MORPC Recognizes Franklin County’s Efforts on Sustainability

August 12, 2019
Franklin County Certified as Platinum Sustainable2050 Community

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) has certified Franklin County as a Sustainable2050 community to achieve an elevated status for their actions to promote sustainability.

Sustainable2050 is a program that supports communities’ sustainability efforts through direct technical assistance, collaboration, and recognition. Each member’s tier status is determined by the number of eligible activities it carries out in five categories corresponding to MORPC’s Regional Sustainability Agenda.

“These communities are dedicated to improving the quality of life of their residents in sustainable ways, and that should be celebrated. Through Sustainable2050, we are not only recognizing their commitment to sustainability, but ultimately assisting them, through access to resources, to do even more.”
MORPC Planning & Sustainability Director Kerstin Carr

Franklin County, a Sustainable2050 member, achieved Platinum status. Platinum is the highest tier status certification that members can earn.

  • In the category of Sustainable Neighborhoods, Franklin County is the first county in our region to adopt a Complete Streets policy, directing staff to accommodate all modes of travel, including travel by pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and transit users.
  • In the category of Natural Resources, through the programs of the Franklin Soil & Water Conservation District, Franklin County is leading the way to improve water quality in the Upper Scioto and other watersheds across our region. Community Backyards, a residential program, provides education and rebates on rain barrels, compost bins, and native plants or trees. Soil & Water also consults with local municipalities on research projects to highlight local examples of innovative technologies and solutions regarding stormwater.
  • In the category of Energy Consumption, the EnergyWorks program is a partnership with the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority to capitalize the Columbus Region Energy Fund, which provides loan financing and access to financing tools, such as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), to Franklin County businesses and nonprofit organizations for cost-effective, energy efficiency improvements. EnergyWorks is designed to increase the energy efficiency of both existing and new facilities, resulting in lower energy costs, fewer carbon emissions, and economic growth in Franklin County.
  • Franklin County is the first local government in the state of Ohio to receive the Bronze SolSmart designation. SolSmart is a national program led by the Solar Foundation to help local governments make it easier and more affordable to go solar. To receive this designation, cities and counties must take steps to reduce the soft costs, which include the time and money it takes to install a solar system outside of the actual equipment costs. The Franklin County Economic Development and Planning Department took actions to reduce the barriers to solar development by updating the permitting process for solar energy systems, reviewing local zoning codes and identifying restrictions that prohibit solar development, providing additional online resources and providing Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for eligible properties.

More than 30 local communities committed to work toward more sustainable practices through MORPC’s Sustainable2050 initiative, meaning more communities will be certified in the near future.

Additional information can be found at morpc.org/sustainable2050.

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