About This Report
In Holland, we believe that in order to become a vibrant, world-class community we must look at all aspects of our community. This includes the economic, social, and environmental impacts we all have. Our City of Holland Sustainability Committee has created a seven-pillar framework with “lenses” to help us evaluate and make more sustainable choices. We have used this framework model as a way to share information about our journey to become a more sustainable community. As the city’s vision statement says, Holland is “a vibrant, world-class community in a beautiful lakefront environment where people work together, celebrate community, and realize dreams.” We truly believe Holland is a great place to live, work, and play and we are working hard to ensure this is true for generations to come.
Within this document you will find metrics that follow along with the framework:
Awards | Smart Energy | Economic Development | Transportation | Community & Neighborhood | Quality of Life | Community Knowledge | Environmental Action & Awareness
While we understand there are many metrics we could use to report on sustainability in our community, these were selected to help us continue this conversation. Please use this document to help you understand this broad topic of sustainability and how it can be applied to your business or personal life. Then we encourage you to join our efforts in making Holland a vibrant, world-class community for all!
Our vision is a healthy and economically vibrant community that promotes environmental stewardship and mutual respect for people and the planet.
Our mission is to foster collaborative efforts to infuse sustainability into the minds and practices of the greater Holland community.
2018 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation
LEED Gold certification, 2018
STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) Silver rating, 2017
STARS Communities Indicator Project – Holland Report
HOPE FEATURED IN PRINCETON REVIEW’S GUIDE TO GREEN COLLEGES
Four city buildings earned the ENERGY STAR Certification from the U.S. EPA.
Holland recognized as the top small city to start a business in by Wallet Hub
Architectural Digest names Holland as the prettiest town in Michigan
One of America’s 25 Cutest Main Streets
Best Cities for Global Trade
Top 10 Best Beach Towns to Live in
Our way of living requires a stream of energy to operate personal and infrastructure devices. We know that energy is produced with scarce resources and the byproducts impact our environment. We need to use both conservation and efficiency measures to manage the resources we have to provide access to reliable and cost effective energy.
Electrical Makeup in 2018
Holland Energy Fund
in loans through the On-Bill Loan Program, which allows city homeowners to pay for energy improvements.
Holland Board of Public Works Kilowatt Hours SAVED THROUGH EFFICIENCY PROGRAMS IN 2017 (Residential and Business Sectors)
The equivalent of what more than 2,400 homes use per year.
13,235,004 (2016); 12,865,357 (2015); 10,885,024 (2014)
avg savings 2014
$17.60 saved on average per household vs 2013 for electric service.
avg savings 2015
$14.63 saved on average per household vs 2014 for electric service.
Energy Star® Certified buildings in Holland
Source: City of Holland
Electrical Usage (kWh)
The business community is the driving engine within the area. While it is dependent on community resources and structure for support, it generates capital essential to growth and development. We want to be a location of choice for new businesses and industry.
Median Household Income (2016)
$46,424 (2015); $44,619 (2014); $43,532 (2013)
Holland Unemployment Rate (2018)
3.9% (2017); 3.7% (2016); 4% (2015); 5.4% (2014)
households that meet or exceed the living wage standard for holland (2015)
64.6% (2014) | 60.1% (2013)
businesses in holland (2016)
Holland has been recognized as the top small city to start a business in by Wallet Hub.
The Lakeshore Advantage reports $367 million in private investment, creating 1,1916 jobs. For more information about Economic Development, view the 2016 Annual Report.
Tulip Time Economic Impact Study (2018)
The total economic impact of tourism to the Tulip Time Festival.
The movement of people, goods, and services within the area is an evolving system. We interact with other regional, national and international elements to create a total network.
Commuters in Holland by Mode of Transportation (2017)
Source: STAR data
# of public car charging stations
Current Snowmelt Coverage
114,000 square feet of streets and 534,000 square feet of sidewalks and parking lots.
Green Commute (2018)
of green commuting
of CO2 saved
in fuel savings
Totals over the last eleven years: 87,198 miles of green commuting; 71,970 pounds of CO2 saved; $11,943 in fuel savings.
increase in infrastructure over the past decade
infrastructure across the city
Although we have a historic grid pattern with 150 miles of streets and 365 lane miles, our 150 miles of sidewalk were recently supplemented by over eight miles of boardwalks, bike paths, and bike lanes (22%, 3%, and 100% increases respectively over the last decade). The historic street grid pattern allows residents to be well-connected and safe, especially when supplemented with bike trails and lanes.
The City is a partner with a full-service mass transit transportation agency (MAX) that serves 62% of the 100 square mile region with fixed routes and on-demand services.
For more information about Transportation, view the 2016 Annual Report
bicycle and pedestrian fatalities in the city of Holland (2017)
One bicyclist and one pedestrian
Source: STAR metrics
Holland’s Bike Network (as of Spring 2017)
Source: Bike Holland
Community & Neighborhood
The fiber of our lives can be traced to the places we live and the individuals we interact with on a daily basis. The places we live support the development of our personalities and perspectives on life. Communities at all scales have a vital role to play. Encouraging vital and effective communities is an important element.
Population by Age (2017)
We’re the city with 23 Parks! What can we say? We love our green spaces. We love to have places to play catch, play tennis, and have picnics. Our great parks are one more reason to love Holland, MI. Also, approximately 400 trees have been planted to help replace those that were lost due to Emerald Ash Borer disease.
Source: American Fact Finder
United Way’s Community Assessment
Households struggle paying for housing needs every single month.
Windmill Island Gardens
Underwent several renovations, including the creation of a new biking and walking path.
population by race (2017)
Homes in Holland’s historic district
In a study conducted by the Historic District Commission, it was concluded that historic districts maintain higher property values even during times of economic downturn.
Holland’s Urban Tree Canopy
coverage of the city’s surfaces
total value of pollution removal
Learn more about Ottawa County Parks here.
Quality of Life
Ultimately, it is the feelings and state of mind of individuals in the collective that make up a community’s quality of life. The community through governmental, religious, business and social organization, makes decisions and supports actions that contribute to the community’s well being.
Overall Population That Is Food Insecure in Ottawa County (2015)
Arts & Culture
The Holland Area Arts Council improves access to the arts for the broader public by hosting outreach programs that offer arts experiences at festivals, schools, fairs and community events at little or no cost to participants.
Incidents Reported to the Holland Department of Public Safety (2018)
Part I offenses: 2,252 (2017); 2,478 (2016); 2,692 (2015)
Part II offenses: 2,307 (2017); 2,713 (2016); 2,542 (2015)
Service Calls: 12,139 (2017); 11,966 (2016); 13,196 (2015)
Violent Crimes per thousand in 2017, down from 3.4 in 2016.
Property Crimes per thousand in 2017, down from 27 in 2016.
In cooperation with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, the Holland Department of Public Safety now has available to residents an interactive criminal and incident mapping feature. Click here to view.
What we can do
- Incorporate healthy lifestyles into our culture, even though it may be a difficult thing to do.
- Spend more time educating children about healthier lifestyles.
- Help reduce the urge for people to want to eat fast and/or processed foods.
- Educate about the importance of physical activity.
- Provide information about healthy food options.
- Teach people how to cook healthy meals that do not require a lot of energy and time.
- Increase focus on nutrition and wellness, along with prevention methods.
- Determine ways to obtain affordable and healthy foods.
- View the Ottawa County Community Health Needs Assessment
The collective knowledge of the community is an incredible resource. The ability to tap into this wisdom is essential for continued growth. In both formal and informal channels, the community’s knowledge and energy must be channeled to where it is needed.
Ready for School – Basic Early Literacy Skills Indicator (2018)
Up from 63% in 2016, 55% in 2010, and 43% in 2008.
Third grade reading proficiency
Holland Public High School graduation rate
Education demographic with a Bachelor’s degree or higher
Sustainability Education at Hope College
Hope Education Programs
# of community Meetings about Sustainability on Energy since 2014
Outdoor Education Programs
In December, The Outdoor Discovery Center took over management of the DeGraaf Nature Center.
Diversity Rocks the Books (2019 vs. 2018)
534 vs. 84
# of books delivered.
38 vs. 22
# of schools visited.
26 vs. 19
# of guest readers.
852 vs. 705
# of students reached.
Environmental Awareness & Action
The natural and built environments interact with one another over time with intended and unintended consequences. Educating the public on environmental protection and integrating these ideas into our city planning can change negative outcomes of the past and improve our future state.
Decrease in metric tons of emissions per capita over the last five years
# of households who reduce GHG profile from baseline
During our 2010 baseline GHG assessment, our CO2e was calculated as 24 metric tons (mt) per capita. Our 40-year Community Energy Plan goal is to reduce that number to 10 mt CO2e per capita by 2050.
On Average, each household reduced their GHG profile by 0.106 mt of CO2e in 2014 based on the US EPA Calculator. This is equivalent to 1,000 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle.
On Average, each household reduced their GHG profile by 0.091 mt of CO2e in 2015 based on the US EPA Calculator. This is equivalent to 860 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle.
With the impact of reductions at the Holland Energy Park, the 2017 number is estimated to have gone down to 17 tons.
Holland brings home Outstanding Achievement Award for Environmental Efforts at America in Bloom Symposium
Learn about Holland’s Daily Air Quality Reporting Here.
Waste Characterization (2018)
water surface total phosphorus concentration (2015)
Source: Project Clarity — The goal of Project Clarity is to restore the water quality of Lake Macatawa and the Macatawa Watershed. The multi-phased approach provides solutions focused on land restoration, Best Management Practices (BMPs), community education, and long term sustainability.
Click here for updated graphs.
Holland-Hope College Urban Tree Canopy Research Project
Trees surveyed and 99 different tree species identified, just over half of which are native to Michigan.
Water Usage (CCF)