Climate Sustainability Plan

City of East Lansing Climate Sustainability Plan (CSP)
The City of East Lansing Climate Sustainability Plan (CSP) (PDF) was developed by the East Lansing Commission on the Environment (ELCOE) on behalf of the East Lansing City Council to identify and encourage community-based actions to improve the environment by reducing global warming pollution. The CSP supports and furthers the goals set forth in the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement (PDF) signed by East Lansing Mayor Sam Singh on April 17, 2007.

The CSP provides recommendations to the City Council for programs, policies and practices to reduce our community’s impact on the environment. This is a ‘living’ document that will continually evolve in response to changes in the community, science, technology, funding, costs and beliefs. Elected officials, city staff, commissions and residents all have influence on the direction and life of the document. The CSP contains goals and suggested benchmarks for reducing our imprint on the environment and adopting more sustainable practices within the City of East Lansing through a wide range of investments, actions and policies that the City can implement now and in the future.

What the Climate Sustainability Plan Aims to Accomplish
The ELCOE was assertive in making recommendations and the CSP presents options for a range of actions with both short- and long-term benefits. Some of the CSP recommendations are already being implemented. The ELCOE views the CSP as a starting point for innovation within our community, guided by our commissions, boards and departments working on behalf of all residents and businesses in East Lansing. The CSP looks to both groups and individuals to reduce wasteful resource use, promote efficient and effective economic development, employ sound land use and bring our entire community together in the exploration and implementation of sustainable practices.

While several of the actions recommended in the CSP can be easily implemented in the nearer term, the ELCOE recognizes that some of the recommendations presented in the CSP are more challenging. This may be due to initial costs associated with replacing outdated infrastructure or implementing cutting-edge technologies or due to a perception that the public may not be “ready” to change individual practices. The ELCOE strongly believes that setting the bar high is important and presents the community with possibilities for improvement and achievement.

Why the Climate Sustainability Plan Important to the City of East Lansing
Livable cities attract households that are well educated, diverse and committed to their community.  The CSP puts East Lansing in the forefront of attractive cities with a sustainable future. Further, placing ambitious goals for sustainable practices into the public “conversation” elevates our community’s perception of what is possible. The plan also puts the City of East Lansing in a better position to take advantage of grant funding as it becomes available. By setting goals for positive change, the City of East Lansing is “on record” with its intent to implement sustainable practices going forward.

As a university community, East Lansing is in an excellent position to act as a leader in implementing practices that enhance our city’s livability today, and also preserve precious resources for future generations. This plan provides a starting point for innovation and creativity, but the path we take as a city is up to all of the many different groups and individuals who make up our community. The CSP provides the spark to start the conversation, but as a living document leaves the course we take up to the community as a whole. Having this plan in place keeps the issues at the forefront and reminds us of our longer-range goals on a day-to-day basis. The ELCOE looks forward to working with all parts of the City of East Lansing to implement and develop the CSP.