Certification Overview

The Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Certification program is organized around the 10 CSC pledge elements. See the Certification Framework page for more details about each pledge element (PE). Your local government can earn points for taking action across several areas related to climate change:

  • Forming teams and setting goals (PE 1 & 2)
  • Energy use (PE 3 & 4)
  • Solid waste management (PE 5)
  • Land-use policies (PE 6)
  • Enhancing community resilience (PE 7)
  • Supporting a green economy (PE 8)
  • Public engagement and commitment to an evolving process (PE 9 & 10)

The certification program recognizes communities for their accomplishments through a rating system leading to three levels of award: bronze, silver, and gold. (The gold level is currently under development.) Each level involves earning a minimum number of points and meeting certain requirements related to priority actions and CSC pledge elements. For example, to become a bronze certified CSC, an applicant must earn at least 120 points, complete at least one action under four different pledge elements, complete the two mandatory actions, and complete three priority actions. See the Certification Levels page for more details.