This week, Mayor Emanuel and Mayor’s office senior officials began soliciting participation of local businesses for the 3rd round of the Chicago Green Office Challenge. The Green Office Challenge is a friendly competition among local businesses to reduce energy, water, and waste while saving money. Since Round 1 was launched in 2008 by ICLEI–Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI), the model has been copied by 11 cities across the country.
“Chicago’s continued efforts in fostering sustainability have created economic opportunity throughout our neighborhoods and dramatically improved the overall quality of life for residents,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This new round of the Green Office Challenge builds upon Chicago’s leadership in sustainability, increasing the efficiency of our economy and vitally reducing our impact on the environment.”
While the Chicago Green Office Challenge is traditionally focused on Loop office buildings and tenants, Round 3 will expand to businesses across the city. Participants will engage in friendly competition with their offices and buildings, and contribute to meeting the goals of the Challenge: to cut energy, water and materials use by 10 percent. This innovative program engages local businesses to compete in developing sustainable workspaces, saving money and improving quality of life for Chicagoans.
Mayor Emanuel’s environmental action agenda, Sustainable Chicago 2015, sets a target of doubling participation and impact in Round 3, as part of a larger goal to accelerate the economy through sustainability. The Green Office Challenge Round 3 will run through 2013 and provides various activities that employees and building managers can undertake to green their business practices.
During Round 2, the Green Office Challenge with nearly 150 property managers and tenant companies located in Chicago’s downtown business district participated in setting and achieving specific green goals over the course of 2011-2012. Participants were evaluated through a “Green Office Scorecard” developed by ICLEI, which included 50 green strategies that related to five key office-related sectors: waste and recycling, energy, transportation, outreach and education, and property manager engagement. These goals were put in motion and supported primarily through monthly training events and sponsored programming by Office Depot, leading to participants saved $17.5 million in energy costs, cut carbon emissions by 85,000 metrics tons and diverted an average 43% of waste from landfills.
Chicago has been a global leader in sustainability, and the world continues to take notice and look to the city for leadership. Recently, Chicago won the Siemens and U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Sustainability Large Community award, as part of a trio that beat out 132 other cities from 40 states.
The Chicago Green Office Challenge will run through late fall of 2013, with a year-end awards ceremony.
Registration to enter the Chicago Green Office Challenge begins February 11th, 2013. To learn more, visit ChicagoGOC.com, Facebook.com/ChicagoGreenOfficeChallenge and Twitter @ChiGreenOffice.
About City of Chicago and Sustainability: The City of Chicago is a leader of innovative environmental initiatives, and sustainability is a key focus of Chicago’s policies. With the launch of the Sustainable Chicago 2015 plan last September, Mayor Emanuel has set twenty four specific goals in seven areas critical to the sustainability of the Chicago, and identified key actions to take to reach those goals by 2015. It is a clear commitment of what government needs to and will do. It is also a roadmap for how Chicagoans, at home and at work, can get involved. Learn more at www.ChicagoSustainability.org.
About Delta Institute: Delta Institute is a center of innovation that creates market opportunities to achieve environmental sustainability and economic development. In partnership with business, government and local communities, we tackle the region’s toughest environmental and economic challenges. Delta develops creative and practical solutions that are job rich, inclusive and environmentally sustainable
About Office Depot: Office Depot is the National Sponsor and Founding Funder of the Green Business Challenge. Office Depot’s global environmental strategy can be summed up in a simple commitment to buy greener, be greener and sell greener. Effective execution of this strategy is measured in an Environmental Dashboard that shows improvement on nearly every metric since 2006. Newsweek ranked Office Depot America’s #1 greenest large retailer in 2010 and 2011.
Office Depot provides office supplies and services through 1,675 worldwide retail stores, a dedicated sales force, top-rated catalogs, and global e-commerce operations. Office Depot has annual sales of approximately $11.5 billion, employs about 39,000 associates, and serves customers in 60 countries around the world.
About ICLEI: Local Governments for Sustainability: ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability is the world's leading association of cities and local governments dedicated to sustainable development. ICLEI is a powerful movement of 12 mega cities, 100 super cities and urban regions, 450 large cities as well as 450 small and medium sized cities and towns in 84 countries.
About GreenPoint Partners: GreenPoint is an information services company. Our mission is to accelerate adoption for energy efficiency retrofits in the five million (mostly inefficient) buildings in the United States. Through our Green Per Square Foot (PSF) platform, we help building owners and tenants to discover ways to save money and connect with solutions providers – by delivering comprehensive, timely, and unbiased information about sustainability products, services, and incentives programs. Our unique e-procurement system matches buyers with solutions providers and delivers both transparency and cost savings in the process.