TODAY NEWS: Sunderland achieves the distinction of being the inaugural “green procurement town” in Southern Vermont.

Sunderland achieves the distinction of being the inaugural “green procurement town” in Southern Vermont.

During a recent Sunderland Select Board meeting, the approval of a Memorandum of Understanding marked Sunderland’s designation as a “green procurement town.” In its routine operations, Sunderland will now collaborate with the town’s Energy Committee when making acquisitions of vehicles, equipment, and services. The aim is to assess if there is a viable “green, non-fossil fuel alternative” that aligns with the town’s operational needs and energy sustainability objectives. The Select Board will consider the information provided by the Energy Committee and make the final decisions on selected items or services.

Sunderland’s Municipal Plan, sanctioned in 2018, committed the town to taking “concrete action to achieve the energy goals advanced by the state of Vermont.” This includes achieving 90 percent renewable energy usage by 2050. By becoming the inaugural green procurement town in Southern Vermont, Sunderland has assumed a leadership role in the region, setting an example for responsible resource utilization, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and potential cost savings through energy efficiency.

Jeff Dexter, the chairman of the Sunderland Energy Committee, emphasized the urgency of sustainability, stating, “Climate-related disasters are all around us, proving that sustainability is no longer a choice, it’s a necessity.” As the first municipality in Southern Vermont to undertake this initiative, Sunderland joins a growing network of communities actively working to reduce environmental impact while ensuring financial responsibility. Studies indicate that green procurement often results in both short and long-term cost savings by improving efficiency and reducing waste.

Sunderland Select Board Chairman Richard “Dixie” Zens expressed pride in the town’s active energy committee, noting their dedication to advancing activities, procedures, and innovative ideas to enhance energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases.

The initiative is expected to significantly impact Sunderland’s carbon footprint, paving the way for a greener and more sustainable future. Dexter emphasized the importance of taking action to actively reduce the environmental footprint while ensuring fiscal responsibility. Progress will be monitored and reported during Select Board meetings and Town Meetings, providing insights into the environmental benefits achieved and identifying areas for improvement.t

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