Lancaster, Pa.—(July 18, 2018)—The City of Lancaster announced today that it has achieved LEED for Cities Gold certification, making it one of the first in the country to be certified using the LEED for Cities rating system.
In 2017, the City of Lancaster joined nearly 400 other U.S. cities in the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, which commits to adopting and supporting the goals of the Paris Agreement. As part of that commitment, the City of Lancaster maintains a greenhouse gas inventory for its operations and for the community at large, which helped put LEED certification within its grasp.
“The City of Lancaster remains committed to the principle of sustainability, which requires a balance of economic development, social equity and environmental protection,” said Mayor Danene Sorace. “LEED for Cities is one of many demonstrations of this continued commitment.”
LEED is designed to help buildings, communities and cities achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health. LEED for Cities enables cities to measure and track outcomes, and cities are evaluated on 14 key metrics that include energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety, prosperity and equitability. Performance is tracked through Arc, a digital platform that connects actions and tracks progress using a performance score.
“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 when in key areas of human and environmental health,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO, USGBC and GBCI. “By prioritizing sustainability, Lancaster is leading the way and helping USGBC continue toward our vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation.”
Through the LEED for Cities program, USGBC has gathered data on cities from across the U.S. and the international community. Lancaster City performs well in comparison. The city reports an average of 10.82 vehicle miles/person per day, which is well below the national average of 37.89 vehicle miles/person reported by the Federal Highway Administration in 2018. However, this estimate excluded major highway segments within the city, such as Route 30. Lancaster also reports 7.24 tons of carbon dioxide per person annually, which is well below the U.S. average of 16.5 tons of carbon dioxide per person reported by the World Bank.
“In keeping with the old adage of ‘you can’t manage what you don’t measure,’ the City of Lancaster intends to continuously improve its data and adapt its policies accordingly to achieve the best outcomes for all residents,” said Mayor Sorace.
Other notable sustainability initiatives by the city include installing city-wide bicycling facilities, helping to launch the Lancaster Tree Tenders partnership, receiving $86,315.19 in rebates from PPL for energy efficiency improvements, converting its fleet to low-emission vehicles and developing a nationally recognized green infrastructure program to manage stormwater.