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Albuquerque Named LEED Silver City, Recognized for Sustainability Achievement

Keller administration placed multi-agency focus on sustainability initiatives

The City of Albuquerque has achieved LEED Silver certification, joining a limited group of cities as a national leader in sustainability. 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 standard for rating buildings and, increasingly, communities on their committed to sustainable building.

“From significantly increasing our renewable energy capacity to introducing the first-ever Electric Vehicles to the City fleet, we’ve committed to living up to our responsibility to building a cleaner, healthier Albuquerque,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “With private industry, residents, and local government all working together, we are making Albuquerque a national leader on sustainability.”

Albuquerque achieved LEED certification by taking practical and measurable steps to improve sustainability and the standard of living for residents. The certification builds on the Keller administration’s substantial work to date on sustainability, including:

  • Won a $2.7 million federal grant to bring the first electric buses to Albuquerque,
  • Signed the Paris Agreement committing to climate action,
  • Installed solar projects at 38 city-owned buildings,
  • Received funding to increase electric charging stations in Albuquerque to 40 by 2021,
  • Launched the Green Team Initiative to expand sustainability across departments,
  • Launched the Mayor’s Energy Challenge,
  • Won Bloomberg American Cities climate challenge with funding for sustainability efforts,
  • Made the transition to more sustainable LED street lights citywide,
  • Provided over 100 homes with free energy audits and upgrades in partnership with PNM and Prosperity Works,
  • Invested $600,000 in VW settlement funding to expand electric vehicle infrastructure,
  • Partnered with PNM to launch the Solar Direct project to get to a 65% renewable energy portfolio by 2021, and
  • Purchased the first Electric Vehicles for the City fleet, and committed the City to replacing gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles wherever possible.

LEED is designed to help buildings, communities and cities achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health. LEED provides a snapshot of the City’s progress to date and sets out what new projects are worth investing in to achieve greater sustainability, health, and wellness.

“The work of cities and communities such as Albuquerque is a driving force in ensuring a more sustainable future for all,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “Cities and communities that achieve LEED certification are lowering carbon emissions, creating a healthier environment and striving to improve the quality of life for their residents. Albuquerque is setting a standard for what it means to be a high performer and their efforts and achievements should be an example for all.”

“As a nationally recognized leader in environmental sustainability, Albuquerque continues to achieve a truly notable milestone for sustainability and environmental resiliency by becoming a LEED silver-certified city,” said Paul Mondragon, Bank of America New Mexico market president. “Bank of America’s support of USGBC’s LEED for Cities initiative is part of our larger capital deployment commitment to address climate change and build resilience in New Mexico communities.”

LEED enables the City to measure and track outcomes and are evaluated against key metrics that include energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety, prosperity and equitability.