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The City of Houston is a leader in sustainability and consistently strives to implement initiatives that reduce emissions, protect air quality and save money. Under Mayor Annise Parker's leadership, the City of Houston has led by example. Currently, Houston is fifth in the nation in the number of LEED certified buildings (163 total) and has eight LEED Platinum office buildings. The Houston area ranks seventh on EPA's list of cities with the most ENERGY STAR rated buildings (175 total). The City's goal is to become number one in the nation in ENERGY STAR and LEED certified buildings.
The City of Houston has a robust energy efficiency performance contracting program and has adopted a Green Building Resolution, which set a target of LEED Silver certification for new construction and major renovations of City of Houston-owned buildings. The City is taking a holistic approach to energy consumption by implementing demand response programs, retro-commissioning programs and behavioral change management programs. As of 2011, nearly 80 buildings have been retrofitted, representing over 5.2 million square feet.
The City of Houston launched the Houston Green Office Challenge (HGOC) in October of 2010, which invites commercial office owners/managers and tenants in Houston's business districts to increase their environmental and economic performance in the areas of energy conservation, waste reduction, water efficiency, cleaner transportation choices and property management/tenant engagement. The HGOC helps participants achieve energy, water and waste reduction goals and provides an exciting way for businesses to make Houston a greener place to live and work. Together, the Houston Green Office Challenge and the Better Buildings Challenge will help the City meet its energy reduction goals.