Home News Houston (TX) and Evanston (IL) Win First Place Honors For Local Climate Protection Efforts

Houston (TX) and Evanston (IL) Win First Place Honors For Local Climate Protection Efforts

 Award Winners Announced at U.S. Conference of Mayors
Annual Meeting in Baltimore: Friday, June 17 to Monday, June 21

Baltimore, MD – Houston, TX Mayor Annise Parker and Evanston, IL Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl have been selected as the nation’s top winners in the 2011 Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards, an initiative sponsored by The U.S. Conference of Mayors and Walmart.

The annual awards program in its fifth year recognizes mayors for innovative practices in their cities that increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. An independent panel of judges selected the winners from a pool of 130 applicants.

“Traveling throughout nation and the world, it is the innovation and commitment of U.S. mayors, like the winners being announced today, who are leading the nation toward greater energy independence and lower carbon emissions,” said Conference President Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth B. Kautz. “Each mayor is acting locally, just as in my City of Burnsville where our sustainability plan guides us towards ever greater efficiency in our buildings and operations and in developing solar and other new renewable energy supplies.”

“Parker’s efforts to improve the efficiency of the city’s building stock, both city-owned and privately-owned, is a very broad and bold undertaking, one that will substantially reduce energy use and associated carbon emissions. Under Tisdahl’s leadership, the city has embraced an ambitious plan to reduce carbon emissions in city operations by 13 percent by 2013. Both mayors are showing that both leadership and results matter,” Kautz said.

“We are proud to honor these cities and their mayors, who remind all of us how their leadership is making a real difference in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the quality of life in their communities,” said Maggie Sans, Walmart’s Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations. “At the end of the day, these local efforts reduce our energy dependence and save money, results that strengthen the U.S. economy.”

“Houston is a leader on energy efficiency, and we are proud to receive this national recognition for our work on green buildings,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. “Improving buildings to reduce their energy use and carbon emissions is good practice and good economics.”

"It is an honor to be recognized for our Evanston Climate Action Plan, where our community leaders and the public identified more than 200 strategies to guide the city as we move forward in reducing our carbon emissions," said Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl.

First Place Award Program Summaries:

  • Houston (TX) Mayor Annise Parker for its Green Building Initiatives (Large City Category – population over 100,000)

The city has set forth a multi-year agenda to retrofit all 262 city-owned buildings, including fire stations, police stations, libraries and even performance halls, and has launched its Houston Green Office Challenge (HGOC), including its Energy Efficiency Incentive Program (EEIP), that challenges private commercial building owners/mangers and tenants to reduce energy use, among other objectives. For city-owned buildings, these improvements are expected to reduce energy use by 30 percent in more than five million square feet of office space. More than 330 private sector partners have already taken up the Green Office Challenge, with the city reimbursing building owners for 20 percent of materials and labor for qualifying improvements.

  • Evanston (IL) Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl for the Evanston Climate Action Plan (Small City Category – population under 100,000)

Beginning with the City Council’s unanimous affirmation of the mayor’s action to join as a signatory to the Conference’s Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, the city went to work on developing its Evanston Climate Action Plan (ECAP). Drawing upon the input of more 130 community members and more than 200 identified strategies to reduce greenhouse gases throughout the city, the mayor and city departments have used the ECAP to achieve its goal of reducing the city’s emissions by 13 percent by 2013. Its 2010 greenhouse gas emissions inventory shows a 22 percent reduction in municipal emissions below the 2005 baseline (reduction of an estimated 24,560 Metric Tons of CO2e).

Honorable Mentions were awarded to mayors in five large cities and five small cities:

Large City Honorable Mentions: Mayor Ashley Swearengin, Fresno (CA); Mayor John DeStefano, Jr., New Haven (CT); Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando (FL); Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Philadelphia (PA); and Mayor Jorge Santini, San Juan, (PR).

Small City Honorable Mentions: Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, Chapel Hill (NC); Mayor Roy D. Buol, Dubuque (IA); Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens, Eden Prairie (MN); Mayor Scott W. Lang, New Bedford (MA); and Mayor James M. Baker, Wilmington (DE).
More information can be found online at: http://usmayors.org/79thAnnualMeeting/documents/BestPractices2011ClimateAwardWinners.pdf


The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,210 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Find us at usmayors.org, on facebook.com/usmayors, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/usmayors.