Columbia becomes first city in SC to receive 3-STAR rating for leadership in sustainability

Columbia becomes first city in SC to receive 3-STAR rating for leadership in sustainability

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The City of Columbia has been awarded a 3-STAR Community Rating for national leadership in sustainability.

The award comes from the STAR Communities non-profit organization which evaluates the livability and sustainability of U.S. communities.

Columbia is the first city in the Palmetto State to receive the certification.

Columbia is one of more than 70 local governments that have been certified with STAR Communities.

In a press release sent out on Wednesday, the city listed several efforts they say stood out among Columbia's sustainability initiatives. Those are:

  • City Council’s commitment to 100% clean energy by 2036.
  • The City’s Climate Action Protection Campaign, created in 2007.
  • 90 percent of residents live within one mile of a community venue that is open to the public and provides community events.
  • 133 net new businesses opened in the past three years.
  • City’s recycling rate of 60%, 20% over the baseline requirement.
  • Richland School District One’s #1 State Ranking from Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

"The STAR rating process gives cities a roadmap for how they can refine and improve their operations to drive continuous improvement," said Hilari Varnadore, executive director of STAR Communities. "The City of Columbia should be applauded for its commitment to sustainability, and for the clarity and transparency provided while achieving its goals."

City officials said they look forward to progressing and improving efforts to achieve a 4 or 5-STAR rating in the years to come.

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