2010 was an overwhelming year: not because of an economy in dire straits, and not because of a gloomy real estate market, either. The past year has been overwhelming because of our movement's success in the face of adversity. Our wills have been tested, but we have proved that green building is a bulletproof agenda, and is accessible for everyone, everywhere.
To emphasize our successes, this year we celebrated the milestone of reaching 1 billion square feet of LEED-certified green building projects throughout the world.
We launched the Center for Green Schools, an initiative that will bring efficient, healthier buildings to our country's greatest asset and most-cherished community: the young people. We watched as green building rose to the forefront of political agendas, crossing party lines and country lines, proving its attraction as a unifying force.
That, I think you'll agree, is amazing.
And as I reflect on the past year, I am overwhelmed with gratitude, awe, and appreciation for all that you do, every day, to transform our buildings and communities, and our world. As USGBC members, chapters, leadership, staff and community, you keep our mission alive 24/7, within all spheres of influence, in every corner of our planet. I am endlessly thankful and perpetually humbled by your determination and your commitment.
The strides that we have taken together, within the green building movement and the broader work of improving lives and communities across our planet, have been monumental. Game-changing. Life-changing. But we can't let ourselves bask in the year's successes for too long. We need to launch forward into 2011, a year that, I am confident, will be our best yet.
Our programs within LEED have seen tremendous growth. Healthcare facilities, neighborhoods, volume projects: Green building will have the greatest impact if it touches as many project types and sectors as possible, and we will continue to build out our programs and extend our movement's reach in 2011.
But let's not stop there. Globally, the world sees LEED as a common language and a collaborative opportunity. Our movement has an unmistakable international pulse. LEED-certified projects dot the landscapes of Romania, Australia, Brazil and the Czech Republic, to name just a few of the growing force of countries utilizing LEED to effect change. The LEED International Roundtable now consists of 16 engaged and committed countries. On top of that, an unbelievably impressive 114 countries were represented at Greenbuild 2010. There is a global hunger for green building, and USGBC and LEED will be at the forefront: not in a decade, but now.
In fact, my mantra for 2011 is that our time is now. For that reason, I ask you to exercise our power to positively and permanently change our world by changing the lives of a small group of children.
Please take a few minutes of your time and donate to Project Haiti this holiday season. Together, we will build Haiti's first LEED orphanage, where the need far outweighs the challenges we will encounter.
We can't rebuild a country overnight. But we can certainly build an orphanage, and we can do it now. We already have the land to build on. The preliminary design charrette has been completed. The team has been assembled and is committed to making it a reality. Now all we need is your support.
Project Haiti is an example of our organization's heart, goals, and the indestructible spirit behind our work. In creating healthier, resource-efficient buildings, we have the potential to change minds and lives. And we will do it this holiday season. Please donate now.
Thank you again for the transformative work you do, for this movement, for our communities, and for our world. May your holidays be filled with happiness, health, and family.
President, CEO & Founding Chair
U.S. Green Building Council