Bloomington Awarded LEED for Cities and Communities Certification for Actions to Improve Sustainability
Mayor John Hamilton announced today that the City of Bloomington has achieved LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) through the LEED for Cities and Communities rating system. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the world’s most widely used green building rating system, and is designed to help buildings, communities and cities achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health. LEED offers a framework that the City can use to measure and track data related to energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety, prosperity and equitability across the community. With this announcement, Bloomington joins a global network of approximately 100 LEED-certified cities and communities.
Bloomington achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at improving sustainability and the standard of living for residents. Some of the criteria on which Bloomington’s sustainability was rated included water efficiency, energy and greenhouse gas emissions, quality of life, and transportation and land use. The City led the process of gathering and presenting the information for certification, but metrics comprising the entire community’s efforts toward sustainability were considered in the evaluation process.
“We are very gratified to receive this acknowledgement of the whole Bloomington community’s commitment to sustainability,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “As we work toward recovery from the pandemic and recession, our policies and investments must intentionally and thoroughly integrate and manifest our concerns for environmental, economic, and social justice--for present and future generations of Bloomingtonians.”
Having developed its LEED green building certification system in the 1990s, USGBC expanded its purview beyond individual buildings in launching the LEED for Cities and Communities grant program in 2018. Designed to encourage the development of smart cities and resilient communities, the program launched with six participating U.S. cities. With support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the program expanded to 15 more cities and communities, including Bloomington, in May 2019. Since that time, the grant program has provided financial assistance, educational resources and technical support toward Bloomington’s LEED certification, the first in Indiana.
“The work of cities and communities such as Bloomington is a driving force in ensuring a more sustainable future for all,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “Cities and communities that achieve LEED certification are lowering carbon emissions, creating a healthier environment and striving to improve the quality of life for their residents. Bloomington is setting a standard for what it means to be a high performer and their efforts and achievements should be an example for all.”
A goal of the 2018 Sustainability Action Plan, completion of the LEED for Cities certification allows Bloomington to continue to benchmark sustainability progress with verification, certification, and recognition. The certification represents a commitment towards continual improvement in sustainability practices to improve quality of life for all residents.
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