Sustainable Georgia Roundup
LEED Leader: Recently the U.S. Green Building Council named its 2017 Top 10 States for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the world’s most prevalent green building rating system. Georgia was seventh on the list for its efforts to design and build sustainable structures – the first time the state has been in the Top 10 since 2014.
The ranking reflects 71 LEED-certified projects in Georgia last year. LEED certification is granted for buildings that use less energy and water; reduce carbon emissions; create a healthier environment for occupants and the surrounding community; and save money for families, business and taxpayers.
Community and business partners have ramped up LEED adoption throughout the state, especially in Metro Atlanta where four standout projects received certification. These are the Fulton County Metropolitan Library, the Georgia World Congress Center, Mercedes-Benz Stadium and SunTrust Park. Supporters maintain that in addition to mitigating climate change, LEED certification is a proven tool for economic development.
Greater Land Protection: The St. Simons Land Trust received a $2-million donation from the Anschutz Foundation, owners of the Sea Island Co., to help preserve new tracts of land on the island. In addition, the foundation pledged $2 million more if the land trust raises a $4-million match independently.
While the land trust has not named the specific properties it will acquire with the funds, the goal is to protect the natural setting of 2,000 acres on the island, which amounts to roughly 20 percent. Through these conservation efforts, the land trust hopes to protect more trees and relieve stress on the island’s fragile infrastructure.