January 21, 2022

Mayor Lightfoot Announces Chicago’s Participation in Building Performance Standards Coalition That Will Drive Jobs, and Equitable Climate, Health, and Energy Cost Benefits

Chicago commits to inclusively design and implement innovative building policies, with support from federal agencies, labor unions, philanthropy, and non-governmental organizations

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced that Chicago has committed to inclusively design and implement building performance standards and complementary policies and programs across the city, driving investment into building retrofits and good-paying jobs that create healthier buildings and lower housing and energy costs. The news comes as Chicago joins forces with state and local governments across the country in the National Building Performance Standard (BPS) Coalition, a collaboration launched by White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). Building performance standards paired with complementary programs and policies will enable us to meet our health, equity, and climate goals. 

“My administration is very proud to join the CEQ as well as state and municipal leaders across the country to deliver on the shared goal of passing building performance standards and other aligned decarbonization policies,” said Mayor Lightfoot. The City of Chicago is committed to taking bold action to mitigate the climate crisis and is prioritizing the equitable reduction of building emissions to create meaningful outcomes. This will result in highly efficient buildings in all communities across Chicago, improved health outcomes, household savings and the activation of the green economy." 

Buildings are responsible for 70% of Chicago’s carbon emissions. Upgrading and retrofitting buildings to increase clean energy sources and reduce overall energy use can dramatically reduce these harmful emissions. At the same time, energy retrofits and upgrades can be leveraged to concurrently improve a building’s health and resilience for its occupants and surrounding community, while generating jobs and increased local economic investment.

Capitalizing on the momentum generated by the City’s Building Decarbonization Working Group, which convened over 50 partners, Chicago commits to joining the White House's coalition to increase community and local stakeholder engagement to co-design building performance standards and complementary policies and programs – to advance legislation or regulation, with adoption by Earth Day 2024.

“We are eager for the opportunity to support city and state leaders representing the vanguard of innovative climate policy and joining this National Building Performance Standards Coalition. Members of this groundbreaking coalition will help drive new jobs to make existing buildings across the country more efficient, affordable, healthier and resilient, and will deliver equitable benefits across their jurisdictions,” said Mark Chambers, Senior Director for Building Emissions and Community Resilience at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.  

In pursuing our commitments as a member of the National BPS Coalition, Chicago will leverage technical support via federal agencies including the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. For more information about the coalition, visit www.nationalBPSCoalition.org