Why the White House supports faith and community leaders in addressing the environment
Faith-based organizations own and operate over 400,000 buildings in the United States and are pillars in the communities they serve. Great potential exists to advance building health and performance while integrating sustainability into people’s lives through this sector, and you can get involved now.
It’s not just USGBC who thinks this is important. On February 27, Kimberly Lewis and I attended a White House event, “Faith-based and Community Leaders Addressing Environmental Stewardship.” EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, opened the event by preaching the gospel of green. She reminded us that “We have the moral responsibility as stewards" for the planet. The benefits of sustainability have connections to faith teachings of care for creation, stewardship of people and care for our fellow humans. McCarthy declared that the next battle for environmental justice is not a national one, but will be won “community by community.” Here at USGBC, we couldn’t agree more.
USGBC’s staff, volunteers, LEED professionals and partners are mobilizing to help win these battles in their communities. Rev. Sally Bingham shared how Interfaith Power & Light and USGBC have been working together to advance our common mission on the ground. Rev. Mitch Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network recognized USGBC as a valuable ally for advancing health, energy and environmental advocacy issues at the state and federal levels. Rev. Marrero of Esperanza reminded us how much further we need to go: “91% of Latinos live in polluted urban areas. Asthma. Cancer. Climate pollution has outsized effects on Latinos.” Cecilia Calavo of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops said “Our work on climate is rooted in faith, inspired by Pope Francis. Climate change isn’t ‘something else,’ but a basic reality for many vulnerable populations around the world.”
By addressing building performance and community health in partnership with the faith community, USGBC is working toward a solution. Act on climate change by sharing your passion and expertise as a volunteer for USGBC's Faith-based or Community-based Action Teams.