LEED certification helps local governments accelerate progress on climate change, resilience, social equity challenges
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), creators of the LEED green building rating system, have announced 15 cities and counties will commence certification in a national cohort supported by the LEED for Cities Local Government Leadership Program.
Bank of America partnered with USGBC to launch the Local Government Leadership Program in 2017 and has contributed more than $1.75 million to support 56 cities and counties in their pursuit of LEED certification. The program helps local governments committed to reducing climate change and advancing resilience and social equity by measuring and tracking performance using the LEED for Cities rating system.
“LEED for Cities helps local leaders create responsible, sustainable and specific plans for natural systems, energy, water, waste, transportation and many other factors that contribute to quality of life,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “These 15 local governments are committed to finding solutions for health, sustainable and high performing, and using LEED as a tool to ensure they are on a path of continuous improvement. Along with our partners at Bank of America, USGBC looks forward to seeing what’s to come as we work to create a better world for everyone.”
As a national cohort, the program provides peer-to-peer networking opportunities, technical assistance, access to educational resources, and waived membership, registration and certification fees to support the participants working toward LEED certification.
“USGBC’s work and its LEED for Cities program are helping to catalyze the critical change needed to ensure every city has a sustainable foundation and is part of the solution to reach the aims of the Paris Climate Accord,” said Alex Liftman, global environmental executive at Bank of America. “Cities are at the forefront of climate change, so building LEED-certified cities can accelerate the transition to more low-carbon communities and helps to ensure the well-being of the citizens that live and work there.”
The 15 local governments selected for the 2021 program represent more than 5 million Americans in diverse places around the country:
More than 120 cities and communities have achieved LEED certification. LEED provides a framework for local governments looking to implement strategies to address energy, water, waste, pollution and carbon. In addition to environmental factors, the rating system takes into account social and economic indicators, such as health, equity, education and prosperity. LEED helps local leaders hone metrics around initiatives; benchmark performance relative to peers; and communicate to and educate stakeholders on progress. The rating system is flexible and can be applied to small and large cities, counties and other local governments, as well as economic areas, such as business improvement districts and neighborhoods.