The carbon footprint of the built environment is often understood in terms of construction, building energy use, and transportation. However, landscapes also contain enormous potential to sequester carbon and mitigate climate change.
Studies show that with concerted global action on land use over the next decade—what the United Nations is calling the decade for ecosystem restoration—nature can be a significant and necessary part of the climate solution, offering up to 37% of the mitigation needed.
The Sustainable SITES Initiative promotes sustainable and resilient landscape development and can be used for development projects located on sites with or without buildings to enhance their sustainability, implement green infrastructure strategies and improve resilience.
The SITES rating system now offers a new pilot credit, Assess and Improve Site Carbon Performance, to encourage and reward land development projects that assess and quantify carbon emissions and carbon sequestration capacity, and then make improvements to their impact on carbon. The credit provides multiple entry points for participation from conducting a carbon assessment to achieving performance improvements from a baseline.
As resilience and sustainability become more and more important for clients and communities, SITES certification distinguishes the efforts invested into thoughtful land design and development. See if SITES could be right for your next project.
Looking for more SITES-related news? Explore recent SITES posts you may have missed:
- Be Part of the SITES for Existing Landscapes Certification Pilot
Do you want to better understand how your completed project is performing and demonstrate its success? Do you have an existing park, campus, government facility, or other outdoor space that you would like to earn SITES certification for sustainable and resilient land development? Are you interested in informing and influencing the next SITES certification tool? If any of this sounds of interest, the Sustainable SITES Initiative wants to hear from you.
- The World’s First Project Certified as LEED, SITES, and Parksmart
In 2018, the City of Atlanta addressed the need for a new parking garage near Zoo Atlanta and the BeltLine, two of the city’s most iconic public spaces. Faced with a major renovation, Atlanta’s Parks and Recreation Department (DPR) used the opportunity to invest in a multifunctional, sustainable space, using certifications as a tool to direct their work for the greatest community benefit.
- Chicago’s Obama Presidential Center Pursues SITES & LEED
The Obama Presidential Center has announced its plans to achieve LEED v4 Platinum, SITES Silver, and International Living Future Institute (ILFI) Zero Energy certification.