Staff Editorial: City deserves applause for securing LEED nod

Ward 3 D.C. Council member Mary Cheh toured Mann Elementary — which won LEED Gold certification — on Aug. 7 as part of her annual school readiness tour. (Grace Bird/The Current/August 2017)

It’s easy to set ambitious goals. Achieving them is another matter.

That’s why we’re particularly impressed with the District’s recent designation as the world’s first Platinum-certified city under the Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design standards. As a news release from Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office states, “Washington, DC’s LEED Platinum certification recognizes the outcomes, rather than intent, of the city’s leadership in creating a sustainable and resilient built environment, which includes: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, supporting clean energy innovation, and focusing on inclusive prosperity and livability in all eight wards.”

The U.S. Green Building Council has turned LEED certification into the leading standard for evaluating individual buildings, and it launched its new LEED for Cities effort last year. According to the release, the District stands out for supporting environmentally friendly policies; purchasing energy from sustainable sources; making it easy to get around without a car; and tracking data to ensure continued progress.

“Washington, DC is setting the bar for smart cities all around the world by leveraging technology and data to achieve sustainability and resiliency goals, creating healthy and safe communities where citizens can thrive,” Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of the Green Building Council, said in the release. “Mayor Bowser and the city are once again showing that our nation’s capital is performing at the highest levels and that its buildings, neighborhoods and communities are as sustainable as possible.”

We applaud the District’s leadership on the important issue of environmental sustainability. We are the beneficiaries when our municipal government promotes eco-friendly policies, and we reap further rewards if our example is adopted around the world. We hope our government can continue implementing the bold visions of its long-term plans.