Protecting Orleans’ Environment And Projecting Savings

Participants in Orleans’ recent visioning workshops for the 2026 Town Comprehensive Plan cited the environment as one of the most compelling reasons to live in Orleans. Green Community policies and practices protect our environment for the present and our shared future.

Currently, many Massachusetts Green Communities are considering adopting a zero-emissions-first policy for municipal vehicle purchases. Why? They recognize that the initial purchase cost is outweighed by cost-savings for the life of the vehicle. It makes cost sense. And they know that continuing to release greenhouse gas at the current rate is not the future we seek.

Plus, adoption of a zero-emissions-first policy opens the door to certification as a Massachusetts Climate Leader Community. Climate Leader Communities are eligible for significant funding for rooftop solar PV, battery electric storage, electric vehicles, and community engagement activities, as well as seed funding for municipal sustainability coordinators to Climate Leader Communities.  Additional requirements for Climate Leader certification are the adoption of the Opt-In Specialized Building Code, narrowly defeated at October 2023 Orleans Town Meeting, and a commitment to eliminate the use of on-site fossil fuel in municipal buildings and fleets by 2050 – two commitments for which there is significant support in Orleans.

Is a zero-emissions-first policy a prudent move for Orleans to consider?
Email to add your voice to the conversation.


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