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Washington DC earns global award for its leadership in energy and environmental design

Washington DC has been awarded a global award for its outstanding leadership in energy, sustainability and environmental design. The US capital achieved its sustainability targets under the 'Smarter DC' program - and it now becomes the first ever recipient of the LEED Cities Platinum award.

Washington has been long-recognized as being a leader in 'smart cities' for its innovative initiatives and projects over the last number of years, but this award truly cements that status as setting an example to other smart cities all over the world.

The LEED Platinum is unique in that it recognizes the outcomes rather than the intent of a particular city's leadership in relation to establishing sustainable goals and creating a resilient built environment. Washington has strategically focused its intentions on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and has shown support for clean energy innovation.

Washington's Mayor Muriel Bowser said that the city had a 'special obligation' in relation to showcasing leadership with regards to environmental issues. She said, "It is in the best interest of Washington DC's safety, economy, and future to take sustainability and resiliency seriously, and as the nation's capital, we have a special obligation to lead the way on environmental issues. We are proud to be recognized as the world's first LEED Platinum city. Our commitment to these issues will not yield, and we look forward to continuing to build a greener, more resilient, and more sustainable DC."

LEED is recognized as the most widely used green building rating system in the world, which has been specifically designed and developed to help buildings achieve high performance in key areas related to environmental health and safety. It was launched last year, and it allows cities to measure its performance on all aspects such as waste management, water and transportation.

However, LEED has developed a digital platform entitled Arc, which conveys real-time data information that gives cities greater transparency in relation to its sustainability efforts so it can make more informed decisions.

CEO at the US Green Building Council (USGBC) Mahesh Ramanujam declared that the US capital was setting the standards for all other smart cities across the world and said citizens in Washington will thrive due to the policies and initiatives currently being pursued. He said, "Washington, DC is setting the bar for smart cities all around the world by leveraging technology and data to achieve sustainability and resiliency goals, creating healthy and safe communities where citizens can thrive. Mayor Bowser and the city are once again showing that our nation's capital is performing at the highest levels and that its buildings, neighborhoods and communities are as sustainable as possible."