Ahead of its 2020 deadline, Atlanta reached its goal of reducing water and energy consumption under its Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, the city announced.
The challenge is part of the Department of Energy’s nationwide initiative to reduce energy and water consumption.
“Energy is at the core of economic activity in Atlanta, and when done thoughtfully, a transition to clean energy yields large payoffs for communities,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement.
Atlanta was one of the first cities to enroll in the program in 2011. Since then, the city has saved 1.3 billion gallons of water, created 654 jobs and added $51.63 million to the regional economy, according to a news release. The city has also saved enough energy to power 150,000 homes for a year.
More than 450 privately and publicly owned buildings in Atlanta, including offices, schools, universities and hotels, were a part of the challenge, saving the city more than $380 million and reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 544,276 cars from the road, according to the news release.
The city’s announcement comes months after it approved a robust Clean Energy Plan that ensures all city facilities will operate on clean energy by 2035.
Under the plan, all Atlanta government facilities, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, will be powered by solar or other forms of clean energy.
The plan is expected to create more than 7,700 jobs and reduce household electricity bills.