80th Annual Meeting


WHEREAS, America’s cities are the “windows” to our nation, mayors are concerned about the competitive future of their communities, and the quality of life of their citizens, the U.S. Conference of Mayors has been on the cutting edge of recognizing the debilitating effects of global warming, climate change, and the inextricable tie to jobs, and the preservation of scare natural resources in communities across the globe; and

WHEREAS, buildings in the United States are responsible for 35% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% of water consumption, and 15% of GDP per year, enhancing sustainability in all sectors of the commercial building is a business imperative to not only conserving scarce resources but also creating an estimated 2.5 million jobs; and

WHEREAS, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, retailers spend nearly $20 billion annually on energy. A 10% reduction in energy costs has an equivalent effect on operating income as a 1.26% increase in sales for the average retailer. Greening retail in communities not only saves energy and improves operating efficiencies for business owners; but enhanced sustainability practices reduces solid waste, conserves water, and improves air quality.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, The U.S. Conference of Mayors will encourage its members to work with local businesses to understand the important role retailers play in supporting sustainability goals of communities, and to encourage the retail community to transform store design and construction standards to support multiple pillars of sustainability.  These pillars might include:

  • Reducing energy consumption in retail stores

  • Purchasing renewable energy whenever possible

  • Reducing water consumption by a minimum of 10% in retail stores by 2015

  • When possible, build new green stores and upgrade existing buildings to new energy efficient standards

  • Develop a comprehensive recycling solutions for waste to include packaging, and consumer consumables

  • Implement customer-facing and recycling programs in stores

  • Encourage reusable packaging and carryout materials

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, The U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages mayors to make available a compendium of best practices to make retail greener and more community-friendly through city-based websites and in conjunction with local environmental agencies, best practices might include:

  • Retrofitting existing lighting to utilize only high-efficiency lighting, such as CFLs and LED technology

  • Optimizing HVAC equipment through engineering commissioning and/or installation of Energy Management Systems (EMS) to monitor HVAC performance, these practices pay for themselves quickly through energy savings

  • Formalizing operations standards to inform employees exactly when equipment should be turned on and turned off during the day and at closing;

  • Installing (often off the shelf) water conservation equipment to reduce water usage, In the longer term, purchasing equipment with Energy Star ratings and proven water-saving technologies

  • Using locally sourced and reclaimed materials during renovations and remodels, not only does this reduce environmental impact, it supports the health of local businesses;

  • Negotiating lease language with landlords to ensure recycling infrastructure and service is included in occupancy costs, where energy, water and trash are managed by the landlord

  • Negotiating lease language to reward sustainable behavior by the retail location instead of paying set fees for water, energy and trash, request sub-metering of energy and water use and have occupancy costs reflect actual usage and actual diversion of waste from trash to recycling;

  • Participating directly with local policymakers in the development of local ordinances and regulation impacting retail, and supporting proactive environmental policies in communities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors value insights from the local business community in finding common solutions to shared sustainability goals around landfill diversion and energy efficiency.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, The United States Conference of Mayors believe partnerships formed between local governments, trade associations, environmental organizations, businesses, and local citizens are an efficient method to propagate effective policies that help create sustainable green retail solutions for communities.