City of Alpharetta Recognized for its Commitment to Sustainability

Released January 23, 2019 04:13 PM

Alpharetta's Green Communities Program Summary

Alpharetta from Atlanta Regional Commission on Vimeo.

The City of Alpharetta has been recertified by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) as a Green Community at the Gold Level. In 2009, Alpharetta was one of the first communities to be certified under the Green Communities Program. The city reaffirmed its commitment to being green in 2014 and 2018.

The Atlanta Regional Commission’s Green Communities program is a voluntary certification program that helps local governments implement measures that will reduce their environmental impact. It recognizes their commitment to environmental stewardship and their leadership in sustainability practices.

All winners earned certification points for sustainable measures implemented in their communities. Some measures that earned Alpharetta certification points include:

• Requiring new developments to obtain bonds that hold developers responsible for the survival of landscaping for 18 months. During this time, damaged or dying plants must be replaced.

• Situating its new City Hall on a remediated brownfield. The site was previously home to an auto service station, and now acts as an anchor for a dense mixed-use community of residences, businesses, and greenspace.

• Enacting a Night Sky policy that ensures that incoming growth and development does not generate light pollution or waste energy with inefficient fixtures.

• Purchasing new office equipment and appliances that are ENERGY STAR rated. This equipment is more energy-efficient and helps reduce energy consumption and cost.

• Maintaining its certification as a Tree City USA for 28 years. Alpharetta is dedicated to preserving its tree canopy and protecting legacy trees.
In metro Atlanta, 20 local governments — 13 cities and seven counties — are currently certified under ARC’sGreen Communities program. This is the first program in the country to promote sustainability through a green certification program for local governments at the regional level. This year, the cities of Alpharetta, Chamblee, Decatur, and Sandy Springs, as well as Cherokee, Fulton, and Gwinnett Counties were honored.
“These seven communities are making significant strides in reducing their environmental footprint,” said ARC chairman Kerry Armstrong. “They are creating a greener region through cleaner water, less energy use, reduced waste, and restored natural resources. Their efforts serve as a model for communities across metro Atlanta that are looking to become more sustainable.”

ARC developed the Green Communities Program in 2009 to recognize local governments that invest in programs and policies that lead to a more sustainable region. The nationally recognized program showcases the many ways that local governments can reduce their environmental footprint.
In the past four years alone, these seven communities have had the combined impact of:

•    Adding 503 acres of protected greenspace
•    Reducing utility bills by $658,000
•    Diverting over 190,000 tons of waste from landfills
•    Saving or reusing 50 million gallons of water

More information about ARC’s Green Communities certification program, including the measures each community has implemented, is available at