Washington, DC (April 17, 2012)- The U.S. Chamber Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) and Siemens Corporation announced today that Chicago, IL; Santa Monica, CA; and Purcellville, VA were chosen from among 132 communities across 40 states to become this year’s Siemens Sustainable Community Award winners. The three selected communities were applauded for their focus on a multi-disciplinary approach to sustainability which has positively impacted local businesses and enhanced the quality of life among its citizens.
The U.S. Chamber BCLC and Siemens created the Sustainable Community Awards in 2008 to give rise to U.S. communities that are taking proactive steps to improve quality of life, be a steward of the environment, and increase the ability to sustain a successful community for generations to come. As part of the award, Chicago, Santa Monica, and Purcellville will receive $20,000 worth of trees from the Alliance for Community Trees.
“It’s an absolutely wonderful opportunity to leverage our member organizations’ support on the ground along with Siemens employees and the Award-winning city to plant trees in a strategic area of each community,” said Carrie Gallagher, Executive Director of Alliance for Community Trees.
“The awards show just how much the concept of sustainability has evolved for U.S. municipalities,” said U.S. Chamber BCLC Founder and Executive Director Stephen Jordan. “Chicago, Santa Monica, and Purcellville show that getting sustainability right improves quality of life, the efficient use of resources, competitiveness, and attractiveness for residents and visitors.“
In the category of large community,Chicago won the award for its multi-stakeholder approach to implementing the Chicago Climate Action Plan. Area businesses, advocacy groups, philanthropists, utilities, government offices, museums, and restaurants all play a part in achieving results against the plan, which is an element of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s broad strategy to integrate sustainability throughout Chicago and its government.
In the midsize community category,Santa Monica won the award for setting strategic citywide goals that are reinforced across multiple planning areas, such as resource conservation, economic growth, open space and land use, housing, transportation, civic participation, and human services.
In the small community category,Purcellville, won the award for its proactive use of land and natural resources. Additionally, Purcellville’s “Go Green” goals are now part of the town’s comprehensive sustainability plan. Despite the national recession, Purcellville thrives economically and has received recognition from Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine for its sustainability efforts.
“What these communities have done so well, is use sustainability as a lever to overall community success, instead of as a stand-alone program to pursue specific environmental outcomes,” said Siemens’ Alison Taylor. “This holistic approach is a truer indicator of a community’s sustainability.”
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