The DCSEU was mentioned in an article in MidCity DC about DC becoming the first LEED Platinum City ever.
While the current national administration is rolling back environmental initiatives, DC’s efforts to support and promote a green agenda are paying off. In an unprecedented coup, on Aug. 31, DC became the first city in the world to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Cities Platinum leadership certification in recognition for achieving sustainability and resiliency goals.
This award is given by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and is the highest award currently available to cities. Mayor Bowser received the award on behalf of the District, noting, “We are proud to be recognized as the world’s first LEED Platinum city. Our commitment to these issues will not yield, and we look forward to continuing to build a greener, more resilient, and more sustainable DC.”
Why has DC been honored with this auspicious award?
As of January 2017, DC touted more LEED-certified projects per capita than any other US state. But the District is a small geographic area, and it isn’t a state, so what else is going on to merit this award?
DC is monitoring and updating its Sustainable DC plan, a process initiated 2011 that establishes goals to ensure that DC is the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States by 2032. DC takes this commitment seriously.
For the third year in a row, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ranked DC first on its list of US metropolitan areas with the most Energy Star-certified buildings. Nationals Park is the nation’s first major professional stadium to become LEED Silver Certified by the USGBC.
Meanwhile, as a part of an effort to reduce waste and improve conditions in the Anacostia River, DC touts a five-cent bag fee. Polystyrene (aka Styrofoam) is banned in DC restaurants and food trucks. As of January 2017, these businesses must use reusable or compostable containers for food service and takeout.
In July 2015, DC brokered an agreement to source 35 percent of the government’s electricity from wind power over the next 20 years, saving DC taxpayers $45 million while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A recently negotiated $100 million, five-year contract with the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DC SEU) will provide financial incentives and technical assistance to residents and businesses for green energy initiatives, while keeping DC on track to receive half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2032.