Certification Levels

The Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Certification program is based on two types of actions:

  • Mandatory and priority actions are actions deemed foundational to a successful local climate action program, some of which must be completed for each certification level. Applicants must complete the required number of mandatory and priority actions for each level.

  • Optional actions are all actions that are not labeled as mandatory or priority. Applicants may select any optional actions to complete to earn points toward one of the levels.

Applicants can achieve one of four certification levels: bronze, silver, and gold. Levels are based on the total points earned and the completion of selected priority actions and pledge elements. See table below for a summary of the requirements for each certification level.

Please note: The gold level is currently under development as part of a new initiative to align the highest level of CSC certification with New York State greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets and climate adaptation goals.

 

 

Registered Climate Smart Community
Description

Local governments are designated as Registered CSCs after passing the CSC pledge as a formal resolution.

 

 

Bronze
Description

The initial level of certification - for local governments that have acted their commitment to climate action and taken steps to implement climate-smart policies and projects. 

Point Requirement120 points
Minimum Pledge Elements

At least 1 action completed under 4 different PEs

Mandatory Actions

PE1 Action: CSC Task Force & PE1 Action: CSC Coordinator

Minimum Priority Actions

3 priority actions

Minimum Performance Points0 performance points

 

 

Silver
Description

The second level of certification - for local governments that have implemented a range of foundational climate actions and made concrete progress toward goals.

Point Requirement300 points
Minimum Pledge Elements

At least 1 action completed under 7 different PEs

Mandatory Actions

PE1 Action: CSC Task Force & PE1 Action: CSC Coordinator

Minimum Priority Actions

6 priority actions

Minimum Performance Points10 performance points

 


Definitions of Requirement Categories
Point Requirement

Applicants must earn at least the specified number of points for the rating level, along with achieving the other criteria listed in the rows above. Points are earned by completing certification actions and uploading the required documentation via this website.

Minimum Pledge Elements

Applicants must complete at least one action under the specified number pledge elements (PEs). Applicants may select which PEs they use to comply with this requirement.

Mandatory Actions

Applicants must complete the mandatory actions for each rating level. 

Minimum Priority Actions

Applicants may select which priority actions to complete and must achieve at least the minimum specified for each rating level. 

Minimum Performance Points

Applicants must achieve at least the specified number of performance points for each level.