Over 125 Business Leaders Call on Mayor Lightfoot to Act on Building Decarbonization

Over 125 business leaders call on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to act on electrifying and decarbonizing Chicago’s buildings, in a letter to be delivered to the Mayor this afternoon by Illinois Green Alliance and E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs). E2 also released a new report, “Building Opportunity: Chicago,” revealing that Chicago is already home to more than 12,000 workers employed in making Chicago’s building sector cleaner and more efficient. 


The letter - signed by Illinois Green Alliance members in the building industry and other business leaders from all parts of the city’s economy including architects, real estate developers, financial advisors, sustainability experts, renewable energy developers, energy efficiency contractors, and other business professionals–called for leadership from the Mayor’s office and policies that tap into the job-creating and cost-saving benefits of reducing building emissions.

“At a company like mine that does electrical work, the transition to all-electric buildings is an opportunity for growth and job creation. From my vantage point, there is huge potential to electrify churches, schools, and hospitals that are still running on gas and water-cooled compressors. Companies like mine are ready to hire more electricians like me to do the work.”

Erik Eticitty
Apprentice Electrician at Verde Energy Efficiency Experts

Chicago can unlock thousands more of these jobs if local policymakers take the right steps. In October 2022, the Mayor’s office released recommendations from the Chicago Building Decarbonization Working Group, outlining ways to equitably reduce building emissions in the city while boosting Chicago’s local economy creating more clean energy jobs. Last week the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition called on Mayor Lightfoot to pass an ordinance that requires carbon emissions standards for newly constructed buildings.

“My company is building all electric housing on the South and West sides of Chicago. We are testament that the technology is here, and it is cost effective. All electric affordable housing will lower utility costs for residents, and those cost savings re-enter the community to support our local economy.”

AJ Patton
CEO and Founder of 548 Enterprise

“There are clear policy actions that Mayor Lightfoot can spearhead to help Chicagoans reap the environmental, health, and economic benefits of cleaning up our city’s buildings. If emissions standards for newly constructed buildings is prioritized and passed early this year, it will be a huge step toward meeting emissions reduction targets, while boosting the building sector’s jobs and economic impact.”

Mark Stenftenagel
CEO of Whitney Architects

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Illinois Green Alliance is a nonprofit, mission driven organization working to advance green buildings and sustainable communities for all. Driven by members from within the building industry, we advance our mission through education, policy, and community outreach. Learn more at www.illinoisgreenalliance.org

Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who advocate for smart policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. For more information, see www.e2.org or follow on Twitter at @e2org