The City of Greensboro was notified this week by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) that it was certified as a LEED city at the Silver Level.
This was Greensboro’s first attempt to be certified as a LEED city, and to be certified at the Silver Level is a considerable accomplishment. The highest level is Platinum and second is Gold.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design and Greensboro scored 55 out of a possible 110 points.
In March 2019, Greensboro received a grant from the USGBC for training and technical assistance on becoming certified in the LEED for Cities and Communities sustainability rating system.
The City Council was so excited about the prospect of becoming a LEED certified city that in 2019 it had Steve Drew, who was at the time Water Resources director and sustainability coordinator, give reports at two work sessions. The reports were largely the same because, as Drew explained, until all the data was gathered there wasn’t much to report. Drew retired as Water Resources director but continued to be Greensboro’s sustainability coordinator.
The LEED certification review report demonstrates the level of detail that the USGBC requires.
A comment in the USGBC report on solid waste management states, “The submitted narrative highlights that co-mingled recyclables are segregated by materials recovery contractor Republic Services at their Greensboro Material Recovery Facility (MRF) at 706 Patton Avenue. However, it is unclear whether the MRF complies with the ‘Requirement’ sections of U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Volume 26, Part 243 on Storage, Safety and Collection (or local, state or national equivalent, whichever is more stringent).”
Another comment that is hard not to wonder about is, “The unemployment rate of Native Hawaiians is 0% which is outside the range of the option requirements.”
From the comments in the report it appears that if Greensboro can clear up a few points like the certification for the MRF and the unemployment figure for Native Hawaiians in the city, it can expect to move up from Silver to a higher level.