• San Francisco is the overall leader in the Green City Index. It is one of the smallest cities in terms of area, but it is the second most-densely populated one with 4.3 million people living in the metropolitan area. San Francisco is a major financial hub, but tourism and the high-tech sector also drive the local economy, generating a GDP of $60,300 per person. The city's performance in the Index, according to Siemens Corp., is partly due to partnering with the private sector on innovative green initiatives, such as energy-awareness programs and the promotion of environmentally friendly commuting.
    San Francisco is the overall leader in the Green City Index. It is one of the smallest cities in terms of area, but it is the second most-densely populated one with 4.3 million people living in the metropolitan area. San Francisco is a major financial hub, but tourism and the high-tech sector also drive the local economy, generating a GDP of $60,300 per person. The city's performance in the Index, according to Siemens Corp., is partly due to partnering with the private sector on innovative green initiatives, such as energy-awareness programs and the promotion of environmentally friendly commuting.
San Francisco is the leading metropolis for environmental sustainability, according to a new study of 27 major U.S. and Canadian cities conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and commissioned by Siemens Corp. The Green City reviewed 27 major U.S. and Canadian cities with a focus on nine categories: CO2 emissions, energy, land use, buildings, transport, water, waste, air quality, and environmental governance. The cities were chosen to represent the most populous metropolitan areas in both countries. Within the nine categories were 31 individual indicators. Sixteen of those were quantitative, including the consumption of water and electricity per capita and use of public transportation; 15 were qualitative, including as CO2 reduction targets, and efficiency standards and incentives for buildings.

According to Siemens, cities that performed best were the ones that have comprehensive sustainability plans that encompass multiple green initiatives including transportation, land use, energy use, and water use. The top 10 cities are:

1. San Francisco
2. Vancouver, British Columbia
3. New York
4. Seattle
5. Denver
6. Boston
7. Los Angeles
8. Washington, D.C.
9. Toronto
10. Minneapolis 

In addressing the results, Alison Taylor, chief sustainability officer for the Americas for Siemens Corp., says, “city budgets are as tight as they have ever been, but mayors are leading the charge around making their cities more sustainable because they know they can’t afford to push these decisions off until tomorrow.” In addition, Eric Spiegel, president and CEO of Siemens Corp. adds, “Despite the fact that we do not have a federal climate policy in the United States—and no federal carbon standard—21 of the 27 cities in the index have already set their own carbon reduction targets.”

Within the nine categories, the following cities took top marks:

CO2
1. Vancouver
2. Miami
3. New York City
4. Los Angeles
5. Ottawa, Ontario 
6. Seattle
7. Toronto
8. San Francisco
9. Washington, DC
10. Montreal

Energy
1. Denver
2. Boston
3. San Francisco
4. Vancouver
5. Los Angeles (tie)
5. Toronto (tie)
7. Minneapolis
8. Chicago
9. Phoenix
10. Philadelphia

Land use
1. New York City
2. Minneapolis
3. Ottawa
4. Boston
5. Vancouver
6. Washington, DC
7. Philadelphia
8. San Francisco
9. Charlotte, N.C.
10. Miami

Buildings
1. Seattle
2. San Francisco
3. Washington, DC
4. Pittsburgh
5. Vancouver
6. Denver
7. New York City
8. Atlanta
9. Houston
10. Boston

Transport
1. New York City
2. San Francisco
3. Vancouver
4. Montreal
5. Ottawa
6. Chicago
7. Minneapolis
8. Denver
9. Seattle
10. Sacramento, Calif.

Water
1. Calgary, Alberta, Canada
2. Boston
3. New York City
4. Minneapolis
5. San Francisco
6. Vancouver
7. Denver
8. Ottawa
9. Charlotte, N.C.
10. Toronto

Waste
1. San Francisco
2. Seattle
3. Los Angeles
4. Toronto
5. Minneapolis
6. Sacramento
7. Vancouver
8. Ottawa
9. Montreal
10. Houston

Air
1. Vancouver
2. San Francisco
3. New York City
4. Sacramento
5. Los Angeles
6. Philadelphia
7. Seattle
8. Montreal
9. Toronto
10. Denver

Environmental governance
1. Denver (tie)
1. New York City (tie)
1. Washington, DC (tie)
4. Seattle
5. Houston (tie)
5. Los Angeles (tie)
5. Philadelphia (tie)
8. Minneapolis (tie)
8. San Francisco (tie)
10. Vancouver

In addition to the rankings, the index also includes in-depth portraits of the weaknesses and strengths of each urban center, and it seeks to highlight initiatives and projects from which other cities can learn. A PDF of the full study can be downloaded at siemens.com/press/greencityindex.