EPA’s annual Top Cities list tends to garner much excitement and attention from policymakers and the media. Below is a selection of quotes from various mayors and other city leaders whose cities made EPA’s list in 2021.
“Here in Los Angeles, sustainability isn’t just a buzzword we throw around lightly — it’s a lens through which we see every policy decision,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Year in and year out, Los Angeles finds itself at the head of the pack when it comes to energy efficiency — showing the world that going green is good for your bottom line.”
"Our city is committed to integrating sustainability in the places where residents live, work, learn and play because a healthy environment is a must when working to create a brighter, more resilient future," said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "I am proud that Chicago is a part of the EPA's 'Top Cities' list, which demonstrates that our commitment to sustainability has resulted in measurable change. We look forward to expanding the presence of ENERGY STAR buildings and other sustainability initiatives in the future as well as working that much closer with the EPA to protect our planet."
"Dallas is proud to once again be named a top ENERGY STARcity in the nation by the EPA," said Mayor Eric Johnson. "The people of Dallas have proven they are committed to growing our economy while also reducing emissions and conserving our precious resources for future generations. And through our city’s new Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan, we will continue to make energy efficiency a top priority in the years ahead."
"Climate change is a major threat that exacerbates many of the inequities that exist in our communities," said Boston Mayor Kim Janey. "In Boston, we are committed to carbon neutrality and I am thrilled that our city has moved up two spots on the EPA's list of cities with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings. This listing reflects our dedication to environmental action and highlights the opportunity to create a healthier, more resilient city one building at a time."
"As the energy capital of the world, Houston is proud to be leading a global energy transition. I’m thrilled our business community is embracing energy efficiency as a tool to reduce our emissions and reach our ambitious local and national climate goals," said Mayor Sylvester Turner.
"New York City’s path to carbon neutrality cannot exist without making our built environment more energy-efficient, sustainable, and comfortable for all New Yorkers," said Ben Furnas, Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability. "Being one of the leading cities in energy performance year after year reaffirms our ambitious approach to curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Thank you to the EPA for this recognition and vote of confidence."
"The growing number of ENERGY STAR certifications in the City is a great example of San Franciscans continuing to lead the way in climate action," said Debbie Raphael, Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. "Through increased energy efficiency upgrades, renewable energy, and building electrification, we can be proud of our City’s commitment to becoming a carbon-neutral, All-Electric City of the future."
"We are proud in Austin to have made transformational investments to make our city sustainable," said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. "Austin’s participation in federal programs like ENERGY STAR gives residents and businesses alike a brand and an economic incentive to take action toward building a greener environment."
"I’m thrilled that San Antonio has reached the Environmental Protection Agency’s top 25 cities for ENERGY STAR certified buildings," [San Antonio Mayor Ron] Nirenberg said. "Having recently adopted our local Climate Action & Adaptation Plan, which strives to make our community carbon neutral by 2050, it’s encouraging to see that our city is on the right track."
"Being named one of the top EnergyStar Cities shows that our ambitious plan to transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2035 is working," said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. "The City of Atlanta is committed to an equitable and resilient future where every Atlantan is protected from the adverse effects of climate change."
"I want to thank all the building owners in San Jose who stepped up and improved their energy efficiency under the City’s Energy and Water Building Performance Ordinance," said Kerrie Romanow, director of the San Jose Environmental Services Department and the City’s chief sustainability officer. "The Building Performance Ordinance will save owners of large buildings money on their energy bills and help our community achieve the greenhouse gas emission reduction goals of Climate Smart San Jose, our climate action plan, and the Paris Climate Agreement."
"Energy benchmarking is a critical part of Saint Paul’s ongoing climate action and resilience work," said Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. "We’re proud that so many of our businesses and property owners join us, along with communities across our nation, in our commitment to building sustainable cities for our children and grandchildren."
"Almost half of the greenhouse gas emission in Madison come from our buildings. In order to become a net carbon neutral city by our 2050 goal, we need every building in Madison to reduce its emissions," said Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. "I commend the building owners who have pursued Energy Star certification to rise to the top of their class in building energy performance, and to encourage every developer and landowner to follow in their footsteps."
"Bloomington is honored to be ranked in EPA’s 2021 Top Small Cities list," said Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe. "We are proud to be a national leader in supporting energy-efficiency among buildings. It is not an easy certification to achieve, and we applaud our community business partners that recognize the value of top-performing buildings as a key driver to economic competitiveness."
"Tampa’s inclusion on the list is a recognition that our commercial real estate and development partners value energy efficiency and appreciate the environmental benefits and cost savings from using EPA’s Energy Star program. Sustainability and resilience are a top priority of ours, and we look forward to continuing to find ways to be a part of the clean energy future," said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.
"Addressing our current climate crisis and creating a sustainable future requires all of us taking actions, big and small, and I’m profoundly proud of the work we’ve done here in Grand Rapids," said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. "This award is an acknowledgment of our commitment to environmental stewardship and energy conservation through reducing the carbon footprint of our own municipal facilities while also supporting programs and policies to reduce energy consumption and the corresponding carbon emissions from the buildings throughout our community. We are deeply grateful for our partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council and their leadership in managing our Grand Rapids 2030 District, which is a key driver of energy efficient buildings in Grand Rapids."
"Boulder is pleased to have the EPA recognize our businesses and building owners for their leadership on climate action," said Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver. "They realized that saving money while improving comfort and building performance benefits everyone."
"Nashville is honored with this recognition," said John Cooper, Mayor. "Cities can lead by example to achieve a sustainable future. In Nashville, a few early steps have been key: updates to our 'green' building codes and energy standards; initiating construction of a massive solar array powering one-third of Metro Nashville's energy needs; and increased energy efficiency and renewable energy in city facilities. I’m committed to building more on these first investments."
"This recognition by the EPA validates all the planning, implementation and dedication that has gone into our citywide sustainability efforts," said Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. "I am so proud to be a top-rated ENERGY STAR city because our work to promote energy efficiency is also creating a cleaner environment for future generations."
"EPA’s ENERGY STAR recognition speaks well for Tulsa’s quality of life and sustainability," Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a statement. "Energy efficiency in our commercial and multifamily buildings makes a difference for sustainability and profitability, strengthening our overall local economy."
"The city is thrilled to have this honor," Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies said in a statement. "More work is underway in our city government to make sure more buildings are energy-efficient and we build green infrastructure. This really reflects the close collaboration Consumers Energy has with our community businesses and organizations."
"I was very pleased to see Wheeling rank so high on the latest Energy Star rankings," Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott said. "While I knew we had several commercial buildings that qualified as Energy Star compliant, I did not fully appreciate the scope of qualifying improvements made by the Ohio County School system to so many local school buildings in recent years."