State of New Jersey
Executive Order #68

Governor Christine Todd Whitman

WHEREAS, sustainability is a concept which provides for economic growth without an adverse impact upon the environment;

WHEREAS, sustainable businesses provide a unique opportunity to marry economic development goals with environmental protection goals; and

WHEREAS, it is recognized that pursuing sustainability is a means to improve the quality of life for all New Jerseyans and should be embraced as an economic tool in this State; and

WHEREAS, promoting this sector of the economy gives us a unique opportunity to create jobs while also advancing the State's environmental goals;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. There is hereby created the Office of Sustainability to be located in the Department of Commerce and Economic Development.

2. The Office of Sustainability shall assist in the development of sustainable businesses in New Jersey. Sustainable businesses are defined as those which:

a) obtain their raw materials from substainable sources;

b) employ manufacturing processes which do not have a significant negative impact on the environment; and

c) produce products which are environmentally benign or provide a solution to an environmental problem or problems.

3. The Office of Sustainability shall pursue three major objectives:

a) materially promote sustainable business development in New Jersey;

b) assist New Jersey's State government in providing institutional support for sustainable businesses; and

c) assist State government in incorporating the elements of sustainability in its policies and programs.

4. Consistent with its objectives, the Office will:

a) identify areas in the New Jersey economy which can which can benefit from sustainable business development;

b) assist in the expansion of sustainable businesses currently located in New Jersey;

c) assist in the conversion of existing traditional businesses to sustainable practices;

d) create new sustainable businesses in New Jersey;

e) develop compresive public procurement policy recommendations and guidelines for the purchasing of sustainable products by government agencies;

f) coordinate State agency activities to support sustainability; and

g) seek the expertise of individuals and entities in the private sector to assist the Office in attaining its goals.

5. The Office is hereby authorized to appoint such staff as may be required to fulfill the mandates of this Order, subject to the provisions of Title 11 A (Civil Service Act) of the Revised Statutes, other applicable statutes when relevant, and within the limits of the appropriations provided to the Office. Any persons appointed by this Office shall be designated employees of the Department of Commerce and Economic Development.

6. The Commissioner of the Department of Commerce and Economic Development shall provide necessary facilities for the operation of the Office.

7. The Office is authorized to call upon any department, office, division or agency of this State to supply it with data and other information or assistance as deemed necessary to discharge the duties of the Office under this Order.

8. Each agency of State government shall, to the degree possible, embrace sustainability as an operating principle. Sustainable activities, programs, and initiatives are those that enhance the health of the ecosystem and maintain or promote environmental protection.

9. Each department shall appoint a liaison to the Office. The liaison shall work with the Office and his or her department to promote sustainability as a working philosophy for that department.

10. A study to evaluate the sustainable business sector of the New Jersey economy shall be undertaken. The study shall evaluate State programs and policies and how they affect sustainable businesses, identify opportunities for the further development and growth of sustainable businesses, and make recommendations regarding how to target and assist sustainable businesses for the purpose of broadening this sector of the economy. Subject to available appropriations, the Office may engage an appropriate institute of higher education to conduct the study under the Office's direction.

11. Subject to an appropriation being made by the Legislature for this purpose, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority shall provide low- or no-interest loans to sustainable businesses. The Office of Sustainability will receive and evaluate loan applications; the Office will make loan recommendations to the Economic Development Authority based on the ability of the applicant's business to promote the goals of sustainability. Upon receipt of the recommendation, the Economic Development Authority will evaluate the financial health and viability of the sustainable business requesting funding, determine whether to approve the loan, and if approved, provide loan closing services.

12. The Department of Commerce and Economic Development and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority shall consult and promulgate rules and regulations necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Order.

13. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal
this 22nd day of April in the Year
of Our Lord, One Thousand Nine
Hundred and Ninety-Seven and of the
Independence of the United States,
the Two Hundred and Twenty-First.

/s/ Christine Todd Whitman



/s/ Michael P. Torpey
Chief Counsel to the Governor