SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Macerich (NYSE:MAC) – Santa Monica Place, the open-air shopping destination located in the heart of downtown, today announced it has earned a coveted environmental designation – LEED Gold – from the U.S. Green Building Council. Since opening in August 2010, Santa Monica Place has been viewed as one of the country's most innovative redevelopments and continues to raise the bar in terms of shopping, dining and entertainment. A key element of the project has always been a focus on sustainability, in line with the priorities of Macerich, the property's owner/developer/operator, and the Santa Monica community. "We have long said that the most sustainable building is one that already exists, and our decision to reuse and redesign the existing structure into what you see today – a three-level, open-air property with views, fresh air and plenty of sunshine – was an essential step toward LEED certification," said Art Coppola, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Macerich. "We are pleased that not only the building but also the ongoing operations of Santa Monica Place reflect the environmental values of our shoppers and our company." By recycling the existing structure into today's Santa Monica Place, Macerich turned a climatized indoor mall into an outdoor center, reducing/offsetting 3,060,024 million kWhs energy, and during construction, diverted more than 90% of construction, totaling 68,519,409 lbs., from landfills. In terms of the property's ongoing operations, Macerich makes use of 14 Points of Presence (POPs) throughout the property to integrate operational disciplines, such as energy management, metering/submetering, UMS, CCTV, access control, wi-fi, voice over IP, digital signage, concierge, valet and parking management services into a single, robust infrastructure. The center also incorporates water-efficient landscaping, a green roof element and many other sustainable property features.