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City of Atlanta Expands Sustainability Efforts with Launch of Power to Change Ambassador Program

April 24,2013

Mayor Kasim Reed announced the creation of the Power to Change Ambassador Program at the 2nd annual Atlanta Earth Day Cleanup Challenge. As part of the city’s Power to Change sustainability initiative, the Ambassador Program will define and unite the sustainability efforts of government, business, academia, nonprofits and individuals.
“To become a top-tier sustainable city, we must take a cohesive and collaborative approach,” said Mayor Reed. “The Power to Change Ambassador Program will help amplify our individual successes and showcase our full-circle commitment to sustainability”.

More than 70 businesses and organizations have already signed on to become Power to Change Ambassadors, collectively accounting for more than 5,000 acts of change to date. Participating organizations include: The Home Depot, Spelman College, The Clean Air Campaign, Ernst & Young, and the Southeast Rainwater Harvesting System Association (SERHSA).

Organizations are encouraged to register for the program via the new Power to Change website,, which serves as both a public education resource and portal for information on sustainability measures across ten impact areas. Power to Change Ambassadors will provide information about their organizations’ sustainability efforts, building an inventory of Atlanta’s success stories.

“Over the past year, we have worked closely with hundreds of Atlanta sustainability advocates to define – and refine – our sustainability plan,” said Denise Quarles, Director of Sustainability for the City of Atlanta. “With their help, we’ve developed a strategic approach founded in ten sustainability impact areas, with more than 30 measures of success. The Power to Change Ambassador Program will help get us to our singular goal-to become a top-tier sustainable city”.

The expanded Power to Change initiative provides a framework to tell the collaborative story of Atlanta’s sustainability successes, while identifying areas where organizations and individuals can have a greater impact.

Atlanta’s sustainability efforts continue to expand, with an impressive list of recent achievements, including:

  • Since the October 2012 launch of Cartlanta, recycling tonnage has increased from 1,079 tons collected to 1,403 tons, an increase of 23 percent. Internally, recycling collection rates in City Hall and other municipal buildings have increased six-fold.
  • The original target of 15 percent energy saving by 2020 has been exceeded in the Department of Watershed Management, in general fund facilities as a group, and the Civic Center.
  • The Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge has grown to include more than 50 million square feet in commitments; as well as recognition for Atlanta as the city with the greenest building in the northern hemisphere.
  • The Home Depot has installed water reclamation tanks at five area stores with projected annual savings of over 500,000 gallons of water.
  • Atlanta Public Schools and the Captain Planet Foundation will install 40 new edible learning gardens at Atlanta schools, taking the total for these gardens to over 50 percent within the school system by year-end 2014.

To become a Power to Change Ambassador, visit and click on Ambassadors.