15 cities and counties join green building leadership program

15 cities and counties join green building leadership program

In partnership with Bank of America, USGBC LEED for Cities certification has provided more than $2 million to accelerate action on climate change, resilience, and social equity.

Fifteen new cities and counties have been selected to participate in the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED for Cities Local Government Leadership 2022 program. The program brings together local governments from across the United States to support LEED for Cities certification efforts. It offers peer-to-peer networking opportunities, technical assistance, and access to educational resources, as well as waiver of USGBC membership and LEED registration and certification fees.

This year’s program will provide additional social equity support to participating cities and counties. Staff and consultants will produce trainings and case studies while local leaders will set tangible goals and actions that can be achieved during the program year. the LEED for Cities Quality of Life category, which covers topics such as environmental justice; civic and community engagement; public health; education; jobs and housing affordability, will provide context and structure to the effort.

Tucson, AZ is one of 15 cities and counties to join USGBC’s LEED for Cities program this year. (Photo: Adobe Stock by CheriAlguire)

The 15 local governments selected for the 2022 program represent a population of more than three million Americans and an area roughly the size of the state of Delaware. The cohort includes:

  • Amesbury, MA
  • Cape Canaveral, Florida
  • Columbia, South Carolina
  • Cutler Bay, Florida
  • Davidson, North Carolina
  • Dayton, Ohio
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Henderson, Nevada
  • Issaquah, WA
  • Ithaca, NY
  • La Crescent, MN
  • Oakland County, Michigan
  • Reno, Nevada
  • State College, Pennsylvania
  • Tucson, AZ

“Local governments have the ability to make a big impact and set an example of sustainability,” said Peter Templeton, USGBC President and CEO. “This year’s cohort of cities and counties seek to create responsible and sustainable plans for natural systems, energy, water, waste, transportation and many other factors. Together with Bank of America, we look forward to these 15 localities pursuing LEED for Cities certification.

Bank of America has partnered with USGBC on the program since 2017 and has contributed over $2 million. In 2022, he raised the bar by supporting the program’s first LEED for Cities Equity Fellow, a new position at USGBC that aims to advance tangible action on social equity in every participating city or county.

Bank of America is also a longtime partner of USGBC and has been a member since 1997. Since 2011, it has provided $3.9 million in total grants to the nonprofit organization. It has also incorporated sustainability into its building design standards since 2005 and has used these standards to deliver LEED-certified workspaces throughout its global footprint. The company has more than 18 million LEED-certified square feet and aims to achieve green building certifications in 40% of its locations by 2030.

“USGBC is a leader in supporting environmentally sustainable buildings, cities and communities and we are proud to build on our partnership of more than 25 years,” said Rich Brown, environmental program director at Bank of America. “Creating thriving and resilient communities where residents have sustainable places to work and live responds to this moment for climate action and building healthy living environments.”

Today, more than 130 cities and communities have achieved LEED certification. LEED provides a framework for local governments seeking 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 refine metrics around initiatives; benchmark performance against their peers; and communicate and educate stakeholders on progress. The LEED for Cities and Communities 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 neighborhoods and business improvement districts. .

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Kevin E. Boling