- Chicago and San Jose, CA both have achieved LEED for Cities platinum certification, according to an announcement from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
- Both cities had received grants from the U.S. Green Building Council earlier this year with financial support, educational resources and technical support to pursue their certifications. Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix and Washington, DC also received grants.
- The LEED for Cities program launched in 2016 to allow cities to measure and track sustainability performance across 14 metrics, including energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety and equitability.
Chicago and San Jose now join the elite few cities to have achieved platinum certification in the two years since the LEED for Cities program launched. Washington, DC and Phoenix were the first two cities to reach that status, and in a statement, Emanuel touted Chicago's "world-class leadership when it comes to reducing harmful carbon pollution while also strengthening and improving neighborhoods across the city."
The cities will be able to continue achieving sustainable outcomes with their access to LEED's Arc software, which is a platform to track city sustainability data.
San Jose received recognition for three specific projects, reports SFGate: a zero waste strategy, a new transit metric and a climate plan to reduce air pollution and save water.
Chicago touted several sustainability initiatives as well, including an ordinance requiring large buildings to report energy use, a commitment to using 100% renewable energy in all municipal facilities and its upcoming energy rating system for large properties in the city. "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," Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO at the U.S. Green Building Council and Green Business Certification, Inc., said in a statement.