Lisa Estrada, Economic Efficiency and Sustainability Manager for Peoria, AZ shares their STAR story.
The City of Peoria decided to pursue STAR certification to gain clarity around its sustainability efforts. Although we knew we were taking steps in the right direction, we did not fully understand what kind of impact we were having. We needed a widely recognized tool that could help us measure our effectiveness, even if that meant a lack thereof in certain areas. After going through the certification process, the City learned that there are some great accomplishments of which we can really be proud. It also highlighted the gaps in our approach and gave us insight on specifically where and how we could improve in our efforts.
Certification has created a sense of excitement in our employees. They eagerly awaited the results to see how they each performed in their areas. STAR has provided a heightened sense of awareness and education to our city about the complexities and range of topics involved in sustainability. It’s one thing for someone on the inside, like myself, to talk about it but having an outside resource like STAR really helped to build a case for using sustainability as part of the solution to some of our challenges.
We are now in the process of communicating the results to our department directors. We hope to analyze the results and determine where there might be immediate opportunities for implementation, while also finding out what they perceive as barriers to adopting some of the measures. Through these discussions, we hope to align our results with our existing sustainability action plan, creating an enhanced living document that will guide our actions in the future.