County earns honors as ‘Most Outstanding Green Government’

By Maggie Fernandez….
Miami-Dade County received the “Most Outstanding Green Government” award on Aug. 28 at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) South Florida Chapter’s GalaVerde: The 2010 LEEDership and Green Awards Program.
At GalaVerde, USGBC South Florida Chapter recognized and honored outstanding projects, inspirational businesses, dedicated individuals, and instrumental chapter members who are LEEDing the way to a more sustainable environment in the South Florida community. In addition, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Natacha Seijas was recognized as a 2010 LEED for Outstanding Green Elected Official final nominee.
“In Miami-Dade, global warming and climate change are local issues to us — as local as public safety, affordable housing and public transit,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez.
“Through our Office of Sustainability, and together with dedicated public servants, elected officials and the private sector, we are taking action to make a difference and ensuring we are doing what is necessary for a sustainable future,” he added.
“Collaboration among local public officials, architects, contractors, manufacturers and lenders is yielding promising results for our region,” Commissioner Seijas said. “Miami-Dade County should be especially proud to receive an award from the South Florida Chapter of the USGBC. To be recognized ‘at home’ for good works is an exceptional tribute.”
Miami-Dade County was recognized for its long history of implementing sustainable initiatives, including:
• Demonstrating a commitment to integrating sustainability initiatives and/or community outreach programs through the development of its sustainability plan, “GreenPrint;” its membership in the Chicago Climate Exchange; the adoption and implementation of the Green Building Ordinance which created the Office of Sustainability, and the successful implementation of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program and other natural resources conservation programs.
• Demonstrating a commitment to creating and supporting sustainable operations by incorporating sustainability efforts into 2009-10 departmental business plans linked to performance scorecards and senior management appraisals; launching the Employee Green Pledge and Power It Down Initiative in order to educate the workforce and change behaviors patterns to save energy, fuel and water, and incorporating a sustainability module in the county’s supervisory and construction management training.
• Demonstrating advocacy of a sustainable lifestyle by creating sustainability/ green branding for Miami-Dade County to better communicate its green and sustainable messaging; re-designing <green.miamidade.gov> in order to educate its visitors on sustainability; the launch of the CFL Light Bulb Exchange program alongside the already popular and successful showerhead exchange, and the launch of the residential and business energy savings challenges and the home energy savings workshops.
• Demonstrating alignment with the USGBC South Florida Chapter mission to promote sustainable development and green building through the establishment of the Green Buildings Ordinance and having 15 green buildings projects in planning, design or under construction; having 71 LEED-APs and two certified energy managers in the county workforce, and by providing additional county staff with LEED-AP training for new construction.
For additional information on Miami-Dade’s green efforts, visit online at http://green.miamidade.gov.


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