The road to a green city isn't paved in gold, and for one city's mayor becoming more sustainable takes multiple paths forward.
According to The Beacon-News, Aurora, Illinois, has been investing in and deploying new, green strategies since last year. Mayor Tom Weisner recently stated during his annual State of the City address that he hopes that their efforts are "raising the bar" for sustainability goals in the 21st century.
"We are letting go of our old image as a struggling, crime-ridden blue collar town dreaming of past glories, and we are redefining ourselves as a leader, not a follower," said Weisner , the new source reported.
While his speech focused on the general accomplishments that the city achieved throughout 2013, much of it was inspired by the sustainability efforts that have been underway, as well as the "most brutal winter the region has experienced in 30 years," according to the report.
"Working together, Aurora survived the polar vortex and we can thankfully put the 2013-2014 winter behind us or should I say, we can 'Let It Go,'" Weisner said, noting that it took the city 424 hours to plow its streets this past winter, as compared to the mere 160 the previous year.
One of the biggest improvements the city made in 2013, however, was the integration of paper conversion services and document management software in city hall operations. Before, city meetings required more than 26,000 sheets of paper to be printed every month, but now it is saving about 37 trees a year by going digital with board meetings and other processes that previously required paperwork. Add to this the bike paths, rain gardens, nature trails and sustainable building projects that the city is investing in, and it has been making major ground on going green.
For any city, these sorts of efforts are invaluable for increasing sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint. If there is any hope in halting the progress of global warming and evening out weather patterns – avoiding future winters like Aurora experienced – these efforts will be essential. By investing in high-quality scanning hardware, information management and conversion service, organizations of all types can embrace paperless and other green initiatives and start making a change today, because tomorrow will be too late.
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