Project Sample

Executive Summary

The purpose of this project is to establish a framework for staff at the Incline Village General Improvement District (IVGID) to follow when considering environmental and sustainability related initiatives and programs. Organized efforts like this will help improve the community’s impact on the local and global environment while creating a resilient community and by extension, a prosperous local economy. In effect, the district, its facilities, and programs should be able to avoid any “green-washing.” This document is a work in progress and is available below in the edition that I presented to IVGID.

Click on the screen clipping above to download the full Sustainability Project Framework that I prepared for the Incline Village General Improvement District in 2016


What does this Document do?

The Incline Village General Improvement District Sustainability Framework is designed to engage the organization regarding sustainability measures specific to local venues while upholding community values in environmental stewardship. It creates a constructive process, mindful of the interaction among the environment, economy and community that allows the identification, evaluation, and implementation of solutions to complex and evolving problems and opportunities that face the community of Incline Village and Crystal Bay. This document will help IVGID and its stakeholders to maximize resources, protect lasting environments while improving both the present and future of our community.

Why is Sustainability Important?

The purpose of the Incline Village General Improvement District’s Sustainability Framework is to responsibly manage the resources under its care, protect public health, and balance its social and environmental duties to the citizens and community while providing cost-effective services to ratepayers.

The State of Nevada requires all counties and cities to develop a Master Plan that incorporates development requirements for communities and neighborhoods as well as infrastructure improvements and environmental best practices to be implemented (NRS 278, 332, 338 and 444A, Washoe County Master Plan). North Lake Tahoe (Incline Village/Crystal Bay) is included as a part of the Washoe County Master Plan.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has established the Lake Tahoe Sustainable Communities Program. This program sets targets for master plan areas within the Lake Tahoe basin to consider while evaluating sustainability measurements when putting together Area Plans such as the Washoe Tahoe Area Plan. This program provides a series of documents to help guide communities within the Lake Tahoe basin with the development of sustainability frameworks, visions, and action plans.

How to use this Document

This document provides a foundation for an organized effort to benchmark current environmental efforts and then track indicators related to the health of a local sustainable economy, community, and environment. This information is included to guide, inspire, and enable everyone in Incline Village and Crystal Bay to live, work, invest, and play in a sustainable place.

Community Overview

The Incline Village and Crystal Bay community is located on the north-east shore of Lake Tahoe in Washoe County in the state of Nevada. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is a bi-state governing body that sets development standards for all communities within the Lake Tahoe watershed including Incline Village and Crystal Bay. The Incline Village General Improvement District provides water, sewer, and solid waste services in addition to access to recreational facilities.

IVGID Core Values

IVGID’s Mission Statement

The Incline Village General Improvement District delivers exemplary recreational experiences and provides the highest level of water, sewer, and solid waste services while striving for fiscal and environmental sustainability.

IVGID’s Value Statement

We are dedicated people providing quality service, for our community and environment, with integrity and teamwork.

IVGID’s Mantra Statement

One District • One Team

Sustainability Vision (To Be Approved by a Sustainability Committee)


I will share and combine my talents and passions to create a place where problems are solved and our community is improved in a sustainable manner.


I will be respectful of sustainability practices and our environment.


I will be a good steward of sustainability and our environmental resources.


I will contribute to best management practices that serve as an example for the community and region.


I will be proactive in upholding district sustainability practices and protecting the environment.

IVGID’s Vision Statement

With passion for quality of life and our environment, Incline Village General Improvement District will enhance the reputation of our community as an exceptional place to live, work, invest and, play.

  • Diverse natural ecosystems and other resources that maintain a healthy balance between human (built) and natural environments, provide scenic corridors and vistas that make Incline Village and Crystal Bay a special place, and provide opportunities for residents to enjoy natural settings.
  • A sense of community that maintains the richness of everyday life by preserving environmental resources, enhances historical preservation and educational opportunities for all ages, provides a scenic, unifying character that thrives on the scenic high sierra beauty surrounding the village, streamlines communication, and creates linkages to public spaces for social gathering.
  • Enhanced recreational opportunities and choices that take advantage of a diverse environment, practice healthy engagement with the community regarding the development of ski, golf, beach or other recreational amenities, utilize educational opportunities especially within nature, protect stream environment zones for future generations while preserving biodiversity, foster a healthy outdoor community ethic, provide recreational activities integrated into the community, and provide easy access for residents to recreational amenities that offer options for everyone to be physically active.
  • Diverse housing and lodging choices that meet the needs of residents, workers and visitors of all physical and economic abilities that recognize the seasonal, visitor-oriented nature of many business, preserve, and enhance the existing supply of housing and provide a sustainable and walkable environment in proximity to local businesses, services, and neighborhood centers.
  • A safe and connected multi-modal transportation network with increased travel choices within Incline Village and Crystal Bay and to Nevada State Routes 28 and 431, the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park as well as other communities, including a well-connected trail system and improved transit that reduce traffic congestion, lower household transportation costs, and provide more opportunities for walking and biking to local destinations by residents, workers, and visitors.
  • A vital local economy that balances the needs of commercial and residential areas, builds upon the sense of community among neighborhoods and business owners, promotes north shore attractions and maintains Incline Village and Crystal Bay as “Your Tahoe Place” to live in harmony with nature.
  • A high quality of life with improved public health, fire-safe open-spaces, access to educational resources and job opportunities, foster a mountain culture invested in conservation and the local economic and social wellbeing of the residents of Incline Village and Crystal Bay.

Sustainability Action Plan

The Sustainability Action Plan for the Incline Village General Improvement District is based on all the IVGID core values and statements in addition to the sustainability vision. A collaborative set of initiatives will continue to be presented to make progress toward becoming a sustainable community. An internal sustainability committee will help implement programs and initiatives while public outreach is conducted.

Overarching Goals

  • Increase staff, resident and visitor participation and awareness in sustainable activities, energy efficiency, waste reduction and recycling.
  • Review and upgrade district policies and practices to encourage or require waste reduction, recycling and environmentally preferable purchasing.
  • Serve as a model for the region to influence waste prevention, recycling, and procurement efforts among other public agencies, businesses, contractors, residents and visitors.

Collaborative Initiatives

Summary of Objectives

  • Form a Sustainability Committee comprised of representatives from each department to plan sustainability efforts, prioritize projects, and coordinate internal efforts to implement best management practices relating to sustainability.
  • Task the Sustainability Committee with approval of the language in the sustainability vision, framework, and strategy to fortify sustainability products and tools.
  • Task the Sustainability Committee with the creation and implementation of documents and guiding principles including but not limited to an employee handbook on environmental stewardship, conservation messaging and influence of sustainable best practices within the district.
  • Require measurement of performance standards of sustainability under each IVGID department and venue to lessen harmful environmental impacts on our regional environment and global climate.
  • Require waste prevention, recycling, market development and use of recycled and recyclable materials through lease agreements, contractual relationships and purchasing practices with vendors, contractors, businesses, and other public and governmental agencies.
  • Generate less waste material by reviewing how supplies, materials, and equipment are manufactured, purchased, packaged, delivered, used, and disposed.
  • Increase our efforts in acquiring electricity from renewable sources and reducing energy usage with efficiency modifications.
  • Incorporate sustainability into the Building Code to require new construction projects to accommodate sustainable activities and water conservation efforts in the building or property design.
  • Goals should be set in increments and then reassessed during the goal target years. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) has identified 2020, 2035 and 2050 as Climate Action Plan (CAP) goal target years as a part of the Lake Tahoe Sustainable Communities Program.

Scope of Initiatives

The sustainability initiatives apply to all district employees, departments, venues, and services.

Phase I

Phase one has been completed. The purpose of phase one was to create a managing body, with strong purpose and internal support as well as defined roles and operations. The result of phase one are the initiatives enumerated below in addition to this framework document. Furthermore, administrative capacity and support is also being allocated.

ü  Environmental Sustainability Resolution – Resolution #1836

Resolution number 1836 introduces the subject of environmental sustainability to the community and Board of Trustees. This resolution was passed unanimously by the IVGID Board of Trustees on April 29th, 2015. Resolution Number 1836 can be found in Appendix A of this document.

ü  Resources and Environment – Long Range Principle #1

IVGID revised its Long-Range Principle #1 on resources and the environment to include stronger language on recycling, waste reduction and sustainability. This principle was approved by the IVGID Board of Trustees on September 23rd, 2015. Long Range Principle #1 can be found in Appendix B of this document.

Phase II

Phase two will begin an internal assessment of sustainability measurements within the district to create an initial benchmark of data to refer to and build upon in long-term strategies and reports. This will establish a sustainability management and tracking system with and initial performance benchmark. This phase will be research oriented. Sustainability programs related to individual venues and departments will be researched for viability to IVGID operations. The goal of this phase will be to reinforce products and supporting tools that were developed in previous phases.

o   Initial Benchmark Assessment

The IVGID Sustainability Framework is designed to instigate a perpetual process within the organization that consistently evaluates sustainability measurements and goals after an initial benchmark assessment as the community of Incline Village/Crystal Bay becomes more resilient to future environmental challenges.

Phase III

Phase three incorporates the build out of products and supporting tools such as the formation of a sustainability committee to help drive employee and customer guidance in sustainability initiatives in addition to policies that require recycling, waste reduction and purchasing protocols for all facets of the district.

o   Form Sustainability Committee

o   Sustainable Procurement and Waste Reduction Policy

The purpose of this initiative is to support and facilitate the purchase of products and services that minimize the harmful effects to the environment from its production, delivery, use and disposition. It is therefore, the district’s procurement strategy to purchase and use environmentally preferable products whenever they perform satisfactorily and can be acquired at similar total value (cost and quality) within the applicable public purchasing statutes. IVGID acknowledges that unless we purchase recycled content products, we are not truly recycling. This initiative will be reviewed by a sustainability committee and IVGID Board of Trustees.

Phase IV

Phase four may not be the last phase of the sustainability framework. This phase will have an emphasis on the development and deployment of the sustainability strategy on a longer timeline. Long-term strategies will introduce new initiatives and implement projects that offer solutions to complex and evolving issues while continuing to track progress internally and with outside assistance from certification or assessment entities.

o   Long-Term Sustainability Strategy

The purpose of this initiative is to set in place action plans that achieve positive results and recognition for sustainability efforts district-wide. Action plans can address target goals for the years 2020, 2035 and 2050 in reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and overall energy usage as set by the TRPA. This also would set targets for increasing energy efficiency and allocation of energy from renewable resources for the target years while requiring climate and drought data collection and analysis identified by the Environmental Protection Agency to make informed decisions about our own resources.

Sustainability Committee

Certain responsibilities must be assumed by a district employee to be a champion of sustainability, a department to administer the program and a sustainability committee in order to guide and implement initiatives and programs. An interactive “Gung Ho!” style round-table setting must be developed where innovative problem solving can occur that creates an integrated decision making processes. This committee should concentrate on cultivating sustainability in communication and transparency, health and wellness, economic decision making, and methods for ensuring that our resources are conserved for future generations to enjoy. Those involved with the committee must have passion for and influence within the community of Incline Village and Crystal Bay. A draft meeting agenda for the committee can be found in Appendix C.

Public Works, Waste Not Program

IVGID Public Works has already established a community conservation program aimed at protecting our local and regional resources. This conservation program has already taken the lead in environmental outreach and education within our community by organizing outreach events and coordinating waste services in the district. Therefore, this program is an exceptional foundation to form, coordinate and administer a sustainability framework that extends to all departments and venues under district operation.

Sustainability Technician

For a sustainability action plan and framework to be remotely successful, a position description must be appointed to an IVGID Waste Not staff member who will champion sustainability projects, comply with sustainability initiatives, and oversee the progress and development of a framework modeled for sustainability. The position description should include an outline of responsibilities including, but not limited to:

  • Work with the management team, individual managers, and departments to develop department specific processes and practices to encourage environmentally sound behavior.
  • Form a Sustainability Committee comprised of representatives from each department to plan sustainability efforts, prioritize projects, and coordinate internal efforts with Waste Not and other associated departments to implement the best practices relating to sustainability.
  • Work with a purchasing agent to develop procurement policies that include criteria relating to environmental and social soundness as well as economic viability.
  • Initiate programs that acknowledge favorable behavior by employees, keep sustainability goals at a high level of awareness, inform the public of successes, and use any other means necessary to accomplish board directives.
  • Assist Waste Not and other conservation staff with analysis and measurement of success and cost-effectiveness of programs.
  • Manage and track agency sustainability goals and measurements.
  • Prepare annual summary of metric data to show annual results of goals and achievements.

Sustainability Committee

A committee of selected individual staff members from each department or venue will be tasked to meet at least once a month for one hour to discuss, plan, and develop specific projects, initiatives, and opportunities that will improve the district and its venue’s sustainability performance overall.

Sustainability Ambassadors

Sustainability Ambassadors can be internal or external customers who are interested in learning about our core values in environmental stewardship, representing our progress and pledging to take further steps in sustainability efforts at Lake Tahoe while living in, working at, or visiting Incline Village and Crystal Bay.

IVGID Sustainability Management System

Sustainability Strategy

The yearly development and maintenance of a sustainability management system by the sustainability committee can be broken into three stages. The first stage requires the development of a strategy to evaluate district policies and practices to assess potential goals, opportunities, and actions for each venue. The second stage will examine funding, support and resource capacity within the district while tracking sustainability-related performance using established measurements. Finally, the third stage reaches out to the community by implementing policies and producing reports for all community members to engage with. Figure 2 illustrates the strategy development process within the system. Table 1 displays an annual timeline for the system.

July – January February – June April – June
Stage One – Develop a Sustainability Strategy Stage Two – Focus Inward (act and track) Stage Three – Focus Outward (report)

Table 1 – Annual Sustainability Management System Timeline

Sustainability Measurements

Performance measurements must be established to consistently track and recognize sustainability efforts. The following categories will be considered on the community-wide level. Sustainability and environmental certifications and certifiable management systems exist that could aid the development of sustainable resources throughout the district’s infrastructure and assets. These categories have been developed in part by the TRPA Lake Tahoe Sustainable Communities Program and the Lake Tahoe Info Sustainability Dashboard. The management system will be reassessed on an annual basis to track and report on progress.


Water Quality

  • Reduce indoor and outdoor water consumption and associated electricity use.
  • Protect and continuously improve water quality in the Region.
    • Measures include Water Consumption, Annual Average Secchi Depth, Total Dissolved Solids, Dissolved Oxygen, Temperature, Conductivity, and number of Parcels with Storm Water BMPs.

Forest Health and Fire Hazard

  • Promote forest health and reduce forest fuel to minimize loss due to wildfires.
  • Manage district properties for wildfire and flooding hazards.
    • Measures include Acres of Forest Fuels Reduction Treatment and Acres of SEZ Restored or Enhanced.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • Reduce total region-wide GHG emissions by 15 percent below existing baseline emissions by year 2020.
  • Promote retirement of wood-burning appliances and replacement with more efficient or alternative fuel appliances.
  • Reduce emissions from off-road equipment, including construction equipment and recreational vehicles.
  • Reduce energy consumption from new and existing development in the Region by making buildings more efficient.
  • Increase renewable energy generation in the Region.
    • Measures include Baseline Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Vehicle Miles Traveled, Electricity Consumption and Natural Gas Consumption.

Aquatic Invasive Species

  • Preserve and protect biological resources in the region and protect against invasive species.
    • Measures include Acres Treated for Invasive Species and Watercraft Inspections for Invasive Species.


Healthy Lifestyle

  • Promote social equity and fair access to resources for all residents of and visitors to the Region.
  • Improve air quality in the Region and protect public health.
  • Promote and maintain existing and new parks and trails.
  • Promote human health by increasing access to community resources, such as, parks and trails, neighborhood services, and healthy food choices.
    • Measure include Patient Discharge by Payer Category and Patient Discharge by Area of Diagnostic Concern. Miles of Paved/Unpaved Trails Maintained, Acres of Parkland Maintained.


  • Reduce vehicle miles traveled and increase non-vehicle mode share in the Region.
  • Enhance emergency vehicle response time and efficiency on all district properties.
  • Encourage use of local materials and local food supply.
  • Provide access to high-quality non-vehicle travel mode choices for mobility in the region.
    • Measures include Travel Mode Share and Annual Transit Ridership.


  • A lack of affordable housing limits the ability of people to live close to work and can reduce the availability of qualified workers for local businesses.
  • Provide adequate housing opportunities for a variety of income levels.
    • Measures include Percent of Housing Units in Seasonal. Recreational, or Occasional Use and Median House Prices.


  • A highly skilled and educated workforce is a key driver of innovation and economic growth.
    • Measures include Nevada High School Proficiency Exam and Graduation Rates.



  • An important gauge of the standard of living and wealth distribution of our community that can be used in comparison with other surrounding communities.
  • Measures include Median Household Income, Annual Percent of Students Eligible for Subsidized School Lunch Programs, and Number of Courses Offered at SNC.


  • Employment numbers can be compared to population, age distribution, and per capita income to indicate how job increases and losses are affecting residents, the economic health of the community, and the overall quality of life of community residents.
    • Measures include local Employment and Unemployment Rates.

Business Environment

  • Influences the financial health and employment opportunities of its residents, as well as the character of the community.
    • Measures include Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) and Employment by Industry.

IVGID Venues, Departments, and Services

The Incline Village General Improvement District owns many properties and has a significant influence over infrastructure and recreation supply and maintenance. Table 2 is a list of venues, departments or services that will be analyzed through specific sustainability industry measurements.

Table 2 – IVGID Venues, Departments, and Services with Sustainable Evaluation Potential

Administration Diamond Peak Ski Resort Parks and Recreation
Public Works Golf Courses Food and Beverage

Education and Outreach

Sustainable certified products and services meet certain requirements which indicate to the consumer that necessary measures have been taken to ensure a higher level of environmental stewardship with a lesser environmental impact. Nearby communities are already becoming leaders in sustainability initiatives and certification programs in addition to climate change mitigation and drought adaptation planning. IVGID should be no exception to contributing to the rising transparency in sustainability initiatives and strategies.

Community Engagement

Community engagement is an essential element in the success of sustainability initiatives and programs. Outreach will be conducted through the Public Works Waste Not Program.

Staff Training

All staff members will complete sustainability training and given access to an employee handbook that will include information of behaviors and best practices to help achieve organizational and framework goals related to environmental stewardship and sustainability best practices.

Recognition Menu

The sustainability certification process is still in development; many organizations on the local, regional and global scale are working hard to measure and classify sustainability in all industries. Below is a table of certification options that are currently available to the district to take advantage of. This table is still under construction and does not guarantee that the district will utilize any of these options.

Table 3 – A Menu of Organizations that Measure and Classify Sustainability Efforts

Certification Organization Department or Venue to Certify or Evaluate Cost Utilized?

-As of Oct. 2015

Sustainable Tourism Operator’s Kit for Evaluation (STOKE Certified) Diamond Peak Initial: $500,

Recurring yearly: $700

Yes – April, 2015
National Ski Areas Association, Sustainable Slopes Climate Challenge Diamond Peak Initial: $2000,

Recurring yearly: $200

Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Golf Recurring yearly: $275 TBD
National Recreation and Park Association Parks and Recreation TBD TBD
Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL-Certified) Food and Beverage TBD TBD
Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure – Envision Public Works TBD No
Sustainability – Competency, Opportunity & Reporting Evaluation     (S-CORE) Administration and Public Works TBD No
Measurabl and/or the Global Reporting Initiative All TBD No
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) TBD Varies per facility No



The initial timeline of the IVGID Sustainability Framework began in 2014 with some rough ideas. Since then, the framework has developed with supporting initiatives and other tools to help its momentum. Table 4 describes the initial timeline in phases that coordinate with the collaborative initiatives listed on page seven of this document. Phase IV should be repeated when the initial timeline is completed.

Table 4 – Phases of the IVGID Sustainability Framework

IVGID Objectives Month/Year To Be Completed

Phase I

Create managing body, purpose, support, roles, and operations (sustainability framework). October / 2015

Phase II

Reinforce products and supporting tools (initial benchmark assessment and internal tracking). June / 2017

Phase III

 Build out products and supporting tools (sustainability committee and procurement policy). June / 2018

Phase IV

Develop and deploy the sustainability strategy (long-term monitoring and reporting). June / 2020

Long-Range Monitoring and Reporting

A subsequent report will be released to describe progress and achievements that have occurred within the past fiscal calendar. The report will also incorporate results and recommendations from sustainability assessment and certification programs that are being taken advantage of by district venues.


The Incline Village General Improvement District recognizes that the community of Incline Village and Crystal Bay is a system and that we must plan for the future from a regional perspective while implementing local projects and initiatives. Sustainability is an essential behavior in managing a community-wide system. Our environmental resources are pristine yet growing populations, drought and climate change challenge the resiliency of our community. This challenge demands that organizations and communities such as those within the Lake Tahoe basin make plans with sustainability as a key strategy element. IVGID is addressing the sustainability element through long range principles in addition to this living, breathing document. In conclusion, it is most efficient to redevelop first, provide efficient infrastructure, support concentrated development, restore, and enhance the environment, enhance recreational and heritage resources, practice communication and civic engagement, provide leadership, and practice fiscal responsibility to make progress in cultivating a sustainable community.


AWWA – American Water Works Association

CAP – Climate Action Plan

IVGID – Incline Village General Improvement District

LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

NSAA – National Ski Areas Association

REAL – Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership

SCORE – Sustainability – Competency, Opportunity, & Reporting Evaluation

STOKE – Sustainable Tourism Operator’s Kit for Evaluation

TBD – To be determined

TRPA – Tahoe Regional Planning Agency

TWSA – Tahoe Water Suppliers Association


Adaptation – Adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effect, which minimizes harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.

Climate Change – Any long-term change in average climate conditions in a place or region, weather due to natural causes or as a result of human activity.

Greenhouse Gases Emissions – The emission of gases in the earth’s atmosphere that reduce the loss of heat into space.

Mitigation – A human intervention to reduce the sources or improve the uptake (sinks) of greenhouse gases.

Resilience – The ability of a system to absorb some amount of change, including shocks from extreme events, and recover from them to be able to function and provide essential services and amenities that it has evolved or been designed to provide.

Stream Environment Zone – Generally an area that owes its biological and physical characteristics to the presence of surface or ground water.

Sustainability – Improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems.

System – The built, natural and human networks that provide important services or activities.


Welch, C. L. 2010. The Green Utility: A Practical Guide to Sustainability. Denver, Colorado. American Water                             Works Association.

Blanchard, Kenneth H., Bowles, Sheldon M. 1998. Gung Ho! Turn on the People in Any Organization. New     York, New York. Blanchard Family Partnership and Ode to Joy Limited.

References – Web Links

Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf

Global Reporting Initiative                                        

Incline Village General Improvement District, Public Works, Waste Not Program

Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure – Envision

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)                            


National Recreation and Park Association                                                           

National Ski Areas Association, Sustainable Slopes Climate Challenge

Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL certified)                          

Sustainability – Competency, Opportunity & Reporting Evaluation (S-CORE)     

Sustainable Tourism Operator’s Kit for Evaluation (STOKE certified)         

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Lake Tahoe Sustainable Communities Program

Washoe County Master Plan

Please find appendices in the Microsoft Word document that is available for download here.