(May 16, 2018) —Summit County’s work in environmental stewardship has been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The award honors innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents. Summit County received Best in Category under County Resiliency: Infrastructure, Energy and Sustainability for its program titled “Environmental Stewardship Collaborative.

The achievement award is a result of Summit County Council adopting a resolution that established Summit County as the third county in the United States to establish a goal to transition to 100 percent renewable electrical energy by 2032. Resolution 2017-16 includes aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets: 80 percent below 2016 level by 2040 for county operations and countywide emissions reduction of 80 percent below their 2016 level by 2050.

“Environmental stewardship is a broad topic that requires contributions from all departments,” Summit County Manager Tom Fisher said. “I am proud of staff’s initiative to convene this workgroup and the fact that they have been nationally recognized for it. This program established the mechanism that will help Council prioritize services and spending toward achievement of their goals and share that information with residents.”

Following the resolution, staff formed the Environmental Stewardship Collaborative program, an interdepartmental workgroup tasked with developing a Strategic Implementation Plan to advance environmental stewardship. The plan identifies specific objectives and metrics that are posted on the County’s internal website using easy-to-read charts and graphs. The Environmental Stewardship Collaborative program provides Council, residents, and staff with knowledge of progress made toward maintaining the quality of life so important to the residents and businesses in Summit County, Utah.

“We recognized the need to improve communication between departments who contribute to environmental stewardship, County Council and residents so that everyone is aware of the groundbreaking work that’s being done in our county,” said Lisa Yoder, Summit County Sustainability Program Manager.

Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received. In 2018, NACo recognized 615 entries from 116 counties and state associations in 29 states.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) unites America’s 3,069 county governments.  Founded in 1935, NACo brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government and exercise exemplary leadership in public service.  Learn more at www.naco.org