FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2021
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - Three recent recognitions of the City of Charlottesville’s work to be “A Green City” include being named a winner in the 2020-2021 Better Business Challenge, being approved as a Sustainability Partner in the Department of Environmental Quality’s Virginia Excellence Program and receiving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2021 WaterSense® Sustained Excellence Award.
The City of Charlottesville received these recognitions for accomplishments in 2020 - a year filled with challenges that have demanded persistence, dedication, and performance.
Better Business Challenge
The City of Charlottesville participated in the Better Business Challenge as part of a 16-month effort to reduce climate emissions and innovate around sustainability. Charlottesville joined 75 local businesses, nonprofits, and schools who tool actions to reduce their environmental impacts and, over the summer, was announced as one of the winners. Efforts that contributed to winning included establishment of an energy and water management program that focuses on technology, operations, and behavior.
PHOTO: Kirk Vizier, the City's Energy Management Program Coordinator, holds the City's Better Business Challenge Award
Virginia Environmental Excellence Program
This is the 9th year for the City of Charlottesville to be approved as a Sustainability Partner in DEQ’s Virginia Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP). The VEEP Sustainability Partners track is designed to encourage organizations across Virginia to make environmental sustainability part of their culture through leadership, innovation, and continual improvement. Organizations must demonstrate this commitment through measurable and verifiable conservation efforts, leading to direct and indirect improvements in energy usage, water usage, waste generation, and other environmental benefits.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense Award
And, most recently in October, the City of Charlottesville was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a 2021 WaterSense Sustained Award, the highest level of program recognition, for its dedication to helping the community save water, even with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
WaterSense, a voluntary partnership program sponsored by EPA, is both a label for water-efficient products and homes and a resource for helping consumers learn ways to save water. WaterSense Award winners demonstrate their commitment to saving this precious resource by producing, building, and promoting labeled products and homes that are independently certified to use less water and perform well. WaterSense honored the City of Charlottesville as a Sustained Excellence Award winner for a fourth year in a row and seventh year of receiving a WaterSense award. Highlighted programs and community engagement efforts by Charlottesville’s Water Conservation Program in 2020 include issuing 130 WaterSense toilet rebates, promoting water saving tips on social media with their #WaterTipWednesday, and holding a virtual “Imagine a Day without Water” art contest with the them “What Water Means to Me”.
For more information about the Better Business Challenge, visit
For more information about DEQ’s VEEP, visit https://www.deq.virginia.gov/get-involved/pollution-prevention/virginia-environmental-excellence-program.
For more information about WaterSense and the 2021 award winners, www.epa.gov/watersense.
For more information about Charlottesville’s Environmental Sustainability Program, visit www.charlottesville.gov/280/environmentalsustainability
For more information about the Charlottesville Water Conservation Program, visit www.charlottesville.gov/waterconservation.
Environmental Sustainability Division Manager
City of Charlottesville
Water Efficiency Program Coordinator
City of Charlottesville