At its Nov. 5, village board meeting, Hoffman Estates received the Illinois Sierra Club's Cool Cities Achievements Award for meeting the 2012 greenhouse gas reduction targets in the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.
The Climate Protection Agreement is an initiative that harnesses the power of communities to pursue clean energy and smart growth projects that improve sustainability and reduce their carbon footprint.
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Hoffman Estates Mayor William D. McLeod signed the original agreement as part of the village's ongoing commitment to a robust suite of "Growing to Greenness" programs. Over the past five years, new public buildings were constructed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold standards, and existing buildings were retrofitted with energy efficiency upgrades. A Green Business Recognition Program was launched to increase community awareness of the eco-friendly practices of local businesses. More information relating to the village's green initiatives are available online at www.hoffmanestates.org/green.
"Green initiatives have become a major component of everything we do in the Village -- from sustainable practices in new construction to providing our residents with an affordable energy assessment program," said McLeod. "I am signing the next generation Climate Protection Agreement 2.0, as it's in line with our village board's long-term vision of creating a more sustainable community."
The new Climate Protection Agreement 2.0 is an extension of the 2012 agreement, and identifies additional goals for municipalities and community groups to aspire to through 2015.
"Cool Cities have served as laboratories of change for clean energy policies, practices and programs providing many notable accomplishments," said Illinois Sierra Club director Jack Darin. "During the past seven years, Cool Cities have stepped up to the climate change challenge with innovative energy- and money-saving programs that have improved sustainability."
While looking for opportunities to further their commitment to clean energy, the village identified electricity aggregation's potential for purchasing renewable energy while reducing the cost of electricity. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Equivalency Calculator, Hoffman Estates' purchase of 100 percent renewable energy for residents and small businesses reduced the village's carbon footprint by the equivalent of taking 89,000 passenger vehicles off the road.
"Sierra Club is delighted that Hoffman Estates exceeded the goals of the Climate Protection Agreement," said Cool Cities chairman Lonnie Morris. "Their success shows clean energy solutions are good for communities, and good for the climate."
The village of Hoffman Estates has also received the following recognition for its green initiatives:
• Excellence in Energy Code Compliance Award (2012)
• Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) (2011)
• Platinum Level Community Status, Clean Air Counts (2011)
• Gold Level Community Status, Clean Air Counts (2010)
• Irwin A. Bock Award for Excellence in Public Administration-Environmental Stewardship, Northwest Municipal Conference (2010)