A sustainable future is meaningless if it is not also an equitable future
USGBC’s commitment to equity is grounded in our 25+ year mission to better the lives of all people within a generation through sustainable buildings, communities and cities. Green building and social equity go hand in hand, and we know that addressing and emphasizing sustainability through green building can provide communities with much-needed resources.
Now is the time to double down toward building a more inclusive vision. We will hold ourselves accountable to doing everything in our power to ensure the promise of sustainability is not limited by socioeconomic status, race or any other factor rooted in inequity. It will take work to get us there and it is work we are committed to doing alongside our vast community of members and stakeholders.
USGBC All In strategy
The USGBC All In strategy will serve as a roadmap for USGBC programs, policies and actions to collaborate with stakeholders to address social, health and economic disparities in their communities while we continue to learn and evolve as an organization.
Proposed priorities for 2021 include scholarships, expansion and evolution of LEED, workforce development, research, education, transformation of internal USGBC governance and other strategies.
USGBC equity strategy priorities
- Expand scholarships, grants and funding to support members of underserved communities.
- Make LEED more accessible through Arc for All to enable underserved and underrepresented communities to participate.
- Establish a USGBC equity scholar program in partnership with colleges and universities for students from underserved communities.
- Recognize people, projects and organizations using a framework that provides tools and verifies achievements in governance practices and project design, construction, and operations.
- Evolve equity strategies in LEED to prioritize equity in credit intents and requirements, and create new pilot credits to fill gaps.
- Educate and develop a new workforce of green building leaders.
- Transform internal USGBC governance.
- Evolve equity strategies in the suite of GBCI rating systems to encourage projects to adopt equity strategies.
- Build partnerships to educate and hold us accountable and align with best practices of our partners.
- Convene education sessions to listen to those who have experienced inequity.
- Conduct research to ensure everyone’s voice is heard.
- Raise the living standard for all to create a more inclusive USGBC community.
In order to implement these priorities, USGBC will develop the following.
Education/ workforce development programs:
- Expand mentoring, scholarships, and grants to encourage a more inclusive generation of leaders; create USGBC equity scholar program; and support LEED AP education and exams for disadvantaged communities
- Increase inclusion and diversity
- Include equity CEU requirements for LEED AP/LEED Green Associates
- Workforce development within our communities for professionals and the construction industry
- Support programs that link diverse companies with project teams to develop more inclusive projects
All In Equity Action Plan:
- Evolve equity strategies in LEED (credit intents, synergies, new pilot credits)
- Planning tool
- Assessment tool
- Resources, case studies and stories
- Recognition programs for people, projects, organizations
- Organizational equity
- Review and transform USGBC’s internal governance, policies, programs
- Create/highlight best practices for more equitable policies, programs, governance
- Create a Code of Ethics for member organizations
- Highlight ESG achievement tools; incorporate into Arc and other applications
- Partnerships and collaboration: To make this happen, we will need partnerships/ collaboration; listening tours and town halls; and linkages to existing programs that support diversity.
USGBC Equity Summits
Social equity is imperative to create healthy and thriving, communities and cities for all people. It must be deeply embedded into how the work we do as an organization and community.
USGBC held Equity Summits, which were listening and learning tours that convened USGBC members, sustainability advocates, key social and environmental justice leaders and economic and community development experts. Learn more about the 2020 spring and fall USGBC Equity Summit speakers and view the event video archives in the USGBC Equity Summit playlist.