Jessica Loeper
2 minute read

Hear from the Impact Committee on GreenerBuilder themes.

The USGBC Northern California community has an Impact Committee group designed to improve transparency in the built environment and facilitate entry into the sustainability field for groups that don’t have the immediate tools to operate healthier and more energy-efficient buildings.

The intent of the Impact Committee is to identify ways to give back to the community through numerous projects led throughout the year. One of those projects is to provide free conference admission to qualified individuals who demonstrated deep interest and potential impact in community-building across the Pacific coast and Hawaii. The committee established application criteria and awarded admission to four recipients who attended the GreenerBuilder conference on July 25, along with one additional individual to join the Women in Green luncheon.

Finding our impact at GreenerBuilder

GreenerBuilder is an annual conference for sustainability and building professionals in the Pacific region of the U.S. to learn about the latest programs and initiatives that others have been able to learn from and successfully implement. Major themes across sessions at GreenerBuilder were resilience, impact, equity, diversity and access. Attendees benefited from the rich collection of presentations from industry leaders and were inspired with new tools and strategies for addressing sustainability within the building sector.

Key insights

  • Paul Hawken, a well-known author and leader in environmental activism and entrepreneurship, spoke at length about women's empowerment being critical to addressing our global climate disaster and finding solutions to the looming challenges we face with climate change.
  • Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO of USGBC, examined an affordable housing project in Los Angeles for veterans and provided insights about how these kinds of projects can benefit the local community.
  • The Women in Green Luncheon panel featured a diverse group of women making waves in the building industry. This was a safe and inclusive space for women to be vulnerable and build each other up as they work together to advance sustainability.
  • Elaine Aye and Evan Reis presented the session "Creating Resilient Design and Operations in an Era of Climate Change." Reis discussed resilient buildings and an affordable housing project in San Francisco built for low-income and formerly houseless people, which was certified under the USRC rating system. This presentation explained how resilience is critical for the discussion of equity because marginalized people (people of color, those who have low incomes or disabilities) are often at the front lines in a climate disaster. They are the first to be displaced and are least likely to become rehoused.

Volunteer and make an impact with us

We invite you today to contribute to our efforts by joining the USGBC Northern California Impact Committee. Contact committee co-chairs Tatiana Gefter and Jessica Loeper or USGBC Northern California Director Melanie Colburn for more information.