January 30, 2013. Governor Quinn today announced that Illinois has become a national leader in "green building," according to a study released by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), which ranked the state fourth out of 50 states in new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications. The group cited the governor's commitment to making Illinois a healthier place to live, play, work and grow.
"Since the day I took office I have been committed to making sure Illinois is the most environmentally-friendly state in the country," Governor Quinn said. "I'm proud to have the U.S. Green Building Council recognize the success of our efforts to make sure sustainable practices are implemented in homes, schools and businesses throughout Illinois."
"Illinois has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to USGBC's vision of a sustainable-built environment within a generation," Jason Hartke, USGBC vice-president of Advocacy and Policy said. "I applaud the extraordinary leadership of those in Illinois -- designers, architects, chapter advocates, public officials, everyday citizens -- who are working to create the healthiest possible environment for people to work, live and play in."
The annual study ranks states based on the amount of LEED-certified space per capita. With 140 million square feet of LEED-certified space, Illinois certified 1.94 square feet per resident - behind only the states of Virginia, Colorado and Massachusetts.
Illinois certified 156 LEED projects in 2012, including the Chicago Center for Green Technology, Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva, Booker T. Washington Elementary School in Champaign, G&W Electric Company in Bolingbrook and Rush University Medical Center. The USGBC also lauded the KONE Centre in Moline, the first Illinois project to earn Platinum rating.
"We are so proud of our state's achievements in green building," Katie Kaluzny, interim executive director, USGBC Illinois Chapter said. "We look forward to continued partnerships with state and local leaders to advance sustainable building and communities across Illinois."
Throughout his career in public service, Governor Quinn has been an advocate for green building in Illinois. In 2009, Quinn fought for and signed Illinois' first capital construction plan in more than decade. The Illinois Jobs Now! plan requires all new state-funded building construction projects to seek a minimum LEED Silver certification, and all major renovations of existing state-owned facilities to seek LEED certification.
The Illinois Capital Development Board currently has nearly 50 projects slated to meet LEED certification, including projects at the University of Illinois and College of Lake County in Grayslake which are expected to earn the highest rating ("Platinum").
Governor Quinn has also signed numerous Executive Orders and statutes into law to ensure greater energy efficiency, use of renewable energy, and protection of Illinois' land, air and water resources. For more information about Governor Quinn's sustainability initiatives, please visit Green.Illinois.gov.