Sustainable Innovation & Leadership
Chicago is one of the greenest cities in America, ideally positioned for sustainable businesses to locate and grow.
Chicago is a leader in green innovation, Metro Transit Ridership, City Commuting, Water Supply and Solid Waste Diversion. It is rated the “#1 Greenest City” according to Business Facilities Magazine
Chicago’s City Hall (above) was the first municipal building in the U.S. to feature a green roof. Today Chicago leads the nation in green roof development.
Strong Green Policies & Programs
Chicago, the “City in a Garden,” is known for its environmentally friendly policies and programs, which encourage green business practices. Examples include:
Chicago Brownfields Initiative has returned 364 acres (to date) of brownfields to productive use.
Greencorps provides training in environmental fields, developing a workforce to meet the needs of the emerging green economy.
The Green Permits Program expedites the permitting process for environmentally friendly building.
The Chicago Climate Action Plan creates mandates for energy efficient buildings, transportation, waste & industrial pollution, and clean and renewable energy sources, generating new markets for green jobs.
Chicago's “City Farm” (above) is a sustainable vegetable farm on a parcel of City-owned land bordering two very diverse Chicago neighborhoods: Cabrini-Green and the Gold Coast. Photo CC by Linda N. on Flickr.
Nurturing Green Business
Chicago is a leader in green industries including Wind, Biomass, Construction, Storage & Transfer, Water, and Transportation.* Our advantages include:
- More than 2,600 LEED credentialed employees & more LEED certified buildings than any other U.S. City
- Nearly 80,000 "clean economy jobs"**
- Chicago has over 23 clean and wind energy companies, including 16 headquarters
- Top-tier universities and business schools
CUTTING EDGE R&D
- 250+ R&D facilities in Chicago metropolitan area
- Argonne National Laboratory (U.S. Department of Energy’s flagship laboratory)
- Gas Technology Institute (top R&D and training organization serving energy markets)
- Two airports with direct access to more than 200 global business destinations
- #1 U.S. connection point for air, rail, highway, telecommunications and Internet
- 2nd largest public transportation system in U.S.
- 5th among the Economist's Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities in America
Valuable programs including the Green Permit Program, Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) assist green businesses with:
- Building development
- Land acquisition & site preparation
- Workforce training
*Green Tech Study by Bain
**Brookings (July 2011)
THE Place for Green Companies
Recent Chicago Successes:
Veolia Environment NA Headquarters – world’s largest environmental services company
Nordex Headquarters – one of the world’s largest manufacturers of wind turbines
Solar Service – makes solar/thermal systems for hot water and space heating in homes
Stinnette & Brown – a minority-owned enterprise that “greens” urban communities
Earth Wind and Solar Energy – uses renewable energy to customize client systems
A. Finkl & Sons – a 130-year-old steel producer and open‐die forge transitioned from brick chipping hammers to new production capacity for power transmission and wind energy.
Allied Tube & Conduit – supports custom-built steel mounting structures for commercial and industrial scale photovoltaic array fields.
Indie Energy – develops geothermal‐based, renewable energy systems
SoCore Energy – finances and installs portable rooftop photovoltaic facilities
AEP Energy Services – formerly BlueStar, an alternative energy services company, rated one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing companies, 2010; now AEP subsidiary
Goldwind USA – US headquarters for the world’s third largest wind power provider
Smith Electric Vehicles – Chicago manufacturing plant announced, 2012
Joint Center for Energy Storage Research – Argonne National Laboratory, announced 2012
Green Web Hosting
World Business Chicago's website is hosted with a carbon neutral Web hosting company.