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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 09.30.2014

D.C. joins exclusive ‘LEED 100 Million Club’

We have reached a new era in the history of green building with Mayor Vincent Gray’s recent announcement that Washington, D.C., has surpassed 100 million square feet of LEED-certified space. While the District of Columbia is not the first city to reach this milestone—predecessors include Chicago, New York and Houston—with a population of approximately 650,000, D.C. is the smallest city in the world to pass this mark. You can be sure that this was a point of...

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 09.30.2014

Talk the talk, march the march, 400K strong

“This is what democracy looks like.” Last Sunday, I had the privilege of joining the Urban Green Council and over 400,000 other concerned global citizens, including celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio, and leaders like UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in the People’s Climate March. The aerial photos say it all! This was an unprecedented mass of people demanding better from our leaders for our people and planet. The diversity of this group makes it clear that climate change is...

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...

In Advocacy and policy 09.26.2014

People's Climate March in New York reflects new environmentalism

This time it was personal. Marching down Central Park West with my daughter and 300,000 other people passionate about the health of our planet, I felt at home, and in a way I was.  Having been born in New York Hospital and raised in a neighborhood just across Central Park from where the march began, I had a sense of deja vu. Back in the late 60s and early 70s I had joined my Mom—and fellow members of her New York teachers union—in marches against the Vietnam War in Washington,...

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