It is done in many New Jersey towns on the municipal level, so why not on the state level?  That is the thought process behind legislation introduced by Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic) which would help the state "go green" by maximizing the environmental sustainability of every state office facility.

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The bill would create an Office of Sustainability in the Department of the Treasury that would develop and implement environmental sustainability measures in all state buildings and coordinate with the owners of property in which state agencies are located in an effort to implement environmental sustainability practices in those buildings.

"The idea is to try and use some ideas that we've used on a small town basis and expand them so that it saves the state a lot of money," Eustace said. "There are things that we may not typically pay attention to like how many lights are on in a building at any given time? What kind of lights are we using? These are simple audits that will save money and save the planet in the long run. Another idea is to print paper on double sides as opposed to paying twice the amount for paper and cutting down that many more trees."

Under the bill, the office would be charged with, among other things, developing and implementing initiatives that would:

  • Improve energy efficiency, reduce energy usage, and improve the procurement of energy in state buildings;
  • Increase water conservation in state buildings;
  • Reduce the carbon footprint of state buildings

Under the measure, the office would also oversee standardized energy audits which would be conducted every three years in all state buildings.

State agencies would be required to begin transitioning to these products as soon as possible, but in a manner that would avoid wasting existing inventories. It would allow for the phasing out of products that do not promote environmental sustainability.