Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the premier organization independently recognizing excellence in green business performance and practice globally, announced a new partnership with STAR Communities to address the needs of cities and communities around the world seeking a consistent framework for advancing sustainability.
Modeled after LEED, the world’s most widely used green building program, the STAR Community Rating System (STAR) was built by and for local governments and released as a pilot in 2012. Currently, there are nearly 70 communities across the U.S. certified through the program, including large cities like Houston; Phoenix; and Columbus, Ohio; and smaller places like Northampton, Mass.; Monroe County, Fla.; and Dubuque, Iowa.
The goal is to integrate STAR into LEED for Communities and Cities in the near term to advance sustainable cities worldwide. LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities help communities and cities set goals, and implement sustainability strategies and plans to maintain and support these goals. The city or community then shares performance data to measure and track progress toward those goals.
“Local government leaders around the world have committed to pursuing strategies that have the ability to drive action and ensure a more sustainable future for us all,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, GBCI and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the creators of LEED. “GBCI and STAR Communities are joining forces to deliver the most comprehensive program for cities and communities that will not only set them on a more sustainable path, but enable them to focus on and track performance and milestones.”
“Over the past five years, we have worked closely with local leaders and sustainability practitioners to deliver a framework and certification program that drives more effective, inclusive decision-making and results in more livable, resilient and just communities,” said Hilari Varnadore, executive director, STAR Communities. “The opportunity to work with GBCI and sister organizations USGBC and Arc will enable STAR to scale and serve as a catalyst and transformative tool toward more sustainable communities in the U.S. and beyond.”
In partnership, the organizations will endeavor to accelerate adoption of standards, strategies, and performance metrics that help foster market transformation and enhance environmental, economic and social outcomes across global cities and communities.