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Santa Fe Recognized as Global Leader in Sustainability with LEED Gold Certification

By City of Santa Fe

The City of Santa Fe has been awarded LEED® Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council® (USGBC) for its exceptional performance in fostering a sustainable, resilient city. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used rating system in the world recognizing sustainability achievement and leadership. Santa Fe joins a global network of more than 100 LEED-certified cities and communities. It is the second city in the world to achieve LEED Gold under the newest, more stringent rating system: LEED v4.1.

“All of us know how much sustainability means to Santa Fe and to our way of life,” said Mayor Webber. “This recognition as only the second city to achieve LEED Gold status means that the whole world knows it, too. This award speaks volumes about our community and the values we hold dear. Way to go, Santa Fe!”

Santa Fe was rated on its performance in key sustainability metrics that include energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety, prosperity and equitability. The rating applies to everything within city limits, not only City operations. These metrics closely mirror the performance areas outlined in the Sustainable Santa Fe 25-Year Plan. The analysis formed a useful framework to gather baseline data for implementing the Plan’s strategies.

 “A sustainable city strives to offer its residents a higher living standard. A LEED city takes action and delivers measurable outcomes that improves overall quality of life for residents,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection, building more resilient cities is crucial and Santa Fes LEED certification is a symbol of their leadership.”

The City achieved credits for resilience planning activities which strengthen its ability to respond and adapt to climate change risks, natural and man-made hazards, and extreme events including public health crises. The importance of increasing resilience becomes apparent as communities respond to the current pandemic.

The City of Santa Fe Environmental Services Division led an interdepartmental team of subject-matter experts through the certification process; mostly the staff members who also helped shape the Sustainable Santa Fe 25-Year Plan.

The LEED for Cities and Communities program will help the City evaluate its performance on implementation of the 2018 Sustainable Santa Fe Plan, and better enable the City to compare progress against similar jurisdictions. When the City applies for recertification in 2025, it hopes to achieve Platinum certification.

The LEED for Cities certification was made possible by a grant from Bank of America that was awarded by USGBC to fifteen cities and communities. The grant provided financial assistance, educational resources, and technical support.

“As a community that deeply cares about the environment, it is exciting to have Santa Fe recognized as one of the world’s first LEED Gold-certified cities,” said Paul Mondragon, Bank of America New Mexico market president. “Bank of America’s support for USGBC’s LEED for Cities initiative is part of our larger capital deployment commitment to address climate change and build resilience in communities like Santa Fe.”

Mayor Webber and USGBC will conduct a virtual press briefing on Monday, June 1, at 11:00 a.m. on WebEx. A detailed report about the LEED certification can be found at https://www.santafenm.gov/leedgoldsf.

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