The City of Greensboro recently hired its first chief sustainability officer. The role will be important in helping the city meet its renewable energy and climate goals.

Shree Dorestant has been on the job since early June. She’s no stranger to the city. Prior to her most recent role at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, she worked for Greensboro’s Water Resources Department.

As the city’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, she has some tall orders. Greensboro is trying to find pathways for transitioning city operations to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2040.

It’s part of the city’s proposed strategic energy plan, which also calls for finding ways to use solar on city buildings and electrifying the city’s transportation fleet.

“This is a snapshot too of, you know, the city saying 'hey this is what the city is doing' and then it broadening out to a more of an entire city stance on sustainability," she says. "So this is just the beginning of what I feel we are going to do.”

Dorestant says Greensboro just received another grant to buy an additional electric bus, and discussions are underway about adding more electric vehicle charging stations in the city.

She says any plan that’s implemented will also keep equity in mind to make sure improvements are affordable and distributed evenly throughout the city.

Her next step is getting the city council to adopt the strategic energy plan. She expects to present it to council members in October.

Follow WFDD's  Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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