(Blackwood, NJ) – Christopher Waldron, Director of Sustainability for Camden County, is being recognized by Sustainable Jersey as the Sustainability Hero for July 2017. Waldron has served in the position for five years and is the central point of contact for the county’s 37 municipalities as they work toward and maintain their Sustainable Jersey certifications.
Freeholder Jonathan Young, liaison to Sustainable Camden County, highlighted the progress Waldron and his office have made as a state-leader in pursuing sustainability.
“Camden County is the only county in New Jersey to have its own Office and Director of Sustainability. Since its inception, the program has saved our operations money, encouraged innovation, and conserved critical natural resources in our region,” Young said. “Having a director like Chris allows us to consolidate the efforts of all of our diverse municipalities and ensure that we’re finding ways to improve each and every one of our communities.”
Waldron formerly served as the chair of the Winslow Township Environmental Commission, was the co-chair of Camden City’s Green Team, and is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited professional through the U.S. Green Building Council. He also works as an adjunct professor at Richard Stockton University and Burlington County College.
Waldron was also responsible for developing and implementing Camden County’s long-range sustainability plan which was initially released in 2016. An updated progress report was recently released detailing how far the county has come in terms of reaching the goals it set for itself. The progress update reports that 23% of the originally planned initiatives have already been successfully implemented, and 76% are either complete or have seen progress in some way.
“We’re really only in the beginning stages of this effort and we’ve already seen how much this office can accomplish,” Young said. “Fourteen of our towns are now certified through Sustainable Jersey, and the rest are all registered to be considered for certification when they’re ready.”
Sustainable Jersey is a non-profit focused on helping municipalities throughout the state pursue sustainability programs. The organization provides tools, training, and financial incentives to aid towns in taking the first step towards those programs. A certification system awards municipalities either bronze, silver, or gold ratings based on whether a town achieves a certain number of points, which are earned by completing various goals outlined by Sustainable Jersey. Seven of Camden County’s fourteen certified towns are currently certified silver, with the remaining seven certified bronze. Certification is designed to highlight a community as a leader and an example for its peers to emulate.
Camden County’s Office of Sustainability runs several county-wide sustainability programs and initiatives, and serves as a central hub for all of the county’s 37 municipalities as they work towards their Sustainable Jersey certifications. The office runs the Hydroponic Greenhouse Program, started in 2016, which grows fruits and vegetables year-round to use in lunches for senior programs and to generate revenue by partnering with local restaurants. The Tool Lending Library, started in 2015, is also facilitated by the Office of Sustainability, and is full of donated tools which can be borrowed by residents free of charge as they are needed.
For more information on Sustainable Jersey, visit online at http://www.sustainablejersey.com/. For more information on Sustainable Camden County and the dozens of innovative initiatives being started by the state’s first county sustainability office, call (856) 225-5576, or visit online at http://sustainable.camdencounty.com/.