Advocacy and Policy at USGBC: Q3 update
Learn what USGBC's Advocacy and Policy team has been doing for green building lately.
The Advocacy and Policy team has had an active three months, working to advance green buildings, LEED, and GBCI’s growing suite of products through engagements with decision-makers at the federal, state and local levels; partner organizations; and with volunteer advocates throughout the third quarter of 2016.
Conferences and workshops
We participated in the ACEEE Summer Study in Pacific Grove, California; the 2016 Energy Exchange in Providence, Rhode Island; a workshop in Mexico City to discuss the nation’s ESCO market, and side events in Philadelphia and Cleveland during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
Legislative goals and partnerships
Although federal legislative activity was quieter than usual in the third quarter, due to the August congressional work period, the Advocacy and Policy team remained active tracking key legislation and meeting with agency representatives and elected officials. In September, USGBC joined the new DOE Better Communities Alliance. The Alliance offers significant opportunities to work with state and local governments across the country to find new ways to support their sustainability goals through USGBC’s and GBCI’s growing suite of sustainability assessment tools, among other strategies.
USGBC’s state and local team worked to monitor legislation, build relationships with elected officials, support the advocacy and policy efforts of our local USGBC communities and maintain a presence at events across the country. In August, members of the team traveled to the National Issues Forum of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators where we co-hosted a nearly full-day workshop on green schools, buildings and infrastructure.
Local carbon reduction
In Virginia, team members worked with state partner organizations to plan and convene a high-level roundtable discussion in Roanoke on energy efficiency and renewable energy with member businesses and Governor Terry McAuliffe. Past chair of USGBC Beth Heider, Skanska’s Chief Sustainability Officer, participated in the roundtable on our behalf and discussed LEED’s track record and ability to help drive energy efficiency and investments in green construction and to help Virginia achieve carbon reduction goals.
International climate collaboration
On the international front, the team worked hard with members and allies to prepare for major conferences on housing and climate. Members of the team continue to support USGBC’s active participation in the Building Efficiency Accelerator, a program under the U.N.’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) umbrella. USGBC is an active member of the above-code/certification, building codes, retrofit and tracking progress working groups.
Of course, toward the end of the quarter, the team turned its attention to Greenbuild and began preparing for this year’s conference in Los Angeles. Members of the team prepared presentations for their sessions, helped organize side events, and assisted our Conference and Events team in any way possible. We have already gotten started on planning for Boston in 2017.
Last, we would like to thank our terrific summer research fellow, Hannah Jane Brown, a graduate student from Stanford University who joined us to research green infrastructure and the role it can play in climate action planning.