Danise Alano, assistant director of economic development in the mayor's office, is the staff liaison to the Bloomington Commission on Sustainability and also the coordinator of the city's new Team Green.

Team Green's purpose is to examine internal city operations and city-owned facilities and find new ways to enhance efficiency and conservation efforts.

Alano will facilitate communication between these entities and attributes the inception of Team Green to Karen Sullivan, a SPEA Service Corps student and intern in the mayor's office.

"The idea to form a City of Bloomington team for this purpose came from Karen's experiences coordinating a similar team in Atlanta," Alano said. "The Zoo Atlanta Green Team is made up of zoo staff that monitor the zoo's environmental efforts and work to maintain a sustainable workplace."

Team Green was created as part of the City's Sustainable City Initiative. It is an internal committee made up of staff from each department.Each city department has at least one representative on the team, ranging from community relations personnel to department heads. Team members will act as representatives from their respective departments and will coordinate implementation of changes within their departments.

"Members of the team will act as liaisons to and from their departments, sharing best practices and generating new ideas for how City Hall and each city facility can achieve a greater level of economic and environmental sustainability," said Alano. "Members will educate and garner participation from their co-workers in the programs that the team implements."

Team members are currently working within their own departments to come up with their priorities and will come together to decide which initiatives should be put in place citywide and recommended to the administration for implementation.

"We also seek continuity of communication by having a Team Green member who is also a member of the City-County Cooperative Purchasing Team," said Alano.

On the accountability of this process, Alano stated, "We will benchmark our current status for each initiative so that we can measure specific progress toward our goals and objectives."

"We are eager to provide reports to the public on our efforts as they get underway, in addition to building consistent communications to highlight the many projects that the City already has going," said Alano.

Alano, optimistically, doesn't anticipate any resistance to the program.

"We see this as an opportunity for city government to lead by example," said Alano. "Mayor Kruzan created the team to capitalize on the talent, resources and dedication of city employees. The team members are excited about their potential and are ready to go."

"The team empowers city employees to take small steps in conservation, developing a pervasive underlying philosophy of sustainability in all city decisions, saving money and resources over time," said Alano.

"We hope that individuals, organizations, businesses and industry will learn from the city's example and that our Team Green will be a catalyst for others to implement or increase their own strategies to help Bloomington's progress toward sustainability."

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