Marisa Long

Pulling from decades of success in sustainable business, the CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council argues that when businesses and environmentalists collaborate, everybody profits 

(Washington, DC) Nov. 12, 2015 – A culmination of decades of being at the forefront of national sustainability initiatives, Greenthink by Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of USGBC, puts forth an argument that is as controversial as it is clear: leverage the motive of profit to save the world—and its humans—from environmental catastrophe.

For decades, he notes, environmentalists and the private sector have been at odds. Activists have decried the impact of industry on the environment. Business leaders, meanwhile, resent environmentalists for "job-killing regulations." But in Greenthink, Fedrizzi turns conventional wisdom on its head by showing how profit can save the planet, and how sustainability is the biggest business opportunity of the 21st century.

It’s an approach that activist and actor Leonardo DiCaprio calls, in the book’s foreword, “revolutionary.” “Rick has succeeded where so many others have failed,” DiCaprio writes. “The call to action at the heart of this book has the potential to change the world.”

To prove his point, Rick calls on his decades of experience as a marketing executive for United Technologies Carrier Corporation, then as head of USGBC, where he pioneered the green building sector, an industry that has had an immediate and measurable impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and driven vast innovation in architectural design, engineering practice and materials development in product manufacturing. The creation of USGBC’s LEED, the most widely used green building rating system in the world, helped create a market that didn’t exist 20 years ago and now anchors an industry expected to be valued at more than $3 billion by 2020. Rick has spent nearly his entire career working to bridge the polarized divide between environmentalists and business, because, as he rightly puts it, “they both will share the same fate." 

Greenthink is available for purchase on Amazon. Learn more.

Greenthink examines:

  • How—by the numbers—being green is a successful business plan.
  • Why environmentalists need to stop demonizing industry and industry needs to stop rejecting environmentalism out of hand.
  • How capitalism can save the planet.
  • What comes next for both business owners and conservationists if we don’t address climate change now.

Here’s what people are saying about Greenthink:

“Rick Fedrizzi has led the way in taking green buildings from a niche idea to a trillion-dollar source of economic gain, improved public health, and reduced carbon pollution. Everyone should read Greenthink who wants to understand how he did it, why it's profitable to preserve a livable climate, and what's next for the buildings we all live and work in.” - Joseph Romm, Founding Editor,, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

“Rick has built the world’s most impactful social enterprise in the U.S. Green Building Council and global green building movement. If you’re looking for a roadmap for how the change the world by transforming markets, then look no further. This is it." - Michelle Moore, CEO, Groundswell


Rick Fedrizzi is CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council, where he oversaw the creation of LEED—Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design—the widely used international standard for sustainable construction. LEED has more than 14 billion square feet of registered and certified space and is used in more than 150 countries and territories worldwide with more than 1.85 million square feet of space certifying everyday.

A former Fortune 50 manufacturing executive, Rick Fedrizzi played an instrumental role in creating the most important and far-reaching sustainability movement of our time: the green building movement. Today, Fedrizzi’s work and ideas are transforming the real estate industry, one of the largest sectors of the global economy, and one of the largest contributors to climate change. According to legendary environmentalist Paul Hawken, “USGBC may have had a greater impact than any other single organization in the world on materials saved, toxins eliminated, greenhouse gases avoided, and human health enhanced.”