The city of Atlanta’s Office of Resilience is working with all city departments to balance Atlanta’s economic growth with environmental protection while being mindful of social justice. CONTRIBUTED

Atlanta recognizes businesses committed to energy, water conservation

The Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Resilience and its partners honored top commercial businesses committed to energy and water conservation during the 2016-2017 Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge annual recognition event on July 12. The Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, led by the Office of Resilience in partnership with Livable Buckhead, Central Atlanta Progress, Southface and Midtown Alliance, works to reduce energy and water consumption by at least 20 percent in participating buildings across Atlanta by 2020.

To date, Atlanta is leading the nation with more than 114 million square feet of commercial space committed to energy and water efficiency, officials said. Approximately 39 percent of buildings committed to the challenge have already met the 20 percent water reduction goal, and across the entire challenge portfolio, Atlanta has already reduced energy consumption by 17 percent, three years ahead of the deadline, according to the city.

In addition, the challenge has created more than 273 jobs.

Buildings recognized as top performers produced the highest levels of energy and water savings in 2016. MVP awards were given to organizations in the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge who were not only top performers but also champion advocates for the Challenge.

The MVP award recipients include:

College/University: Emory University

Office Building: Georgia-Pacific Center

Entertainment Venue: Atlanta History Center

Distribution Center/Warehouse: Atlanta Community Tool Bank

K-12 Schools: Fulton County Schools

Public Service: Hemphill Water Treatment Plant

Healthcare: T3 Labs

Multi-family: AMLI Residential

Individual Champion: Michael Lopez, Cousins Properties

Atlanta was among one of the first cities selected by President Barack Obama in 2011 to participate in this U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge program. The sustainability program has since expanded throughout the country.

The Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge’s sponsors include the Kendeda Fund, Turner Foundation, McKenney’s, TOTO USA, Brogdon Group, Recycling Management Resources, Mingledorff’s, Affairs to Remember, Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta History Center, Consensus Energy, EcoZohm, LLC and Georgia Recycling Coalition.

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