land acquisition projects to support community green space protection goals. 

The Central Services Department consist of Facilities Management Division, Fleet Management Division, Landscape Management Division, and Internal Support. The department also handles special event permitting, publication rack permitting, and downtown vending permits. Overseeing this department will bring new opportunities for Andrew and to further embed sustainability into the operations of Athens-Clark County. 

Congratulations Andrew! You deserve this!  

Knoxville, TN Utilities Board Approves Green Investment Agreement:
At its meeting last month, Knoxville Utilities Board’s (KUB) Board of Commissioners approved a new 20-year power supply agreement with TVA that provides long-term cost stability for KUB customers, discounted wholesale rates, power supply flexibility of up to 5 percent of KUB’s power to come from local sources, and makes possible a significant investment in renewable energy for KUB customers. The new agreement will provide KUB a 3.1 percent credit on the TVA wholesale base rate – about $9.5 million annually. With today’s action, the Board also approved use of a portion of the annual credit – $825,000 to secure significant new solar resources for KUB customers. Congratulations on your win Knoxville! To learn more, read the full press release

Orange County, FL Board of County Commission approves new internal policy in support of counties sustainability initiatives
This month, Orange County Board of County Commission approved the adoption of a new internal policy in support of our sustainability initiatives. This new policy provides buying guidelines for over 9,000 staff in 74 departments and our contracted vendors to choose disposable cups, plates, plastic bags, and other products that are easier to recycle and are often biodegradable. Through this effort, hosted events and food services will be creating less of an impact on the environment of Orange County, FL. Jeff Benavides, the Chief Sustainability and Resiliency Officer for Orange County is happy to report that many of their County departments as well as several of their contracted vendors have already embraced these new practices and have changed the types of products they purchase or provide. 

Kevin Lindley- Environmental Quality Director: Chatham County, NC

Kevin has been working in various areas of environmental engineering for the past two decades.  Trained as a civil engineer, he has spent the majority of his career in the public sector building and managing sewer systems, inspecting and maintaining reservoirs and stormwater treatment systems, and managing solid waste operations.  For the past 18 months, he has worked for Chatham County, NC, where he was born and raised.  As Chatham’s Environmental Quality Manager, he manages their solid waste and recycling operations and coordinates their sustainability efforts. 

Kevin also serves as staff liaison with the county’s Climate Change Advisory Committee.  His latest sustainability projects include creating a sustainability-related landing page on the county’s website to let people know about all the great things the county is doing and creating metrics and reporting methodology to gauge progress on several sustainability goals set by the county’s board of commissioners. 

When he’s not at work, Kevin enjoys making music, fermenting food and beverages, and has recently been exploring the world of hammock camping with his family.


A Look at Air Quality- Before and After the Pandemic

Florida extends Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (EVCI) Request for Applications 


Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange Online Learning Opportunities:

  • May 19: Options for adaptation, risk management, and resilience building in a changing climate: Q&A about the IPCC Special Report.  
  • May 21: Forest Adaptation Webinar Series – Forest Birds   
  • May 26: Resilience insurance: a new way to finance coastal resilience through nature-based solutions    
  • May 28: National Adaptation Forum Webinar: “Meeting the Rural Resilience Imperative: Integrating Resilience into Rural Planning & Action”   

May 1st: Sustainable Atlanta Roundtable Is Hosting Development Without Displacement Online

May 13th: Sustainable Fleet Webinar– Top 3 Fleets Best Practices


Program Director, Southeast Campaigns, Raleigh, NC- Energy Foundation

Duke University Energy Initiative- Remote Internships

Members: Join us for our 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting Happy Hour on Monday, May 4th! (Details have been sent to members via email with our Virtual Breakout Session Agenda)