State Representative Robyn Gabel (center), John Bisio of Walmart (standing, right) and Debra DeHaney-Howard (sitting) of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and her daughter, Madison Howard, watch as Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl presents a check to Ron Fleckman, chair of Citizens Greener Evanston.

At the Ecology Center on Sept. 15 Walmart and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, presented Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl with one of their two Climate Protection Awards in recognition of an honor bestowed in June at the annual conference. John Bisio, director of public affairs and government relations at Walmart, presented a ceremonial check to Mayor Tisdahl and Citizens Greener Evanston, a local not-for-profit focusing on the environment. The money will be used to implement some sustainability programs in the area. Mr. Bisio said he had always considered Evanston a thoughtful community and one that was ecologically conscious. He said, “Walmart tips our hat to Evanston for their efforts” in reducing carbon emissions.

Mayor Tisdahl said the City Council, City staff and members of the community earned the award by working to implement the Evanston Climate Action Plan approved by City Council a few years ago. “One hundred and ten of the 200 strategies in the plan have been implemented, with the result of a 22 percent reduction in greenhouse gases. The removal of 24,000 metric tons of carbon monoxide – which the community has accomplished – is equivalent to the removal of 4,000 passenger vehicles from the streets of Evanston,” said the Mayor.

Ron Fleckman, president of Citizens Greener Evanston, said CGE’s 2011 community agenda included five projects: substantially improving energy efficiency in housing; educating the community about sustainability practices; developing an innovative, integrated community transportation plan; promoting the economics of collaborative communities within Evanston; and developing innovative approaches for renewable energy.