Orlando Named “LEED Gold City”
Last updated on January 13, 2020
January 13, 2020 – ORLANDO, FL – The City of Orlando announced today that it has achieved the LEED Gold certification for its citywide sustainability and resiliency efforts. Orlando is part of a growing group to be certified using the LEED for Cities and Communities rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world.
With the launch of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s Green Works Orlando initiative in 2007, over the last decade the City of Orlando has worked to become the most sustainable city in the southeast. The city’s efforts have resulted in the implementation of dozens of policies and programs designed to enhance environmental stewardship and set an example for other municipalities striving to operate in a sustainable manner.
“As a city we must lead by example,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “There is still much work to do and we are committed to showcasing how a modern city can protect our environment and our natural resources and still have a robust economy.”
Orlando, along with a number of community partners including the Orlando Utilities Commission, LYNX and the Greater Orlando Airport Authority, achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies aimed at improving sustainability and quality of life for residents. LEED is designed to help buildings, communities, and cities achieve high performance in areas that impact environmental and human health. Cities and communities are evaluated on 14 key metrics that include energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety, prosperity and equitability. Orlando’s certification was made possible through a grant from USGBC and Bank of America Charitable Foundation.
“The work of cities like Orlando will continue to be a driving force in ensuring a more sustainable future for every person,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “Cities, communities and buildings that achieve LEED certification are creating healthier environments and striving to improve quality of life for their residents. Orlando’s LEED Gold certification is setting a standard and is a prime example of how innovative planning and collaboration can support the economy, the environment and most importantly the people.”
Notable sustainability initiatives for Orlando include significant efforts to decrease carbon emissions by expanding renewable energy and electric vehicles, implementing green building policies, championing infrastructure projects that prioritize bicyclists and pedestrians, distributing over 9,000 free trees to residents for their homes and increasing opportunities for urban farming by partnering with local public and private organizations to increase community gardens and local food access.
“USGBC and its LEED for Cities and Communities program is driving positive change and advancing innovative, sustainable solutions across the U.S.,” said Steve Alch, central Florida market president for Bank of America. “Through our sustainable finance efforts and partnerships like this, we are helping to create thriving communities for the future.”
Orlando joins a global network of more than 100 LEED-certified cities and communities and was recognized for its achievement during the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, the largest green building conference in the world, which took place in Atlanta November 19-22, 2019.
About Green Works Orlando
Established by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer in 2007, Green Works Orlando is the City of Orlando’s commitment to transforming into one of the most environmentally-friendly, economically and socially vibrant communities in the nation. Green Works Orlando represents Orlando's commitment to build partnerships and share resources that foster positive environmental changes.
About the U.S. Green Building Council
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.