Middleton becomes first Wisconsin city to earn LEED Gold certification for sustainability efforts

The City of Middleton is the first in Wisconsin to be awarded a LEED Gold certification.

Middleton, Wis. – The City of Middleton is the first in Wisconsin to be awarded a LEED Gold certification. City, county, and state leaders celebrated the honor during a plaque dedication on Thursday, Oct. 6, at Stone Horse Green in downtown Middleton.

A group of people posing for a picture.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was started by the U.S. Green Building Council and is used as a rating system to set standards for cities and community’s sustainable building practices. The Good Neighbor City joined a global network of more than 150 LEED-certified cities and communities, but Middleton is the first municipality in Wisconsin to be identified.

“Climate change is a real and growing threat to our communities, and we need to take action to preserve our way of life, economy, and wellbeing,” said Senator Baldwin.“I am thrilled to see Middleton’s leadership in building a more sustainable and resilient future for generations to come.”

LEED for Cities and Communities helps local leaders measure and manage progress in community conditions for a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable future.

“Middleton’s achievement—being the first Wisconsin municipality to achieve LEED Certification and earning LEED Gold—is outstanding. I’m proud of my hometown’s commitment to lead by example, and I am confident other Dane County communities will learn from Middleton’s experience and move us even closer to our county-wide sustainability goals,” said Senator Baldwin

Through the certification program, cities and communities create and operationalize responsible, sustainable, and specific plans for natural systems, energy, water, waste, transportation, and many other factors contributing to quality of life.

“With the growing threat of climate change we are all facing, it is important for everyone to find solutions to this crisis. I’m excited to see Middleton being a leader in this effort,” said Wisconsin Representative Alex Joers.

Middleton achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at improving sustainability and the standard of living for residents. LEED is designed to help buildings, communities, and cities achieve high performance in critical social, economic, and environmental sustainability areas.

“We are at the forefront in our fight against climate change,” said Mayor Emily Kuhn. “This framework helps us accelerate our progress on sustainability and resilience – leading the way to a better quality of life for our community.”

LEED certification helps demonstrate a city’s commitment to sustainability, human health, and economic prosperity. It helps benchmark a city’s current performance and enables Middleton to measure and track outcomes, which are evaluated against key metrics that include energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety, prosperity and equitability.

“Congratulations to the City of Middleton on this achievement. I appreciate that Middleton is leading in this work that the state and federal governments are failing at,” said Representative Mike Bare.

Most notably, Middleton demonstrated excellence in green space allocation for residents, community-wide renewable energy innovation and a focus on multi-jurisdictional collaboration with the county and other cities on climate mitigation and resiliency projects.

“Middleton proves time and again that we can grow our community and economy both substantially and sustainably,” said State Senator and proud Middleton resident Dianne Hesselbein. “Our city continues to be a regional, state, and national leader and I’m proud to see our leadership recognized for their outstanding stewardship.”

The certification data also highlighted areas where Middleton could improve, including reducing water consumption, greater geographical access and connectivity to civic resources and improving distributional equity disparities in education, income and home ownership.

The City of Middleton joins a global network of more than 154 certified cities and communities.


About the U.S. Green Building Council

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a healthy, resilient, and equitable future for all through the development of green buildings, cities, and communities. For more than 20 years, USGBC has been advancing green building practices through the development of LEED, the world’s most widely used green building program. With the support of thousands of members, volunteers, and partners, USGBC provides robust green building education courses, a rigorous professional credentialing program, and advocates for effective public policies. It convenes an international network of green building and sustainability leaders through the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, and forward-thinking programs, including the Center for Green Schools. For more information, visit usgbc.org and connect on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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Modified October 6, 2023