The U.S. is at an important crossroads, where we must carefully consider which direction we will take. At USGBC, we are encouraged about our future because we see that America is alive with awareness and passion.
We’ve witnessed the green building movement double down its efforts to bring people in, lift communities up and demonstrate that green buildings and communities are all about people, the environment and human health and wellness.
We’ve been encouraged by our movement’s continued commitment to building a sustainable future for all regardless of geography or financial means. And we implore you not to be discouraged by the uncertain times we are facing, but to feel empowered. We encourage you to recognize and tap into your own goodness and potential, because right now, we need to look to new leaders: ones who are all in for equality, opportunity, diversity and acceptance—inspired by the promise of a brighter future for our children and for generations to follow.
Our organization knows that these leaders are everywhere, because we’ve watched them make history together and define the work that we do each day. These are the individuals and communities who are prepared to stand up, especially when they’re being told to sit down. They are the reason I believe in our country, no matter what.
For the last 20 years, the leaders of one of the most impactful environmental movements of our time—the green building movement—have been local heroes: mayors, politicians, neighbors and advocates standing up for cleaner, more efficient and more inclusive buildings, communities, cities and states.
The leaders of the green building movement have been part of a community that is 13 million strong—and growing. They’ve been the business owners—big and small—making commitments to do the most good with the resources available to them. They’ve been the educators and innovators and scientists and non-profit employees and economists who have rallied behind a movement that has the power to change our world, definitively, for the better.
These leaders know that LEED, the most widely used and trusted green building system, is one of the single most powerful economic development tools for revitalizing and advancing sustainable communities and that LEED-certified buildings bring benefits to entire communities. Buildings, homes, schools, warehouses, infrastructure development and even entire cities are realizing their potential through green building and LEED. By using 25 percent less energy, 11 percent less water, creating less waste and being healthier for occupants, LEED buildings are a win for everyone.
The green building movement is living proof that real change starts with people—real change starts with you and me. We need to be prepared to carry this movement on our own, inspired and supported by a network of fellow change-makers who are ready to rise. We urge you to do the same.
Please: keep building.
Keep building net-zero office buildings and hospitals and homeless shelters. Keep building more sustainable museums and mosques and schools for our children. Keep building companies that run on brilliant minds and diverse backgrounds (and solar energy). Keep building trust in one another. Keep building bridges and bonds and breaking barriers.
Keep building the places where America happens: the homes that we open to one another. The community centers where we gather. The headquarters where we commit to doing better for our nation.
This is our America. Keep building the country that you know we can be. It is in your hands now, more so than it has ever been.
We must act out of hope, and work every day for our future. We must keep building—we must keep going.
From all of us at USGBC: we stand with you—all of you. We are all in.
A proud Indian, immigrant and optimist,
President and CEO of USGBC
Pick up a copy of today's New York Times, Wall Street Journal or New York Post to see USGBC's ad about LEED.