D.C. Named First LEED Platinum City As U.S. Cities Step Up Sustainability Efforts

After data showed that Washington, D.C. lead the nation in LEED-certified projects, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has bestowed on the nation’s capital its highest honor: the designation as a Platinum city.

D.C. is the first city to receive the USGBC LEED for Cities Platinum certification, which was recently established to recognize cities leading the way in sustainability efforts. D.C. had to submit to the USGBC a set of sustainability goals and allow the council to track their progress in order to receive the distinction. The USGBC even presented the award to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in late August on the steps of Dunbar High School in Truxton Circle, the highest rated LEED-certified school in the United States. 

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the USGBC’s green building rating system. D.C. was recognized for its successes in “reducing greenhouse gas emissions, supporting clean energy innovation, and focusing on inclusive prosperity and livability in all eight wards,” according to a press release. 

Prompted by concerns over climate change and news that President Trump will withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, American cities are taking matters into their own hands to lessen their environmental impact. This May, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the city would convert all public buildings to renewable energy by 2025. (The city will certainly not be the first to make this change.) San Fransisco is even promising to convert 50 percent of all city power supply to renewable by 2020. On a smaller level, Miami will now require all new homes built in South Miami to include solar panels; earlier this year Fremont, California passed a similar law.

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