USGBC has passionate volunteers who not only tell others about the green building movement, but take action to continue propelling our country forward. Just as USGBC is still committed to the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, so are our members, partners and volunteers doubling down their efforts to bring people in, lift communities up and encourage one another to keep building.
LEED, the most widely used green building rating program in the world, supports nearly 8 million jobs across all 50 U.S. states and contributes $554 billion to the economy annually. LEED and the nine other rating systems administered by GBCI are powerful tools for sustainable, resilient buildings and communities. Our ability to address impacts of climate change grow each day and give us hope for the future.
At Greenbuild Boston 2017, the Communities and Affordable Homes Summit will give you the opportunity to engage in dialogue with other green building advocates on topics of resiliency, equitable development, health and new technologies and paradigms. At the summit, participants will develop an action plan for the coming year for USGBC, its partners and its stakeholders to advance equity and economic opportunity through our eight U.S. regions. This action plan will frame and inform a series of activities and partnerships around the country to move critical ideas from concept to reality.
Below, we share stories about community leaders who took part in the science and climate marches this past spring. It is their local leadership that culminates for our global gain. We hope they inspire you to keep building and to know that we are "all In" for our future.
Senior Vice President, Chief Sustainability Officer, Wight & Company
"I marched in both the science march and the climate march on successive Saturdays in Washington, D.C., because facts are not supposed to be political fodder. I teach a class at Northwestern University called Sustainability in Construction. When researching waste diversion data in early February, I came across an EPA-archived website with a banner that stated: “This content is not maintained, and may no longer apply.” Weeks later, all the climate data was also removed...
As a leader in sustainability and a longtime member of USGBC, my career has been devoted to retooling the way we conceive of, design and construct the built environment. Reducing carbon and responding to the impacts of climate change is a cornerstone of this work and has relied for years on the facts researched and reported by the EPA and DOE...I marched to make a statement that facts are facts and [are] important to our work and the well-being of all of us."
Project Manager, Element Environmental Solutions
"I marched because we can't deny that science confirms our actions impact the planet. I am an environmental consultant—my job is deeply rooted in science and discovering ways to restore the Earth...I wanted to set an example for my son and nurture the love for science he has developed...He recently proclaimed he wants to be a scientist when he grows up, and I hope he continues to care for the Earth with a firm understanding that our actions play a role in protecting or harming it.
I'm part of USGBC's movement to reduce human contribution to climate change because that makes me part of a group with one of the largest impacts on reducing the adverse effects of climate change. We spend most of our time in the built environment, which impacts all of the Earth's resources. It's our responsibility to develop and maintain it in a sustainable manner. Plus, I love surrounding myself with like-minded people who are making a difference. Everyone involved in our community and beyond inspires me to take action at home and in my work life."
Project manager, writer and public speaker
"I joined more than 300,000 people in Washington, D.C., and across the nation in what organizers called 'a powerful demonstration of unity for jobs, justice, and climate action.' I participated in Alabama’s only climate march, located at the Lauderdale County Courthouse in downtown Florence, organized by the Shoals Environmental Alliance and Indivisible Northwest Alabama. I participated in the Birmingham, Alabama, science march the previous weekend...
With the failure of climate leadership in D.C., states, municipalities, businesses and individuals must step up to the plate. As a LEED AP ND and member of USGBC Alabama’s Market Leadership Advisory Board, I believe it is time to move beyond education and include advocacy in our sustainability toolkit."
LEED AP (BD+C), SEED Design, BNIM and founder of Historic Green
"I took my two-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son to the climate march. We held signs, walked together with a big group and stood for our rights with this 'rising tide' of people. We marched because climate change is a long-term crisis facing humanity and all living species on earth. We marched to realize that our family’s daily actions—turning the water off when we brush our teeth, changing our clothes instead of the thermostat, keeping a garden, taking the bus instead of driving—are an important part of a much larger movement.
I’m part of USGBC’s movement to reduce human contribution to climate change because I am determined to make an impact through collective action. Early in my career as an architect, I felt alone in pushing for an in-house recycling program and for greater focus on utility efficiency and occupant health in our designs. Starting to volunteer with the USGBC, I quickly understood that I was one of thousands working on the same issues. I volunteered initially to empower myself, and now to empower others to take action."
Director, Climate Policies and Renewables, City of Atlanta—Mayor's Office of Sustainability
"I marched to join the hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. who are extremely concerned with the devastating consequences of carbon emissions produced by human activities. Back in 2015, I joined a small but committed group of volunteers to organize the first People’s Climate March in Atlanta, where more than 500 people participated. After the success of this march, we called our group the 1.5 Degree Patrol to highlight the importance of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. In 2016, we organized a second march to call the attention about the importance of including climate issues in the presidential elections. This year, we facilitated the trip of more than 500 Atlantans to join the national people’s climate march in D.C...
I truly believe in [USGBC's] noble mission of transforming the design, construction and operations of buildings and communities to make them environmentally and social responsible, healthier and prosperous, and to reduce carbon emissions and its devastating consequences on climate."
Learn more about the summit.
Join the conversation at Greenbuild