WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) and Siemens Corporation announced today that Chicago, Illinois; Santa Monica, California; and Purcellville, Virginia were chosen from among 132 communities across 40 states to become this year's Siemens Sustainable Community Award winners. The three communities honored today were applauded for their focus on a multi-disciplinary approach to sustainability which has positively impacted local businesses and enhanced the quality of life among its citizens.
"The awards show just how much the concept of sustainability has evolved for U.S. municipalities," said U.S. Chamber BCLC Founder and Executive Director Stephen Jordan. "Chicago, Santa Monica, and Purcellville show that getting sustainability right improves quality of life, the efficient use of resources, competitiveness, and attractiveness for residents and visitors."
Last night, David Chavern, U.S. Chamber executive vice president and chief operating officer, and Alison Taylor, Siemens vice president of sustainability - Americas, announced the 2012 winners during a reception in Atlanta, Georgia, itself a past Community Award finalist.
In the category of large community,Chicago won the award for its multi-stakeholder approach to implementing the Chicago Climate Action Plan. Area businesses, advocacy groups, philanthropists, utilities, government offices, museums, and restaurants all play a part in achieving results against the plan, which is an element of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's broad strategy to integrate sustainability throughout Chicago and its government.
In the midsize community category,Santa Monica won the award for setting strategic citywide goals that are reinforced across multiple planning areas, such as resource conservation, economic growth, open space and land use, housing, transportation, civic participation, and human services.
In the small community category,Purcellville, won the award for its proactive use of land and natural resources. Additionally, Purcellville's "Go Green" goals are now part of the town's comprehensive sustainability plan. Despite the national recession, Purcellville thrives economically and has received recognition from Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine for its sustainability efforts.
A judging panel of five academic, community development, and media professionals selected the finalists and winners. Other finalists in the large, midsize, and small categories included: Boston, Massachusetts; Jersey City, New Jersey; Las Vegas, Nevada; Middleton, Wisconsin; River Falls, Wisconsin; and Riverside, California.
"What these communities have done so well, is use sustainability as a lever to overall community success, instead of as a stand-alone program to pursue specific environmental outcomes," said Siemens' Alison Taylor. "This holistic approach is a truer indicator of a community's sustainability."
The U.S. Chamber BCLC and Siemens created the Sustainable Community Awards in 2008 to give rise to U.S. communities that are taking proactive steps to improve quality of life, be a steward of the environment, and increase the ability to sustain a successful community for generations to come. As part of the award, Chicago, Santa Monica, and Purcellville will receive $20,000 worth of trees from the Alliance for Community Trees.
Full information about the awards program, including reactions from each of the winning communities and members of the judging panel, is available on the Siemens Sustainable Community Awards website.
About Siemens Corporation
Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse in electronics and electrical engineering, operating in the industry, energy, healthcare, infrastructure and cities sectors. For more than 160 years, Siemens has built a reputation for leading-edge innovation and the quality of its products, services and solutions. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of around $20 billion and employs approximately 60,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico. For more information on Siemens in the United States, visit www.usa.siemens.com.
About the U.S. Chamber BCLC
BCLC is the U.S. Chamber's resource and voice for businesses' social and philanthropic interests. Its mission is to advance the positive role of business in society. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations