More than 2 million people reside in Southern Nevada and 41 million people from around the world traveled to Las Vegas in 2015. Las Vegas is world-renowned as an entertainment and tourist destination, with more than $9 billion spent on gaming; however, its recent accomplishments have made it globally renowned for sustainability.
The City’s efforts have been a result of foundational policy and continuous progress since 2006 with the US Conference of Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement and Sustainable Energy Strategy. These efforts resulted in the completion of six megawatts of solar, six LEED certified buildings standards, 40 acres of water conserving landscaping, more than 400 miles of bike lanes, and citywide deployment of recycling. These efforts reduced total energy costs from peak of $15.0 million in 2008 to $9.9 million in 2015, reduced annual water consumption by 256 million gallons from 2008 level, decreased emissions to mid-1990’s levels and increased the recycling rate at City facilities to 55%. The City was the 2014 recipient of the US Conference of Mayor’s Climate Protection Award for its achievements in sustainability, in addition to more than forty other awards for its sustainability efforts over the past two decades.
2015 closed as another successful year for the City of Las Vegas, capping off these achievements with two important announcements:In November, the City announced that beginning in 2017, the City, through a Renewable Energy Agreement with the state’s investor-owned utility NV Energy, will receive energy produced by a solar facility under development near Boulder City, coupled with power from NV Energy that already satisfies Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard allowing 100 percent of the City’s retail load to be served by renewable energy. In December, the City was formally rated 4 STARs Communities. The city’s approved final score is 470.4, qualifying it as a Certified 4-STAR Community, making it the 43rd community nationwide to receive recognition alongside Austin, TX; Washington, DC; Tacoma, WA; Portland, OR; Raleigh, NC; and Burlington, VT.