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The original item was published from 4/22/2020 2:16:17 PM to 4/22/2020 2:17:24 PM.

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Royal Oak | City Spotlights

Posted on: April 22, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Royal Oak Named LEED® Certified City


Royal Oak announced today that it has achieved LEED® for Cities Certified status. The LEED for Cities framework provides a holistic view of practical and measurable strategies aimed at improving city sustainability, resilience, and the standard of living for all residents. Royal Oak is the first city in Michigan and the third in the nation to certify under LEED v4.1.

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 system. There is a network of more than 100 cities and communities certified across the globe. LEED for Cities enables cities and communities to track outcomes that are evaluated against key metrics that include energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety, prosperity, and equitability.

“We are grateful for the opportunity as one of fifteen U.S. cities chosen for the 2019 LEED for Cities grant funded by Bank of America”, said the city’s energy and sustainability manager, Julie Lyons Bricker. “Collaborating with peer cities allowed us to compare sustainability efforts and share valuable tips and lessons learned. The process also facilitated new relationships with community stakeholders, a deeper understanding of our current sustainability initiatives, and identified where the gaps exist. For our sustainability team, these gaps represent realistic opportunities on which to focus as we continue making our city more energy efficient, resilient, and equitable.”

“With its LEED for Cities and Communities certification, Royal Oak is creating a path to a sustainable future,” said Matt Elliott, Michigan Market President for Bank of America. “We’re pleased to support this worthy endeavor which benefits residents and workers, and we are proud to continue our partnership with the USGBC on these important environmental efforts.”

The city earned certification points for its accessible, abundant green space, low carbon economy, historic preservation, a high rate of high school graduates and those with at least a bachelor’s degree, very low crime rate, and more. Opportunities for future certification points include increasing diversity on city boards and committees to match more closely with the community make-up, reducing energy waste, reducing water waste, decreasing amount of materials going to landfills, increasing the tree canopy, and more.

Leaders, especially in growing cities, have an enormous opportunity to initiate a dynamic sustainability dialogue with citizens and build a collaborative process. Royal Oak pursued the rigorous certification because LEED is highly regarded and the ideal framework to support the development stages of the city’s sustainability plan, including the community engagement process.

“The proactive work of cities and communities such as Royal Oak, MI are 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. Royal Oak is setting a standard for what it means to be a high performer in Michigan and beyond and their efforts and achievements should be an example for all.”

Royal Oak’s sustainability team and city leaders will host a certification ceremony later this year to celebrate the achievement and to heartily thank staff and stakeholders who assisted with this project.

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