Bedford Mothers Out Front and Bedford’s Energy and Sustainability Committee will be hosting a public forum on Wednesday, June 9, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm on Zoom so that the community can learn about hiring a Sustainability Director.
Guest panelists who serve their towns in that role who will be speaking include Ken Pruitt from Arlington, Kate Hanley from Concord, and Jillian Wilson-Martin from Natick.
Want to learn more?
In towns surrounding Bedford, sustainability directors are obtaining state and federal grants for a range of sustainability initiatives including reducing energy bills, expanding solar programs for homes and public and commercial buildings, writing sustainable zoning laws, and reducing the harmful eﬀects of pollution with electric school buses and electric heating. Now that Governor Charlie Baker has signed the ground-breaking Climate Bill designed to push Massachusetts toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, having a Sustainability Director in Bedford will be critical to take advantage of the resources available in order to combat climate change.
A Sustainability Director is a town employee that works on sustainability initiatives across all town committees and departments, resulting in ﬁnancial savings for the town and its residents. Concord received $800,000 in sustainability grants in 2019, Arlington has saved over $300,000 annually in municipal energy bills since 2014, and Lexington is overhauling its solar zoning law so residents and the town can lower their electric bills. Electric police cars and school buses have been purchased, tipping fees for waste disposal reduced, eﬃcient lighting installed, and food waste programs initiated.
In Bedford, we care a lot about sustainability. Thanks to committed town employees and community volunteers we have a way to access curbside composting of food waste, the Town has installed some electric vehicle charging stations, our Town is saving money by dimming street lights and we have community choice aggregation for stable negotiated prices for renewable electricity. In 2017, we even voted at Special Town Meeting to fund the creation of a Net Zero Plan for Bedford buildings. In 2019 our Select Board voted to approve the Bedford Net Zero plan, a plan that will start us on the path to eliminating our fossil fuel emissions. But we need to do more in order to implement changes quickly enough to have an eﬀect on the climate emergency.
The ﬁrst recommendation in the Bedford Net Zero plan? Hire a sustainability director. It’s time, Bedford. There is money to be saved in energy bills, grant money to be invested in the town, and climate change that needs our attention for our kids’ future. Let’s support hiring a sustainability director for Bedford!