Over the last three years, our organizations have worked closely with federal government officials to identify executive policymaking opportunities to achieve greener buildings. In April 2010, a diverse group of twelve organizations came together, led by the U.S. Green Building Council, to release a comprehensive report entitled Using Executive Authority to Achieve Greener Buildings: A Guide for Policymakers to Enhance Sustainability and Efficiency in Multifamily Housing and Commercial Buildings (the “2010 Report”) outlining dozens of areas in which progress could be made without new authority or funding from Congress. The report, which made nearly 100 specific recommendations for nearly three dozen programs with funding authority of more than $72 billion, called on the Administration to quickly seize these promising opportunities to save energy, create jobs, and build healthier living and working environments.
Since the publication of the 2010 Report, the unemployment crisis has deepened and Congress has become further paralyzed by partisan gridlock and concerns over the deficit and national debt. Energy efficient and sustainable buildings are a potentially potent engine for job creation and economic growth, but only if matched by supportive federal policies. Accordingly, the Administration must continue to advance those legal and policy tools that are already available to encourage investment in high-performance, efficient green buildings. This update to the 2010 Report evaluates the significant progress the Administration has made in using these existing legal authorities, and builds on that report by identifying even more programs and authorities that could be employed to spur a transformation of the nation’s building stock.