Mayor Kasim Reed Honored with Southface Argon Award for Leadership in Sustainability October 6, 2014

News Release

Mayor Kasim Reed Honored with Southface Argon Award for Leadership in Sustainability

ATLANTA –  At its annual Visionary Dinner, Mayor Kasim Reed was presented with Southface Energy Institute’s highest honor, the prestigious Argon Award, for his commitment to sustainability.

Under Mayor Reed’s leadership, Atlanta, which is ranked among the top ten U.S. cities with the highest percentage of green commercial real estate, has earned national credibility for its stewardship to foundation and federal awards aimed at advancements in sustainability. As a result, Atlanta was selected as one of three cities to pilot the national Better Buildings Challenge, a presidential initiative that challenges cities to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020.

“Mayor Reed has demonstrated consistent dedication to sustainability through many initiatives,” said Southface Executive Director, Dennis Creech. “He has raised the bar by further challenging Atlanta commercial property owners to reduce water consumption by 20 percent by 2020 as part of the Better Buildings Challenge.” To date, the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge has committed 209 large commercial buildings, of which 74 are City-owned.

Other notable accomplishments under the Mayor’s administration include leadership in securing $47.6 million in funding for the Atlanta Streetcar, expanding clean transportation options at the city’s core, and continued support for the most transformative urban redevelopment project in the U.S., the Atlanta BeltLine. Mayor Reed’s Office of Sustainability also successfully passed the first potable rainwater harvesting ordinance for a major city.

The City of Atlanta has made a remarkable investment in green infrastructure in Peoplestown, Mechanicsville, and Historic Fourth Ward.

Mayor Reed’s advocacy for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, an innovative way to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to buildings, has the potential to create 2,800 new jobs, generate $480 million in economic activity, and achieve tremendous reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

Lastly, and perhaps the most important achievement in Atlanta’s sustainability agenda, is the Power to Change initiative. Power to Change connects stakeholders across Atlanta, creating a framework to measure sustainability action around ten impact areas. In this way, Atlanta is uniquely leading its peer cities by leveraging achievements across stakeholder groups in pursuit of the Mayor’s goal to make Atlanta a top-tier city for sustainability.

“I am honored to receive this award from an institution that I have such tremendous respect for,” said Mayor Reed. “Dennis Creech and the team at Southface have shown unwavering support to this administration and to my Office of Sustainability. Thanks to our invaluable partnership with Southface, the City of Atlanta has made remarkable progress towards achieving our sustainability goals.”

Past Argon Award recipients include Ray Anderson, Ted Turner, Arthur Blank, TOTO USA, and The Coca Cola Company.

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About Southface Energy Institute
Southface is the Southeast’s nonprofit leader in the promotion of sustainable homes, workplaces and communities through education, research, advocacy and technical assistance. Learn more at www.southface.org.

About the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Sustainability
The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability is focused on embedding sustainability best practices into Atlanta city government and across the community. For more information about Atlanta’s efforts to create a more sustainable city, please visit the Office of Sustainability’s page at http://p2catl.com. Follow the Office of Sustainability onFacebook and Twitter @ATLSustainable.

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