Valley Sustainable Communities

What does it mean to be a Valley Sustainable Community? It means working toward a triple bottom line: developing a healthy environment, a thriving community and long-term economic prosperity.

TVA’s Valley Sustainable Communities (VSC) program, now in its third year, works with cities, towns and counties throughout the region to help them commit to long-term economic development.

“Environmental sustainability continues to be one of the most important factors when a company chooses to invest in or relocate to a community,” says John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of Economic Development. “TVA’s mission is to serve Valley communities by helping them to showcase their strengths, including their sustainability efforts in order to stimulate economic development. As more communities are added to the VSC program each year, we are making the Valley a more attractive place to live and work.”

Communities may participate on the Platinum, Gold or Silver level:

  • A Valley Sustainable Platinum Community has made a significant and comprehensive commitment to sustainability and also has thoroughly integrated economic development into its sustainability efforts.
  • A Valley Sustainable Gold Community is one that has taken a leadership role in implementing sustainable practices and has made a commitment to sustainability efforts focused on economic development.
  • A Valley Sustainable Silver Community has community-wide sustainability initiatives in place, with some programs available to support the business community and economic development opportunities.

In 2015, three new communities joined the VSC program at the Silver level: Clarksville, Tenn., Fort Payne, Ala. and McNairy County, Tenn. A fourth, Lewisburg, Tenn., increased its status from silver to gold. TVA congratulates all 28 communities who have participated in the program, earning platinum, gold or silver status.

Platinum Communities:

  • Chattanooga/Hamilton County, Tenn.
  • Germantown, Tenn.
  • Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Nashville, Tenn.
  • Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Gold Communities:

  • Athens/McMinn County, Tenn.
  • Blount County, Tenn.
  • Cookeville, Tenn.
  • Florence, Ala. (pictured above)
  • Franklin, Tenn.
  • Huntsville, Ala.
  • Lewisburg, Tenn.
  • Oxford/Lafayette County, Miss.
  • Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  • Memphis/Shelby County, Tenn.
  • Scottsboro, Ala.
  • Starkville, Miss.
  • Tupelo, Miss.
  • Washington County, Tenn.

Silver Communities:

  • Clarksville, Tenn.
  • Crossville/Cumberland County, Tenn.
  • Fort Payne, Ala.
  • Logan County, Ky.
  • Maury County, Tenn.
  • Morristown/Hamblen County, Tenn.
  • McNairy County, Tenn.
  • Roane County, Tenn.
  • Wayne County, Tenn.

TVA introduced the VSC program in 2012 as a way to recognize communities who link local sustainability efforts with economic development opportunities. Participating communities earn points in 15 categories by implementing specific policies and practices that contribute to overall sustainability, with an emphasis on those components that directly impact economic development efforts and/or the success of existing businesses in the community.

“This prestigious designation gives participating communities an advantage because it shows that they are committed to integrating economic development into their sustainability efforts,” says Bradley.