CLAREMONT, Calif. /California Newswire/ — The City of Claremont has achieved “Silver” status as a California Green Community for its commitment to sustainability. Claremont is one of only four cities to be honored by California Green Communities for its efforts. In addition to Claremont, the cities of Monrovia, Riverside and Santa Clarita have reached California Green Community Silver status.

Representatives from the Environmental Media Association (EMA), Southern California Edison (SCE) and Green Seal – founding partners in California Green Communities – presented the honor to the Claremont City Council at the Claremont Chamber of Commerce “State of the City Luncheon” on Tuesday, January 24. The annual Chamber event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Candlelight Pavilion, 455 Foothill Blvd. in Claremont.

“We created California Green Communities to showcase what cities are doing to improve the quality of life for their residents,” said EMA President Debbie Levin. “Claremont is a leader among southern California cities who are modeling sustainable practices for others.”

California Green Communities is a community-based effort that encourages cities to adopt environmentally sound practices involving energy efficiency, waste reduction, water conservation, renewable and alternative fuels, efficient transportation and other activities. Cities develop unique action plans to identify projects and activities they will implement to reach Silver, Gold and Platinum status in the program.

Among the many efforts it took to reach the Silver level, Claremont committed considerable resources to a broad variety of sustainability related projects and programs. Efforts included: making energy efficiency and water conservation improvements to city facilities, converting its fleet to cleaner fuels, encouraging bicycling and walking through education and new construction, and encouraging water wise landscaping and local gardening efforts.

One of the City’s more innovative programs is a homeowner assistance program designed to encourage home energy retrofits. Nicknamed CHERP (Claremont Home Energy Retrofit Project), the program helps homeowners upgrade older homes with energy-saving measures such as insulation, HVAC optimization, lighting upgrades and even solar panels. The City is practicing the policies recommended by the CHERP program, retrofitting many of its facilities and recently installing solar panels at its City Yard.

“The City takes its commitment to sustainability seriously. It is a priority for the City Council and is a consideration in every project and program we provide. Achieving the Silver level status validates the tremendous work this community has done,” remarked Mayor Sam Pedroza.

Created in November 2009, California Green Communities is an environmental recognition program that fosters innovative ways for participating cities to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption, while building vibrant, sustainable communities.

Other cities participating in the program – Culver City, Los Angeles, Redlands, San Gabriel, Santa Monica, Simi Valley and Ventura – are making progress in the program as well. City action plans can be viewed at More cities in Southern California are expected to join the program in 2012.

Numerous other companies and organizations, such as Toyota, the Alliance for Climate Education, Clean Environment Company, e-Recycling of California, The Energy Coalition, Kellogg Garden Products, Lifecycle Global and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps have joined SCE as California Green Communities partners to support participating cities. Southern California Edison provides advanced incentives for energy efficiency measures to cities – including Claremont – that participate in SCE’s Energy Leader Partnership program.