Sustainability Goals and History

Climate Mitigation Goals

The Town of Concord has ambitious goals to mitigate our impact on climate change by reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These goals were approved at the 2017 Annual Town Meeting and align Concord with the goals set in the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act and the Paris Climate Accord.
  • By 2020 - 25% reduction in town-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 2008
  • 100% carbon-free electricity source by 2030
  • By 2050 - 80% reduction in town-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 2008

Concord Sustainability Principles

In 2011, Concord Select Board approved four sustainability principles to guide the town's decision-making toward creating a more sustainable Concord. These principles were adopted from the American Planning Association and The Natural Step for Communities: How Cities and Towns Can Change to Sustainable Practices by Sarah James.
  • Reduce dependence on fossil fuels, underground metals, and minerals
  • Reduce dependence upon synthetic chemicals and other manufactured substances
  • Reduce encroachment on nature
  • Meet human needs fairly and efficiently

Sustainability Division

Established in 2017, Concord’s Sustainability Division is responsible for developing and implementing programs, policies and initiatives to achieve the Town’s climate and sustainability goals. The division works closely with town committees, including the Comprehensive Sustainability and Energy Committee and the Climate Action Advisory Board, as well as town departments, residents, businesses and partners to advance these goals.

Concord has a long history of taking action on climate change.


Concord Select Board adopts four sustainability principles.


Concord hosts a Solar Fair and bans the sale of individual plastic water bottles in town.


Concord receives Green Communities Designation from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and commits to reducing municipal energy consumption by 20%. Since then, Concord has received over $600,000 in grant funding to implement energy-saving projects in town facilities.


Concord begins a Solar Challenge with the goal of increasing adoption of solar PV on residential rooftops. Today, over 300 Concord homes have rooftop solar, making Concord #1 in solar penetration among municipal light plant communities in Massachusetts.


Concord bans plastic bags.


Concord bans polystyrene.

Concord receives its first electric school bus.

141 homes participate in a residential weatherization campaign called Green Your Heat.



The Cooler Concord Fair draws 1,000 residents to learn about ways to cut carbon at home.

Concord approves a Article 51, a citizen petition, at Annual Town Meeting committing the Town to ambitious sustainability goals. Concord's first Director of Sustainability is hired.


Concord collaborates with neighbors on the HeatSmart campaign resulting in over 40 homes installing climate-friendly heat pumps.

Concord passes Article 23 at Town Meeting committing to climate resilience goals.

Learn more in the 2018 Annual Sustainability Report.


Concord hosts a Sustainable Landscaping Fair drawing 150+ residents and the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail opens.

Learn more in the 2019 Annual Sustainability Report.


Concord launches "Your Sustainable Home Now!" resource for residents to take action at home.

Concord releases a Guide for Sustainability in Historic and Older Homes.

Concord completes its first comprehensive climate action and resilience plan, Sustainable Concord.