Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), creators of the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) green building program, with support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, announced a new grant program designed to recognize the sustainability and green building achievements of U.S. cities pursuing LEED for Cities certification. Initial grant recipients include San Jose, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Atlanta, Ga.; Washington, D.C.; and Chicago, Ill. Each grant will consist of financial assistance to aid in the pursuit of LEED for Cities certification, educational resources and customized technical support.
LEED for Cities enables local governments to measure and track citywide performance by focusing on outcomes, rather than intent. Cities are evaluated across 14 key metrics, including energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety and equitability. Washington, D.C., and Phoenix, Ariz., are the first cities to achieve certification through the program and earned LEED Platinum, the highest level of certification.
“A sustainable city not only focuses on the environmental footprint but also how it is working to provide a better quality of life for its residents,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “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. 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.”
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation previously supported the Affordable Green Neighborhoods Program, which, starting in 2010, provided assistance to eligible nonprofit and public-sector developers of affordable housing to ensure that every new unit of affordable housing meets the highest standards of sustainability and offers residents the healthiest communities possible. The LEED for Cities grant program provides entire cities with the financial and educational support to improve performance over time through the pursuit of LEED for Cities certification.
“Bank of America has been a member of USGBC for 20 years. We greatly value the organization’s leadership and innovative programs – like LEED for Cities – that are focused on reducing use of critical natural resources and creating a healthier built environment,” says Alex Liftman, Global Environmental executive at Bank of America. “Through this program, cities where our employees work and live will help to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable, lower-carbon future. At our company, and with support from USGBC, we have introduced significant goals to reduce the environmental impacts of the bank’s operations, including becoming carbon neutral and purchasing 100 percent renewable electricity by 2020. We currently have more than 18 million square feet of LEED-certified workspace across our global operations, including 150 LEED-certified financial centers.”
Performance for cities is continuously tracked through Arc, the digital platform that connects all sustainability progress in one place and generates a performance score between 0 and 100. There are a total of 25 cities participating in LEED for Cities globally.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings, an international network of local community leaders, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit usgbc.org and connect on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).
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