The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation launched a certification process to document the efforts being made by Climate Smart Communities (CSC). The CSC certification program provides municipalities a unique platform to share and promote their climate action achievements and is designed to align with the ten CSC pledge elements. The certification program awards communities using a point-based rating system based on four levels: Certified (150 pts), Bronze (250 pts), Silver (350 pts), and Gold (450 pts).
There are over 120 climate actions that generate points towards a community’s CSC certification. Thirteen of these climate actions have been designated as "priority" actions, several of which are considered critical activities and are required across all levels of certification. Points may be awarded for activities implemented prior to participation in the CSC certification program with the submission of supporting documentation.