The Applied Sustainability Center at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas has selected eight Arkansas cities to participate in its Sustainable Energy Scorecards and Education for Municipalities program.
Cities selected are Arkadelphia, Fayetteville, Gould, Harrison, Hot Springs, North Little Rock, Searcy and Wynne.
The Arkansas Community Foundation awarded a grant to the center for the program as part of the foundation’s Sustainable Energy Initiative.
“Cities around the country are playing a central role in driving energy efficiency and renewable energy, and Arkansas cities stand to reap significant benefits in terms of job creation, retained wealth and attracting new investment,” Michele Halsell, managing director of the Applied Sustainability Center, said in a statement. “The cities participating in the program will benefit from learning about the municipal policy innovations, hearing the success stories of other cities nationally and attending the Sustainable Energy Academy this summer at the University of Arkansas.”
Cities were selected to ensure diversity in terms of total population and utility type. Cities also were selected based on their reputation for being serious about sustainability initiatives and the ideas and commitment expressed in their applications to the program.
The Sustainable Energy Scorecards and Education for Municipalities program provides baseline data on energy usage; a municipal energy education workshop, conducted by the Applied Sustainability Center in each city; monthly energy strategy calls and webinars; and the Summer Energy Academy. Cities also have the option of working with University of Arkansas students on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
“The program will optimize the success of municipalities vested in developing the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment for their communities,” said Joanna Pollock, staff sustainability strategist at the center.
There is no charge to the cities to participate, but city managers and mayors have committed the participation of city staff and stakeholders from their communities.