“Four More Years!” State policymakers rack up wins for green building | U.S. Green Building Council
Please upgrade your browser. This site requires a newer version to work correctly. Read more

“Four More Years!” State policymakers rack up wins for green building

Published on Written by Posted in Advocacy and policy

Last week, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) gathered for their largest ever policy summit. The issues discussed varied from clean power plan implementation to clean water and indoor air, to healthy, high-performing schools. As a framework for addressing these and many other economic and ecology issues, green building was a central focus, too.

For years, state lawmakers and agencies have used the power of the pen and the purse to prioritize energy efficiency, healthy buildings and lower-impact development. Thanks to many of NCEL’s lawmaker members and allies, USGBC counts more than 220 state policy victories for green building since 2011 across all 50 states in a new report released at the conference.

New report released: Better Buildings, Better Policy

Better Buildings, Better Policy spotlights the most recent four years of green building policymaking that builds an even stronger foundation for tomorrow’s green building, healthy community, and clean energy economy. While typically used as a political campaign cry, “Four more years!” could be a shout heard from green building advocates today as we release this new library of green building policy in the states.

Nearly half of the policies captured in the new report establish or fuel a program or fund that is designed to accelerate the uptake of greener, more efficient building practices. The report also counts fifty (predominantly energy) code updates and an additional forty policies that leverage LEED as an instrument to drive greener building outcomes for the public or private sectors. Meaningful policy measures that advance investment in greener schools passed in 23 states.

In an address to the audience of nearly 200 lawmakers, USGBC Board Chair, George Bandy praised the hard work behind this new effort. His story – the son of a legislator and a southerner with an insatiable passion for business leadership on social and environmental issues – resonated with the nearly 200 lawmakers in attendance. He added that, in business as in policy, “Our success will only be realized when we move beyond doing ‘less bad’ to delivering restorative communities that give back to nature and provide for a healthier, more socially responsible world.”

Looking to the future

Speaking of USGBC’s work to promote green schools for all within this generation, Bandy continued, “It is with great hope, passion and humility that we continue to create a better future for “tomorrow’s child.”

The last four years of green building policymaking were by no means without challenges, but the overall story is one of profound progress and success. We are deeply grateful for friends, allies, advocates and believers who sustain this momentum and keep us all focused on the long road ahead. To these partners and to this long list of wins, I say, “Four more years!!”

  • 10
    Jeremy Sigmon made 10 contributions in the last 6 months

Jeremy Sigmon

Director, Technical Policy U.S. Green Building Council
USGBC Articles can be accessed in the USGBC app for iOS or Android on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
iOS App on App StoreAndroid app on Google Play
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on LinkedIn
In Advocacy and policy 05.27.2016

Department of Energy and CoStar partner to expand visibility of benchmark data

In Advocacy and policy 05.4.2016

Nations to leverage building efficiency to meet Paris commitments

In Advocacy and policy 05.3.2016

Electric vehicle industry leaders meet with White House

In Advocacy and policy 04.29.2016

Private sector opportunities at the U.S.–China summit in June