Sustainable Annapolis

Sustainable Annapolis is a program dedicated to making Annapolis a sustainable, carbon neutral city.

The Sustainable Annapolis program started in response to the completion of the Annapolis Government Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and the Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory. Through the energy inventories, we found that a majority of the energy use came from buildings and utilities such as our water reclamation facility. With the goal of creating a program that would promote and facilitate the city's efforts to become an environmentally, economically, and socially stable neighborhood, the Sustainable Annapolis program is utilized to collaborate with the community in developing a way forward to sustainability.

Sustainable Annapolis proposed an open forum of communication to draw interest, launch initiatives, and solicit community feedback and participation. All feedback received from the public was considered to be incorporated into our sustainability plan, which we call the Sustainable Annapolis Community Action Plan. It compiles a list of goals and targeted programs that are suggested to be implemented to achieve those goals.

The current focus of the Sustainable Annapolis program is to continue implementing and reporting on our progress with our Community Action Plan and to launch programs that seek to further our sustainability and climate goals. Most notably under Sustainable Annapolis, we launched the Annapolis Environmental Stewardship Certification program, and we continue to hold an annual rain barrel and compost bin sale that seeks to educate the public about stormwater and waste issues.

The Annapolis Environmental Stewardship Certification Program

The Annapolis Environmental Stewardship Certification Program is a part of the Department of Neighborhood and Environmental Programs’ Sustainable Annapolis initiative. Launched in 2009, the Annapolis Environmental Stewardship Certification Program awards best practice certificates to homes, restaurants, lodging establishments, auto repair shops, schools, retail stores, places of worship, and office buildings.

In order to be eligible for the two-year certification, the applicant must earn enough qualifying points from a comprehensive checklist of environmental best practices and pass a verification inspection.


There is currently one Workbook for residents and six Workbooks for businesses and organizations:

Under the program, businesses earn points from a checklist of categories including:

  • energy efficiency improvements
  • water conservation
  • environmental education efforts
  • serving local food
  • and more. 


To qualify for the initial two-year certification, each business must earn a minimum amount of points set in the workbooks. Businesses planning to re-certify need to earn more points, indicating continuing environmental efforts.

Certified businesses will be given:

  • website recognition
  • a certificate
  • a decal to display to let their customers know about their environmental efforts.

After businesses submit their application to the Department of Neighborhood and Environmental Programs, they must meet with staff prior to being awarded certification. This gives DNEP staff an opportunity to verify points and suggest additional improvements.

If you are a restaurant that may not be ready to buy local menu items, try the Green Plate Special program . The Green Plate Special is a menu item featuring ingredients from local farms and businesses.