Achievements and Recognition
- Louisville was awarded the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Cities Silver certification in December 2021 for its work to increase sustainability and climate resilience.
- For the second consecutive year, Louisville was named to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)’s A List, among less than 100 other cities for its actions to develop robust climate change strategies, track and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, assess and mitigate climate risks, and transparently report this information.
- Louisville was selected to participate in the 100 Resilience Cities Network, an international program pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation to help cities prepare residents for changes in climate. Louisville is developing a plan to alleviate inequities and prevent future burdens from being placed unevenly on already suffering populations.
National Awards and Ratings
Louisville Metro Office of Sustainability has received several grant awards to advance its sustainability initiatives, including the:
- U.S. Department of Energy’s 2022 Communities LEAP pilot program, for which Louisville was among 22 communities across the nation selected to receive federal technical assistance to develop equity focused clean energy programs.
- National League of Cities' 2020 Leadership in Community Resilience Program.
- Urban Sustainability Director's Network's 2015 Partners for Places Grant.
- Louisville was awarded a gold designation by SolSmart, a program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative, for its commitment to adopting practices that make it faster and easier to use solar energy. This is the highest designation given by SolSmart, distinguishing Louisville as a national leader in advancing solar energy.
- Louisville earned a 4-STAR Community Rating (out of five) through the STAR Community Rating System, a standardized framework for evaluating the sustainability of cities. Louisville was the 13th community in the nation to be recognized with a 4-STAR rating out of over 100 communities actively using the STAR Community Rating System.
- Louisville achieved a Silver Rating as a Bicycle Friendly Community through the League of American Bicyclists.
- Louisville received two 2015 U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards – one for the Green Living Neighborhood Certification Program (developed through a partnership between Office of Sustainability and Brightside) and one for the Sheppard Square Hope VI Revitalization Project.
- Louisville was the first city in Kentucky to commit to 100% renewable energy, establishing a goal of powering the city’s municipal operations with 100% clean energy by 2035 and community-wide by 2040. Learn more about Louisville’s clean energy goals and progress towards them at www.100PercentLou.com.
- Five Louisville Metro Government buildings have been certified through LEED, and two buildings have received ENERGY STAR Certification.
- Fairdale Library (LEED Silver)
- Newburg Library (LEED Silver)
- Southwest Regional Library (LEED Silver)
- South Central Regional Library (LEED Gold)
- Northeast Regional Library (seeking LEED Gold certification)
- Metro Development Center, 444 S 5th Street (ENERGY STAR Certified)
- Old Jail, 514 W Liberty Street (ENERGY STAR Certified)
- Seven buildings make use of solar energy.
- In response to a study published by Georgia Tech’s Urban Climate Lab showing that Louisville has the most rapidly growing urban heat in the country, Louisville published the most comprehensive Urban Heat Management Study to-date. The document reports the results of an analysis of heat in ½ kilometer grid cells across the country.
- Louisville Metro Government offers the most robust Cool Roof Incentive Program in the nation at $1 per square foot of cool roof for both commercial and residential structures. The incentives are available city-wide, but are targeted in high-heat areas. Since its launch in 2017, the program has incentivized the installation of nearly 1 million square feet of cool roofing materials.
- Although Kentucky heavily relies on coal as a fuel source, the local utility is taking steps to diversify. In 2015, LG&E decommissioned its coal-fired Cane Run Power Plant and unveiled a new 640-megawatt natural gas combined-cycle generating unit, replacing 13 percent of the utility’s energy production from coal-fired units.
- The Transit Authority of River City (TARC) operates 15 electric buses, one of the largest fleets in the country. The fleet also contains 11 hybrid-electric buses and 28 clean-diesel buses. All TARC buses are bike rack equipped.
- Bicycling as a form of transportation and recreation is becoming more and more accessible. The Louisville Loop, a 100-mile bike and pedestrian path is under construction. When complete, the Louisville Loop will encircle the city and connect the city’s Olmsted Parks. Over 100 miles of bikes lanes and shared lane markings are present throughout the city, and more are planned. The city’s relatively flat landscape makes bicycle commuting easy and fun. LouVelo, the city's bike share program, offers bikes in the downtown area to visitors and locals alike.
- The Wet-Dry Recycling and Composting Program operates in Louisville’s Central Business District. The program, developed out of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Delivery Team, improved landfill diversion rates from 11% to 76% during the first nine months of the program. The highest diversion rate achieved with the program is 91%. These results are unachievable in most communities. The program is also in place at the Louisville Zoo, Waterfront Park and the Metro Youth Detention Center. More expansion sites are in the works.
Memberships and Affiliations
- In 2022, Louisville Joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Climate Challenge and made the commitment to reduce 50% of GHG emissions by 2030 from the 2016 baseline as part of the Better Building’s Challenge under this initiative.
- In 2021, Louisville joined the Cities Race to Zero effort, a collection of cities around the world committed to setting science-based targets and implementing inclusive and resilient climate action ahead of and beyond the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November 2021.
- Mayor Greg Fischer is also a member of Climate Mayors, a bipartisan network of over 470 U.S. mayors demonstrating climate leadership through meaningful actions in their communities.
- In 2016, Mayor Fischer signed the Compact of Mayors, now known as the Global Covenant of Mayors. The signature reaffirmed Louisville’s commitment to reducing citywide contributions to climate change while preparing for the impacts of rising global temperatures and changing weather patterns. Mayor Fischer also signed the We're Still In letter, committing Louisville to pursue the requirements outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement, regardless of national leadership decisions.