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Chicago ranked the greenest place to work in the US

Chicago

CHICAGO is the greenest place to work in the US, but other cities are trying to catch up fast. The Windy City topped a ranking of green office space certified for environmental efficiency for the third year running.

The city's percentage of certified green office space rose to 71.1 per cent, up from almost 70 per cent last year and 66 per cent two years ago, according to an annual ranking by CBRE Group and Maastricht University.

Chicago, which has topped the list since CBRE started publishing it in 2017, has a goal of having 100 per cent renewable energy in all city-run properties by 2025, and its own clean energy rating system for buildings.

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About 42.2 per cent of all office space in the 30 biggest US markets is now certified green, according to CBRE.

"The next frontier is going to be taking these older buildings and finding ways to make them green and sustainable," said Spencer Levy, chairman of Americas Research for CBRE, noting the ranking likely benefits cities where there are more new office buildings.

"Chicago has some of the oldest office property in the US and you are starting to see more complete retrofits," he said. "These green incentives draw tenants."

The ranking selects buildings that are Energy Star certified by the US Environmental Protection Agency or have a LEED rating from the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.

Chicago outranked San Francisco, Atlanta, Minneapolis/St Paul and Los Angeles, which also all saw their percentage of green buildings increase.

About 67.5 per cent of San Francisco's buildings were green certified this year. The only other markets to have a majority of buildings with the certifications included Atlanta, Minneapolis/St Paul, Los Angeles and Houston, according to CBRE.

Manhattan and Washington DC had more square footage certified green than Chicago, but only 49.3 per cent and 46.7 per cent of total square footage certified, respectively.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said earlier this week the state gave US$18 million to 28 green building design projects to reduce the effect of buildings on the environment.

The state wants to increase its carbon-neutral building stock to reach a goal of 85 per cent emissions reduction by 2050.

Mayors of cities around the world have also focused on pushing new buildings to have net-zero emissions and ultra energy efficiency.

Buildings in urban areas account for at least half of greenhouse gas emissions in most cities, according to C40 Cities. BLOOMBERG