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Chicago, San Jose Achieve LEED Status

Monday, September 24, 2018

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Chicago and San José have achieved LEED for Cities Platinum Certifications, joining an elite group of just seven cities to have accomplished the achievement from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the achievements earlier this month, citing leadership and the city’s wide-ranging efforts.

tifonimages / Getty Images

Chicago (pictured) and San José have achieved LEED for Cities Platinum Certifications, joining an elite group of just seven cities to have accomplished the achievement from the U.S. Green Building Council.

“Chicago continues to show world-class leadership when it comes to reducing harmful carbon pollution while also strengthening and improving neighborhoods across the city,” Emanuel said.

“This award is evidence that our efforts are making an impact. We will keep accelerating initiatives that improve our quality of life and conserve resources, all while supporting clean, 21st-century jobs.”

The Certification

The LEED for Cities program launched in 2016 and allows cities to measure and track sustainability performance across 14 metrics including energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety and equitability.

Both Chicago and San José received grants in April to help them with their sustainability efforts.

“LEED has been a transformative tool for buildings, and we are taking what we learned and applying it to help cities achieve a higher level of performance,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC, at the time.

“LEED for Cities helps tell a sustainability story in a way that encourages a city’s citizens to be more engaged, and with the support of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, these six grant recipients are committing to delivering a more sustainable future today.”

Emanuel cited several achievements of his administration that went toward achieving the Platinum status, including the city’s Energy Benchmarking Ordinance, which requires large buildings across Chicago to measure and report energy use.

SpVVK / Getty Images

The LEED for Cities program launched in 2016 and allows cities to measure and track sustainability performance across 14 metrics including energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety and equitability. Both Chicago and San José received grants in April to help them with their sustainability efforts.

According to the mayor’s office, next year the city will implement the Chicago Energy Rating System, the first of its kind in the U.S., which will which assign a zero-to-four-star energy rating to all properties that are subject to the benchmarking reporting requirements. The Chicago Energy Rating System leverages the success of Retrofit Chicago, the city’s voluntary energy efficiency challenge program, which includes over 80 participating properties spanning over 55 million square feet.

“Chicago has not only committed to bold environmental and sustainability goals, but is now delivering on those commitments, leading to real impact across the city,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO at USGBC and GBCI. “Mayor Emanuel and the city are proving that improving sustainability and increasing economic growth go hand-in-hand.”

SFGate reports that San José—the first city in California to receive the nod—was recognized for three projects including the city's Zero Waste Strategic Plan, the city's new transit metric, Vehicle Miles Traveled, and Climate Smart San Jose, a plan to reduce air pollution and save water.

"While national leadership continues to abdicate its environmental responsibilities, San José will persist in its efforts to fight climate change and build a more sustainable community," said Mayor Sam Liccardo in a statement.

   

Tagged categories: Certifications and standards; LEED; United States Green Building Council (USGBC)

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