City of Lancaster achieves LEED Gold certification

The City of Lancaster announced today that it has achieved LEED Gold certification. The city is among the first 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 program.

In 2017 the City of Lancaster joined nearly 400 other US 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 the 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 has been a transformative tool to 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. “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 US 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 like Rt 30. Lancaster City also reports 7.24 tons CO2/person annually greenhouse gas emissions per capita, which is well below the US average of 16.5 tons CO2/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.

Source: City of Lancaster / FOX43