Continuing its longstanding history as a sustainability leader, the City of Issaquah is now the first city in Washington state to achieve LEED Gold certification – and one of only five LEED-certified communities statewide.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the world’s most widely used green building rating system, created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
In 2016, LEED expanded its certification program by creating a LEED for Cities and Communities Program, which tracks a community’s progress toward sustainability, net-zero and equity objectives. Issaquah pursued this certification, and scored 73 points out of 110, achieving LEED Gold.
“Issaquah is incredibly proud to be LEED Gold certified,” said Mayor Mary Lou Pauly. “This moment recognizes decades of work to advance our sustainability initiatives communitywide. Moving forward, this certification also sets a clear roadmap for us to continue this important work well into the future.”
LEED enables Issaquah to measure city performance against key metrics within the categories of Integrative Process, Ecology and Natural Systems, Transportation and Land Use, Water, Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Materials and Resources, Quality of Life, Innovation and Regional Priority.
The City received the maximum number of points possible in the Natural Systems and Ecology category, reflecting robust community access to green spaces and significant climate change resilience planning. The City also scored well in the Quality of Life category, citing opportunities for community engagement and promoting respect for civil rights, in addition to improvements on key metrics such as graduation rates.
“Cities that achieve LEED certification are lowering carbon emissions, creating a healthier environment and striving to improve the quality of life for their residents,” said Peter Templeton, USGBC president and CEO. “In achieving LEED Gold certification, Issaquah is setting a standard for what it means to be a high performing city and their efforts and achievements should be an example for all.”
Issaquah joins a global network of 150+ certified cities and communities.
Sustainability at the City of Issaquah
The City of Issaquah invests in sustainability plans and programs to maintain and enhance a thriving community and environment for future generations. In 2021, the Issaquah Climate Action Plan (ICAP) was adopted by the City Council. The plan provides a roadmap to steward and enhance our natural environment while mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts.
Questions related to the LEED GOLD certification or sustainability projects at the City of Issaquah can be emailed to Stacy Vynne McKinstry, Sustainability Manager.