With sustainability gaining steam as a key goal for St. Louis area municipalities, the Clean Air Partnership will be using our blog to highlight some of the incredible eco-friendly initiatives underway in several cities across the region that are not only improving the environment, but also helping to reduce air pollution in the region. This month, we’re kicking things off with a spotlight on the City of St. Peters.
In 2012, St. Peters became the first municipality to participate in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge. The Challenge is a joint program of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and the Missouri Botanical Garden that helps businesses of all types and sizes to integrate “Triple Bottom Line” (fiscal, social and environmental) measures into the kinds of daily operations common to every business. Participants identify and adopt strategies that improve financial performance and engage employees in voluntary measures to reduce environmental impacts.
In 2015, when the program launched a pilot “Green Cities Challenge” in 2015, to address the unique needs of local government business operations, the City of St. Peters engaged in a significant mentoring relationship with the City of St. Charles to help the community achieve its sustainable goals. As part of the mentorship process, the city worked with a menu of basic sustainability policies and practices, including measures defined by OneSTL, the regional plan for sustainable development. Sustainability leaders for St. Peters were able to assist the new St. Charles Green Team as they accomplished their selected Green Cities goals.
Participating in the Green Business Challenge at the rigorous Champion level, the City of St. Peters’ achievements included involving Recycling Ambassadors in its “Sunset Fridays” summer concert events. These volunteers educated the public while helping to recycle 151 pounds of cans and bottles. The City also hosted a “Clean Streams Day,” in which volunteers helped clean over 6,400 pounds of litter from area streams, and also implemented a “Shred It and Forget It” initiative, in which residents dropped off over 25,500 pounds of documents for shredding and recycling. Recent sustainable innovations in the City of St. Peters include placing recycling trucks on the roads; enacting a city office junk mail reduction initiative and developing the “No Ifs, Ands or Butts” campaign to encourage individuals to properly dispose of their cigarette butts.
In addition to helping reduce waste, the efforts made by the City of St. Peters are having a positive impact on air quality and helping to improve lung health in the region by reducing the emissions created during resources extraction, manufacturing and disposal.
Today, the City of St. Peters continues its sustainability commitment though advanced work in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge and as a mentor to both company and municipality Challenge participants. The City’s support for other municipalities, in both Missouri and Illinois, is especially valuable, as it provides them with experience-based insights to assist community leaders in advancing their own sustainable goals.
On Dec. 2, the City of St. Peters and other 2016 St. Louis Green Business Challenge participants will be recognized for their efforts as part of the 7th annual Green Business Challenge Awards ceremony. For information on the event, or to learn more about getting your municipality or company involved in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge/Green Cities Challenge, visit www.stlouisgreenchallenge.com.