April 19, 2012

Chicago Wins Sustainabl​e Cities Award

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center and Siemens Corporation Honor Highlights City’s Ongoing Efforts to be the Most Environmentally Friendly City in the Nation

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Chicago was chosen yesterday as the winner of the Business Civic Leadership Committee’s annual Sustainable Community Award, as part of a trio that beat out 132 other cities from 40 states.

“Increasing sustainability throughout Chicago can create dramatic economic opportunity throughout our neighborhoods and improve the overall quality of life for residents,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “We have done this in many ways, from recycling to LEED buildings, from protected bike lanes to energy efficiency. We will continue to look for ways to make Chicago more sustainable, and to embed sustainability throughout the city.”

In the category of large community, Chicago won the award for its multi-stakeholder approach to implementing the Chicago Climate Action Plan, and the ongoing efforts by Mayor Emanuel to extend and continue that plan’s positive effects. The award for Chicago specifically focused on the role of area businesses, advocacy groups, philanthropists, utilities, government offices, museums, and restaurants in achieving a comprehensive approach to sustainability in the city.

Chicago will win $20,000 worth of trees as a prize for this award. The trees will be planted later this year by the City’s Department of Streets and Sanitation, through the Forestry bureau.

“Everywhere we look in Chicago there are opportunities for sustainability; in our homes, in our businesses, in our government buildings and on our streets,” said Karen Weigert, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Chicago. “I look forward to working with all Chicagoans to further embed sustainability into our lifestyles.”

Santa Monica, Calif. and Purcellville, Va. also won, in the categories for medium and smaller cities.

“The Siemens Sustainable Community Awards show just how much the concept of sustainability has evolved for U.S. cities,” said U.S. Chamber BCLC founder and executive director Stephen Jordan. “Chicago, Santa Monica, and Purcellville show that getting sustainability right improves quality of life, the efficient use of resources, competitiveness, and the attractiveness of the city for residents and visitors.”

The U.S. Chamber BCLC and Siemens created the Sustainable Community Awards in 2008 to give rise to U.S. communities that are taking proactive steps to improve quality of life, be a steward of the environment, and increase the ability to sustain a successful community for generations to come.

More information about the award is available on the Siemens Sustainable Community Awards website.