Mahesh Ramanujam
4 minute read

USGBC members are part of a community that shares one mission.

USGBC begins with you.

For the past 10 years, I have been fortunate to serve USGBC, and if there is one thing that energizes everything here, it is our members. There is no USGBC without its members. You power this organization, and the entire green building community, to go further and faster than ever before. I want to thank each of you for your leadership and support. Whether you have been with us from the beginning or you have recently joined, you are the heart and soul behind everything we do.

USGBC is a diverse community of big corporations and small business owners, educators and innovators, scientists and activists, nonprofit employees and policymakers, advocates and so much more. But while we all bring with us different backgrounds and experiences, we share one steadfast belief: that the green building community has a unique power to change our world for the better.

After all, we do it every day.

Being a member of USGBC isn’t about a logo on your company’s website. It isn’t about a label. And it isn’t even just about supporting LEED.

It’s about being part of a community.

One where all of us share the same mission—to bring about an environment that is healthier for us, for those we love and for those who will live on this planet long after we’re gone.

It’s about investing in our work because you see yourself in our shared goals—and you know we can do more to change the world together than we ever could alone.

It’s about investing in the power of partnership, in the idea that, together, we can improve the lives of people in every community on Earth.

The days of assuming that our fight is someone else’s, or that we can wait for someone else to step up and be bold, are long gone.

We must step up and be bold together. We must make real our commitments to each other, to future generations and to the planet.

Everyone, no matter their circumstances, should benefit from the work that we do every day—everyone’s living standard must rise.

Because of our members, USGBC has evolved as an organization and as a green building community. We have pioneered a green economy that is redefining modern leadership. We are partners in each other’s successes:

  • A new era of LEED: LEED v4.1, the latest update to the world’s largest green building and communities rating system, was an outcome of the thought leadership of our member companies and volunteers. Working together over the past 25 years, we have been able to enhance LEED to accelerate the evolution of sustainable communities and cities. Thanks to your contributions, LEED isn’t just the preeminent building standard. It is a critical part of improving the universal standard of living for people across the globe.
  • Community development: Over the past few years, USGBC has invested across the U.S. to grow our local communities. With sustained financial and leadership support from our members, we have been hyper-focused on deepening stakeholder engagement, strengthening relationships and developing leaders. The stronger our communities, the faster we achieve our mission.
  • City partnerships: We know that action to save the planet cannot wait, and we know that buildings alone cannot help us realize the vision of a sustainable future for all. We created LEED for Cities as a proven and trusted global framework, one that cities of all sizes could follow to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and economic prosperity. By engaging with mayors, member companies and local USGBC communities across the country, we are proving that better cities mean better lives—and today, more than 52 million people live in cities and communities under this program.
  • The language of Living Standard: We are beginning to explore how we communicate the impact that green buildings have on health and quality of life to the general public. We’re building on our history of world-class certification programs so that we can tell the story of why every person on the planet deserves a better, more sustainable life. Words matter. They help articulate the importance of our mission and inspire and enable people to take meaningful action. Through our Living Standard campaign, our members are helping us to expand our base of supporters.

Over the past few months, I have been on a cross-country roadshow promoting USGBC, LEED and our Living Standard campaign. I’ve met with hundreds of leaders, including governors, state economic development officers, mayors of cities large and small, legislators in red states and blue states, member companies and community leaders with the single goal of expanding our audience, and with it, our green economy.

It’s an exciting time to be President and CEO of USGBC—and I couldn’t be more grateful to have all of you along for this journey with me. Thank you for being our partners. This is only the beginning.