Learn more about current projects and ongoing initiatives to support a greener, cleaner, more resilient Memphis and Shelby County.
Sustainable Workforce Initiative
This Sustainable Workforce Initiative focuses on addressing the needs of energy-burdened residents, improving local government capacity to serve those residents, and enhancing the local workforce skillset and capability to improve housing stock and make energy efficiency repairs. Awarded through the Southeast Sustainable Communities Fund in late 2019, support for this initiative is provided by a partnership between the Kendeda Foundation and the Southeast Sustainability Directors Network (SSDN).
Over a two-year period (2020-2021), the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Sustainability and Resilience and local partners will carry out project activities that address two major issues:
- Alleviating bottlenecks in existing energy efficiency programs by focusing on job training and workforce development efforts for individuals already in the weatherization or contracting fields as well as upcoming students and young professionals; and
- Supporting grassroots community groups to provide outreach and engagement to residents by connecting them to programming and resources, both for safe and healthy homes issues as well as for workforce training.
Sustainable Workforce project partners include:
- BLDG Memphis
- City of Memphis, Office of Business Diversity and Compliance
- City of Memphis, Division of Housing and Community Development
- Green & Healthy Homes Initiative
- Innovate Memphis
- Memphis Area Minority Contractors Association
- Moore Tech
- United Housing Inc.
For additional information on helping connect residents and contractors with these opportunities, please visit https://www.bldgmemphis.org/sustainable_workforce_initiative
Resilient Shelby Projects
On January 21, 2016, the federal department of Housing and Urban Development announced that Shelby County was the recipient of a $60 million federal grant to increase its resiliency over the next three years. The funds are currently being used in local areas with recovery needs from 2011 flooding in addition to developing a Mid-South Regional Resilience Plan. The three main resilience projects that aim to reduce flood risk include Big Creek Millington, Wolf River Memphis, and South Cypress Creek Memphis.
See more about each project and the Resilience Plan here at resilientshelby.com.
Smart City Memphis
We are working on a roadmap to more inclusive opportunities for Memphis and Shelby County. How do we better use, develop, and share information to create more economic opportunity and inclusivity? Using our What Works Cities certification to keep the momentum going, we are working as a data-driven government to improve quality of life and information access.
Low Impact Development & Stormwater Management
Our office supports the integration of low impact designs and improved stormwater management practices.
The Office of Sustainability and Resilience works to implement the recommendations of the Climate Action Plan and Regional Resilience Master Plan in a number of ways. One such area of work centers around reducing waste, including decreasing the amount of residential and commercial waste heading to our municipal landfills, improving recycling habits, and looking for circular economy opportunities for waste diversion.
We are currently working closely with Clean Memphis and the Division of Solid Waste to reduce the amount of food waste generated by Memphians, and look for opportunities to improve resident and government practices surrounding food waste. The Memphis Food Waste Project will work to prevent food waste, improve food recovery system(s), increase public awareness and expand composting efforts. Wasted food means wasted water, labor, energy, time, and money.
This past December, Mayor Strickland issued a proclamation that commits the City of Memphis to work to develop a more sustainable approach to food systems, improve food access and raise awareness to encourage better food waste practices. This will align Memphis with national goals of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030. “Memphis is dedicated to investing in our neighborhoods with innovative solutions. We are excited to see this community-led partnership with Clean Memphis flourish as this project takes off,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. Check out the proclamation here .
The Memphis Food Waste Project has also put together a number of resources to raise awareness and share information on food waste strategies with everyone in our community. Take the Food Waste Quiz and test your knowledge of food waste and changes you can make to reduce waste in your home. Also, take the pledge to become a Food Waste Warrior and be part of the solution to food waste in our community!
For Earth Month (April 2021), the Office of Sustainability and Resilience and the City of Memphis Solid Waste Management Division collaborated to send out weekly messages to City of Memphis employees with information on food waste impacts and resources for reducing food waste at home. You can check out the newsletter series below. Most of the information was adapted from www.savethefood.com, so be sure to check that site out as well!
Week 1 – Shopping and Meal Prep
Week 3 – Leftovers and Soon-to-Expire Foods
Our corrections facilities serve as a sustainability leader and role model in Shelby County. Shelby County Corrections is reducing energy consumption, improving waste practices, and providing healthier conditions onsite. Learn more about these efforts here:
As a member of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, our office works to improve energy efficiency in buildings and encourage clean, renewable energy in our power supply. Many of these initiatives are connected to our Climate Action Plan and address strategies to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.