Naperville Environment and Sustainability Task Force (NEST) is an all-volunteer organization that advises the City government and the community on sustainability and greenhouse gas reduction. NEST was founded in 2018 and became an official City task force in 2019. They have approximately 50 active volunteers, including engineers, scientists, health care professionals, computer programmers, and others.
At its core, sustainability means leaving behind a world for future generations that is not diminished of opportunity or resources. To achieve this, their volunteers research, educate, and advise on issues related to Energy, Waste, Transportation, Building & Development, and Natural Resources. Volunteer teams meet at least monthly. Their goals include improving air quality, reducing waste, making buildings more energy-efficient, transitioning to renewable energy and electric vehicles, and increasing biodiversity, within the framework of equity and justice. These efforts will make Naperville an even more livable city and in most cases will even save residents and the City money.
Climate change is happening now and is impacting Naperville. Naperville government, residents, and businesses both contribute to climate change and can be part of the solution, so NEST prepared a guide for the City on greenhouse gas reduction, “Sustainable Naperville 2036.” City Council adopted many of the report’s recommendations at an August 31, 2021 Sustainability Workshop. The City has begun working on many of the initiatives and NEST volunteers are assisting with research, best practices, and data. Example projects include updating the Naperville Renewable Energy Program, electric vehicle infrastructure building codes, and native plantings.
In addition to working with the City government, NEST volunteers educate the community through social media, their website, and presentations. They believe that community engagement is needed in order for Naperville to make rapid progress on reducing our contributions to climate change, and ultimately achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Please visit NEST today to find more information on the organization, register for their monthly meetings, and/or request a Naperville Environment and Sustainability Task Force speaker.
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Catherine Clarkin, Chair