Howard County is the First County in the Nation to Achieve LEED Platinum for LEED for Cities and Communities

September 2022

On August 31, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced that Howard County received LEED Platinum for the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED for Cities and Communities Program. Platinum is the highest designation for this certification category.

“This recognition is an acknowledgement of efforts we have undertaken to become the most sustainable community in the nation, such as dedicating ourselves to solar power, transit and electric vehicles, and building infrastructure to make walking and bike-riding easier,” Ball said.

Howard County is the first county in the U.S. to receive platinum under the USGBC rating system and was awarded the second highest number of points of any jurisdiction in the nation: a total of 82 out of 110.

Out of nine categories, Howard County received the most points possible in Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Performance, Innovation and Water Performance, as well as every credit available in “Quality of Life.”

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin joined County Executive Calvin Ball for the announcement and expressed his confidence in Howard County’s ability to leverage components of the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act such as credits for electric vehicles and funding for green jobs and environmental justice.

“Howard County’s dedication to environmental progress is remarkable, and I have fought hard to deliver several major pieces of recently passed legislation at the national level so that counties across Maryland can continue to make similarly significant strides toward their sustainability goals,” said Cardin, chair of the Subcommittee of Transportation and Infrastructure.

LEED for Cities and Communities continues to be a great way for local leaders to develop responsible, sustainable and specific plans for water, waste, transportation, and energy. As the world’s most widely used building rating system, LEED allows jurisdictions to measure progress in important criteria, remain accountable and continue to communicate progress.

The LEED certification process required rigorous review of 40 different areas of programs, policies and investments within Howard County and involved all the County departments coming together to achieve this impressive designation as the greenest county in the country.

“Howard County is setting a standard for what it means to be a high performer and their efforts and achievements should be an example for all.” said Peter Templeton, interim president and CEO, USGBC.