Manager's Committee on Sustainability


In April of 2010, State College Manager Thomas J. Fountaine established the Manager's Committee on Sustainability, an action-based employee task force, to increase collaboration between municipal departments on issues regarding the economic vitality, environmental sustainability, and community resilience of State College Borough. The Committee seeks to develop initiatives aimed at increasing staff knowledge, developing community partnerships, and fostering sustainable best management practices.

Mission Statement

Improve economic efficiency and development of State College Borough while protecting and restoring its ecological systems and enhancing the well being of Borough residents and visitors through sustainable practices and planning. The Manager's Committee on Sustainability works collaboratively with the State College Borough Tree Commission to maintain and improve the urban forest. The Tree Commission is comprised of private citizens that advise the Director of Public Works and the Arborist on the planting, maintenance and removal of trees.

Learn more about the Tree Commission by going to .


The goals of the Committee must be balanced among economic, environmental and societal needs that are supported by the financial and organizational viability of the Borough:

Society – Provide access to necessary goods and cost-effective services

Organization – Protect the quality of the air, water, land and other natural resources

Environment – Meet human needs fairly and effectively

Economy  – Provide for a strong fiscal foundation and institutional strength within the Borough government


The objectives of the Committee will reflect the Borough’s sustainability priorities over the full range of government processes:

Develop criteria, policies and procedures for sustainability programs implemented for or by State College Borough

  • Record all sustainability efforts to date and establish a baseline of information
  • Keep track of effectiveness of improvements
  • Conduct research studies and surveys to identify areas of concern
  • Obtain grants to further develop and improve Borough sustainability initiatives
  • Solicit and review employee suggestions on sustainability-related matters
  • Re-evaluate efforts at least every five years

Identify and implement sustainable best management practices in all operations

  • Identify and evaluate trends and initiatives in the field of sustainability
  • Research opportunities for improvement and develop pilot sustainability projects
  • Develop educational and training programs for employees on sustainability issues

Encourage the retention of highly trained personnel through opportunities for career growth, evaluations of performance, and open communication

  • Provide opportunities for career growth and personal achievement through on the job training, personal enrichment opportunities, competitive salary and benefits, flexible schedule options and rewards/recognition of individual contributions
  • Periodically evaluate individual and department-wide performance to ensure employees meet standards and challenge workers to improve efficiency/efficacy
  • Create room for open dialogue on ways to improve office culture, subordinate-supervisor relations, and promote the discussion of innovative ideas.

Ensure organizational vigor by engaging in practices that foster financial and institutional strength

  • Set and achieve goals that add value to the organization and the community
  • Foster transparency in all aspects of the organization
  • Benchmark with other high performing local governments in Pennsylvania, the United States and internationally
  • Commit to civic engagement
  • Actively embrace innovation and process change to accomplish goals
  • Measure outcomes to assure success

Engage the greater community in specific actions that incorporate sustainability into their daily lives

  • Raise community awareness of the Borough’s sustainability efforts and initiatives
  • Foster sustainable behavior change through community-based social marketing

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