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City of Fort Collins Completes Organization of Sustainability Services Area

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21 June 2012 -- (Fort Collins, CO) With the recent formation of the Social Sustainability Department, the City of Fort Collins has completed a reorganization to bring economic, environmental, and social sustainability functions under one umbrella.

Thanks to City Council’s approval of the new Sustainability Services Area in November 2011, the new cohesive service area will increase coordination, accountability, and collaboration amongst the three functions of sustainability. In particular this change will enable the Sustainability Services Area to increase cooperation with the Fort Collins community, in pursuit of innovative alliances and continued improvements in the areas of economic health, environmental services, and social sustainability (the Triple Bottom Line).

The City of Fort Collins is among the first, if not the first municipality, to structure all three components under one area. “We have an opportunity to establish best practices in how we approach sustainability. A preliminary strategic plan is currently underway; our next step is a conversation with the community about their vision for a sustainable Fort Collins and our role as local government in achieving that vision,” says Chief Sustainability Officer Bruce Hendee.

The addition of a Social Sustainability Department is the defining element of this innovative structure. Leading the Social Sustainability Department is Director Joe Frank, who is being joined by staff from the Affordable Housing and Human Services workgroup. Funding opportunities as well as contractual and monitoring processes within the affordable housing and human services scope will continue to operate as usual. New focus areas will likely include assessing the social and multicultural needs in Fort Collins and leveraging resources of other organizations so as a community, we can positively impact socio-economic needs such as poverty, homelessness, health, education, and jobs.

Josh Birks leads the Economic Health Office as its director, and his group is finalizing the new Economic Health Strategic Plan which will guide priorities over the next five years. With a focus on partnership, creating economic opportunities, and preserving our unique quality of place, economic health efforts work first to prioritize business retention and expansion, then incubation, and finally business attraction.

Heading the Environmental Services Department (ESD) is Interim Director Lucinda Smith. ESD focuses on activities that help improve outdoor and indoor air quality, as well as strategies that increase the community’s recycling and waste diversion, coordinating municipal sustainability activities, and data tracking and reporting. A permanent ESD Director will be hired over the summer.

For more information, contact Chief Sustainability Office Bruce Hendee, at YmhlbmRlZUBmY2dvdi5jb20=. You may also contact Social Sustainability Department Director Joe Frank at amZyYW5rQGZjZ292LmNvbQ==; Economic Health Office Director Josh Birks at amJpcmtzQGZjZ292LmNvbQ==; and Environmental Services Department Interim Director Lucinda Smith at bHNtaXRoQGZjZ292LmNvbQ==.