This year’s best and worst “Green” cities

green-cities-graphoc-2016

As consumers demand more green – in their products, building materials and in sustainability of companies they deal with, cities in the U.S. are ramping up their efforts to accommodate.

According to the Pew Research Center, 74 percent of Americans support efforts to protect the environment. To honor this National Energy Awareness Month, the personal-finance website conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Greenest Cities in America. The website’s analysts compared the 100 largest cities across 20 key “green” indicators. These ranged from “greenhouse-gas emissions per capita” to “number of smart-energy policies and initiatives.”

Here are those that made it to the Top 10 and those who ranked the lowest.

 Greenest Cities in America Least Green Cities in America
1 San Francisco, CA 91 Houston, TX
2 Honolulu, HI 92 Lexington, KY
3 San Jose, CA 93 Cleveland, OH
4 Fremont, CA 94 Tampa, FL
5 San Diego, CA 95 Louisville, KY
6 Washington, DC 96 Corpus Christi, TX
7 Oakland, CA 97 Toledo, OH
8 Portland, OR 98 Tulsa, OK
9 Sacramento, CA 99 Oklahoma City, OK
10 Minneapolis, MN 100 Baton Rouge, LA

What’s fascinating is to look at the actual rankings in the different elements. The overall rankings don’t tell the whole story.

Fremont, CA for example ranks #1 for Energy Sources but ranks 4th overall. Minneapolis, MN ranks #1 for Transportation but 10th overall.And Seattle, which seemed to lead the pack in its green efforts for the last decade or so , now ranks 55th in Transportation, 19th in Environment and 12th in Lifestyle.

It’s important to look beyond the statistics to see the whole story.There’s a lesson there. Look beyond the headlines to what lies beneath.

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