Greening Chicago

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Dan Ryan
Midwest Region

Visitors coming to Chicago for Greenbuild this week may not know they are in one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the U.S.  While coastal cities tend to get the most attention for their sustainability initiatives, Chicago has taken a leadership position in many areas. Consider:

– EarthLab Foundation reports that Chicago puts out less carbon emissions per resident than any other city, 8.14 tons annually, compared to 8.34 tons for New York City, 9.07 tons for San Francisco and 9.39 tons for Portland, OR. Check out more here.

– Chicago claims more green roofs than any other city, with more than 200 roofs totaling about 7 million square feet

– EPA reported in 2010 that Chicago was among the top five cities with the most ENERGY STAR labeled buildings—134—and came in at number two behind Los Angeles for total square footage of labeled buildings, 59.9 million square feet. Check out more here.

Chicago is also Jones Lang LaSalle’s home town, and I like to think that our energy and sustainability efforts here have helped tip the scales in Chicago’s favor. Our firm and our headquarters building, Aon Center, were recognized as top performing participants in Mayor Daley’s Green Office Challenge this year, and we’ve been involved in eight LEED certified properties in Chicagoland. Plus, our 21 million-sq.-ft. portfolio of managed buildings in the Chicago region uses only LEED compliant cleaning supplies, equipment and methods.

Chicago is driving toward the goal to make buildings greener. I hope all our sustainability-minded visitors enjoy your time here.

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