Kane County To Join 2020 LEED Grant Program To Address Climate Change

Kane County To Join 2020 LEED Grant Program To Address Climate Change

Solar power at the Kane County Animal Control building is just one way Kane County continues to be a leader in energy and environmental design.

Kane County officials announced this week that it is among 20 new cities and counties selected to participate in the 2020 LEED for Cities and Communities Grant Program.

The program — created by the U.S. Green Building Council — helps local governments committed to accelerating progress on climate change, resilience and social equity planning, measure and track performance using the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system.

Cities and counties participating in the 2020 program receive access to education resources and technical support as they pursue LEED certification.

“We would like to thank the U.S. Green Building Council for recognizing Kane County as leader in sustainability,” said Barbara Wojnicki, County Board member and chair of the Energy & Environment Committee. “Our mission is to protect the environment and benefit all the communities in our county.”

Kane County has been a leader in sustainability for many years, adopting the County Operational Sustainability Plan in 2015, receiving SolSmart Bronze designation in 2017, and being the first county to adopt the Greenest Region Compact in 2019.

The county continues to enhance its sustainability goals and support regional collaboration to strive for a healthy, equitable, and environmentally-conscious future.

Jessica Mino, resource management coordinator for the Division of Environmental and Water Resources, said Kane County is now looking to enhance its monitoring and reporting platforms to propel sustainability efforts.

“We want to continue to be an example for the region,” Mino said. “LEED for Cities and Communities is the mechanism to get us there.”

LEED for Cities and Communities gives planners, developers and local governments a framework for implementing strategies to address energy, water, waste, pollution and carbon, and takes into account social and economic indicators, including health, equity, education and prosperity.

Through LEED, local leaders hone metrics around initiatives; benchmark performance relative to peers; and communicate to and educate stakeholders on progress.

More than 100 cities and communities around the world have already achieved LEED certification.

“Local governments see the on-the-ground effects of a changing climate and how it impacts people, businesses and communities. They also understand that taking action can lead to a stronger economy and better quality of life for their residents,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC.

“More than 160 cities and communities around the world are participating in LEED for Cities and Communities outside of the grant program and thanks to our partners at Bank of America, we are able to welcome even more into the LEED family,” he said. “These cities and communities are committed to finding solutions that improve our living standard and are using LEED to ensure they are on a path of continuous improvement.”

Since 2018, Bank of America has provided $1.25 million in grant funding to the LEED for Cities and Communities program, supporting a total of 41 cities and counties to date.

The company’s 2019 grant helped 15 cities and its 2018 grant supported six cities and communities. The 20 cities and counties selected for the 2020 program represent more than 10 million Americans in urban and rural communities around the country and include:

  • Abington Township, PA
  • Charlotte, N.C.
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Costa Mesa, CA
  • Fayetteville, AK
  • Johnson County, KS
  • Kane County, IL
  • Louisville, KY
  • Miami Beach, FL
  • Miami-Dade County, FL
  • Middleton, WI
  • Nashua, NH
  • Newark, NJ
  • Northampton, MA
  • Orange County, FL
  • Orange County, NC
  • Palm Beach County, FL
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • Sarasota, FL
  • Tampa, FL

To learn more about Kane County’s sustainability goals and progress, visit: countyofkane.org/sustainability.

SOURCE: Kane County Division of Environmental and Water Resources news release