What I am Thankful for… | U.S. Green Building Council
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In the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of each November. While the holiday originates in early American history/folklore, the tradition of remembering things for which you are grateful lives on. Despite my strong urges against writing something ‘cheesy’ on this ubiquitous theme, I feel it is imperative to reflect upon an observation from last week, something for which I am truly thankful.

USGBC's 2012 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo convened tens of thousands of green building experts and practitioners from around the world. This forum featured groundbreaking education sessions, the largest exhibition space in the history of the conference, opportunities to meet and collaborate like-minded friends and colleagues, and so much more. What I am thankful for this year is a diverse, vibrant and supportive green building community, which was on full display last week in San Francisco. Attendees from around the world and every corner of our industry connected on existing and future efforts to work towards our common mission—to design and construct sustainable buildings and communities for our environment, society, human health and future generations.

While it is easy to leave a conference and get wrapped up in catching up on everything at home and in the office, we must keep the momentum of Greenbuild alive. I challenge you to follow up on the ideas and opportunities discussed, educate yourself on the latest research and innovations announced, and rally behind our movement when we need strength in numbers most. With the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties commencing next week, we need to work together to ensure that our national policies and international treaties support the objectives of our industry. Policy decisions have wide implications for the transformation of the green building market; and while international climate negotiations may seem irrelevant to your local business, the outcomes absolutely affect each and every one of us.

Greenbuild is not only an uplifting and significant event for those who attend, but it serves as a message for the rest of the world that the green building industry is a force to be reckoned with. For example, the number of firms constructing at least 60% of their projects to be green is expected to double by 2015 from today’s proportion. Let’s keep the momentum of Greenbuild going and remember that while we have come a long way in the past decade, we still have more to accomplish.

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