Top 25 Cities For Sustainable Workplaces

In recognition of 2017 World FM Day, Sodexo has ranked the top metropolitan areas for sustainable workplaces—Washington, DC, San Jose, San Francisco, Denver, and Seattle top the list.

Facilities managers play a critical role in conserving energy and water, maintaining air quality, and using sustainable products in overseeing the daily operations of an office building. In recognition of World FM Day 2017, Sodexo assessed the top metropolitan areas boasting office buildings that have accumulated the highest number of per-capita LEED-certified points.

LEED is a certification program led by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) that denotes how “green,” or compliant in terms of energy conservation, water usage, air quality, and building materials, a building is during its construction and lifespan. Sodexo assessed the USGBC database of LEED-certified office buildings to rank the top 25 metropolitan areas in the U.S. for green office buildings in relation to population:

sustainable workplaces

The top 25 metropolitan areas for green office buildings are:

  1. Washington, DC
  2. San Jose
  3. San Francisco
  4. Denver
  5. Seattle
  6. Sacramento
  7. Chicago
  8. Portland, OR
  9. Boston
  10. Charlotte
  11. Baltimore
  12. San Diego
  13. Houston
  14. Salt Lake City
  15. Atlanta
  16. Los Angeles
  17. Austin
  18. Raleigh-Durham
  19. Pittsburgh
  20. Milwaukee
  21. Nashville
  22. New York
  23. Minneapolis-St. Paul
  24. Dallas-Ft. Worth
  25. Philadelphia

“The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that there are over 5.6 million commercial office buildings in the United States,” said Rachel Sylvan, director, sustainability and corporate responsibility, Sodexo North America. “By raising awareness of which metropolitan areas place the greatest emphasis on sustainable workplaces, we hope to educate business and civic leaders on the opportunity to improve quality of life and reduce environmental impact with sustainable buildings.”

Washington, DC earned the first place ranking due to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that includes energy efficiency and sustainable design requirements for Federal and other government buildings. Other metropolitan areas have also placed an emphasis on green buildings. For example, San Francisco has a green building code that ensures all buildings are healthy, sustainable places to live, work, and learn.

In addition to helping to conserve natural resources, research also shows that sustainable buildings can impact employee performance and well-being. For example, indoor air quality and lighting improve work performance, health and productivity of office workers, according to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering. USGBC reports that air quality can make a big difference in how office workers feel and function at work and access to natural lighting can make employees happier. Additionally, employees’ cognitive performance was 61 percent higher when working in green buildings, according to a recent study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, SUNY Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University.

As part of Better Tomorrow 2025, the company’s North Star to sustainability, Sodexo is committed to fostering a culture of environmental responsibility within its workforce and workspaces. To that end, Sodexo leverages expertise and best practices to help employers create more sustainable workplaces. This includes design, engineering, vendor selection, project construction, and commissioning, as well as ensuring a smooth, seamless transition for a client’s business and staff.