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In Advocacy and policy 01.30.2015

Mayors, the VP and POTUS agree: We need to invest in local infrastructure

“Ninety percent of the United States’ real GDP originates in cities,” Vice President Biden remarked in his address at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting luncheon this past Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015.   The Vice President went on to stress the link between cities and the important task of modernizing America’s infrastructure in his speech, echoing up a key theme of President Obama’s recent State of the Union address.  In its latest Global...

In Advocacy and policy 12.19.2014

Planners seek to update policy guide for sustainability

Because planning decisions reverberate across decades the planning profession plays a major role in enabling sustainable solutions in communities across the country. When planners give consideration to sustainability and integrate it into the planning process they magnify a community's ability to protect the environment, save money, foster healthy lifestyles and strengthen local economies for all residents. To help the planning profession move toward strategies that address sustainability...

In Advocacy and policy 11.11.2014

ASBC and USGBC: Catalyzing green buildings and a sustainable economy together

This is a guest post by the American Sustainable Business Council Over the past year, the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and USGBC have worked together to advance the understanding and value of green buildings as well as the opportunity to build a more sustainable economy. Here are some of the highlights:  Louisiana Together, with our respective partners, ASBC’s member the Greater New Orleans Independent Business Alliance and USGBC’s Louisiana chapter,...

In Advocacy and policy 10.16.2014

DOE affirms federal leadership in sustainability and continued use of LEED

For over a decade, federal agencies have successfully used third-party green building rating systems, like LEED, to deliver exceptional building projects that address the myriad federal requirements, reduce energy and other resources and save taxpayer money. It’s a testament to the green building leadership we see in the federal sector. Consistent with that record of leadership, last week the Department of Energy (DOE) issued its final rule on federal agencies’ use of...

In Advocacy and policy 01.23.2015

The green builder's preview to the 114th Congress

With the change in leadership in the Senate and growing numbers of conservatives in the House of Representatives, many questions have come up regarding what to expect with green building policies in this new Congress. While there are certainly many unknowns, here are some issues to keep an eye out for that both sides of the aisle have shown interest in considering. Energy efficiency is still a top of line issue As the new chair of the Energy Committee, Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) has reaffirmed...

In Advocacy and policy 12.17.2014

Minding the gender gap in green building

On stage at Greenbuild 2013 in Philadelphia, our CEO Rick Fedrizzi sat across from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and said that there weren’t enough women coming into our movement. He continued by asking what we could do to bring more gender equity to green building. This question is one that companies and organizations worldwide are asking themselves—how do we bring more diversity to our operations in order to pull top talent from the biggest pool? Many of USGBC's member...

In Advocacy and policy 10.21.2014

Troublemakers at Greenbuild 2014 are taking action to support a stronger, greener economy

This week tens of thousands of leaders from the green building movement are descending on New Orleans for Greenbuild 2014, the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building.  During Greenbuild, USGBC will be working to empower the passionate members of the green building community to take action to support important green building policies that ultimately help strengthen our economy. Through our extensive grassroots support infrastructure, we’ll be engaging...

In Advocacy and policy 10.9.2014

Sustainability leadership: An interview with GSA’s Ruth Cox

Overseeing real estate, acquisition, and technology for the federal government is a lot of responsibility. That's the job of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). In fact, with oversight of nearly 10,000 federally-owned or leased buildings, a total of 300 million square feet of office space, GSA is the largest landlord in the nation. With cost-saving as a major priority, the leadership at GSA has helped usher in a new era of efficiency, innovation and performance. And...

In Advocacy and policy 01.22.2015

State of the Union 2015: Obama's focus on climate change

This week Obama delivered the 2015 State of the Union, and in his remarks he declared that there is no greater threat than climate change. "And no challenge—no challenge—poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change." In last year's address the president emphasized that, "Climate change is a fact," and this year he challenged Congress to recognize that climate change is a trend and it poses immediate risks. "2014 was the planet's warmest year on record....

In Advocacy and policy 12.11.2014

Reflections on the global imperative of green building

If targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction are to be met, decision-makers must unlock the potential of the building sector with much greater seriousness and vigor than they have to date and make mitigation of building-related emissions a cornerstone of every national climate change strategy. — Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP (from a 2010 report) It was almost five years ago when I traveled to Copenhagen for the international climate conference, affectionately...

In Advocacy and policy 10.17.2014

Governor takes action to boost energy efficiency in Virginia

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe arrived yesterday morning at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Richmond, VA, to make a major announcement on energy efficiency. (Yes, you read that correctly; we were at the DMV).   This particular DMV, through an innovative collaboration with Trane, had recently undergone an extensive energy retrofit that was now saving 36 percent in energy use and saving a whopping $284,000 a year. That was something that the Governor was eager to see and...

In Advocacy and policy 10.7.2014

Half the planet’s animals are gone, and how buildings can (and must) help

I was shocked to read in the Washington Post last week that roughly half of the world's vertebrate (and non-human) animals have vanished since 1970.  Goodness knows how many had been lost before we started counting.  “The main culprits?” the article reads, are “exploitation (i.e. overfishing and overhunting), and habitat degradation. It may be compelling enough for some to act just knowing that we are on this sorry path—a path towards a world where we may...

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