Mayor Brandon Scott and Director of Sustainability Ava Richardson announced that Baltimore has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification.
The announcement was made at the annual Sustainability Open House held at the Morgan State University Earl G. Graves School of Business & Management. The Open House featured the work of 40 agencies, organizations, and businesses advancing sustainability in Baltimore.
The city is part of a growing group to be certified using the LEED for Cities rating system. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and is the world’s most widely used green building rating system.
“LEED Gold certification demonstrates Baltimore’s commitment to sustainability, human health, and economic prosperity,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “It not only helps benchmark our current performance, but provides tools to educate residents, visitors, and business owners about progress and priorities, and enables us to continuously improve our work to become the most sustainable and resilient city possible.”
Achieving LEED Gold certification completes one of the actions under the Clean & Healthy Communities pillar of the Mayor’s Action Plan. Baltimore achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at improving sustainability and the standard of living for residents. Points were awarded in nine categories:
- integrative process
- natural systems and ecology
- water efficiency
- energy and greenhouse gas emissions
- transportation and land use
- materials and resources
- quality of life
- regional priority
Baltimore received 66 points out of 110 to achieve LEED Gold certification. Baltimore achieved the maximum possible points for demonstrating achievements in Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Performance (14/14), Transportation Performance (6/6), Innovation (6/6), and supporting a Low Carbon Economy (4/4).
Points awarded for Innovation under the LEED for Cities framework recognize several sustainability programs that promote and contribute to Baltimore’s unique character, such as the Made in Baltimore program, which supports local makers and manufacturers to create jobs and strengthen our local economy.
Baltimore’s LEED Gold certification also recognized the leadership of the City and other partners in making the city’s communities and infrastructure more resilient in the face of climate change. These efforts include:
- integrated water management
- grid harmonization strategies
- leadership from the Office of Sustainability to advance resilience and disaster preparedness planning
- the Community Resilience Hubs program
- enhanced floodplain management through participation in the Community Rating System.
“LEED has been a transformative tool for buildings, and we are now seeing the impact it can have at the city and community level, particularly in key areas of human and environmental health,” said Peter Templeton, president and CEO, USGBC. “By prioritizing issues such as emissions reduction, resilience, green infrastructure, and providing resources to empower sustainability actions in communities, Baltimore is leading the way to a better world and helping USGBC continue toward our goal of a sustainable future for all.”
LEED enables the city to measure and track outcomes which are evaluated against key metrics that include energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety, prosperity, and equitability. Baltimore joins a global network of more than 130 certified cities and communities.