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USGBC Wraps Up Greenbuild with Initiatives

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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Earlier this month, the U.S. Green Building Council wrapped up its annual Greenbuild Conference & Expo. At the virtual event, the organization outlined several key updates that it says intend “to help push the industry closer to a regenerative future as outlined through LEED Positive, while prioritizing solutions that promote social equity, resilience and health across communities.”

“The world today is facing intersecting crises that cannot be resolved with fragmented solutions, but require integrated, equitable practices and an industry wide commitment to standardizing those practices,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO of USGBC, Green Business Certification Inc. and Arc.

“We must set the standard for building a better world and it starts with LEED. This year’s Greenbuild may have looked different, but I’m grateful for the continued commitment I see from the thousands of green building professionals around the world.”

USGBC

Earlier this month, the U.S. Green Building Council wrapped up its annual Greenbuild Conference & Expo. At the virtual event, the organization outlined several key updates that it says intend “to help push the industry closer to a regenerative future as outlined through LEED Positive, while prioritizing solutions that promote social equity, resilience and health across communities.”

The conference honed in on five key initiatives, which included the following, according to the USGBC.

  • USGBC All In – A new equity program from USGBC that will aim to serve as a roadmap for how the organization and the green building community can better contribute to addressing social, health and economic disparities in communities around the world.
  • Living Standard – USGBC is expanding its Living Standard campaign to become the organization’s pivotal grassroots initiative, a galvanizing and inspiring tool to share best practices and support the organization’s ambitious, inclusive and resilient vision.
  • Return on Investment Study –USGBC will be conducting an ROI study that looks at both the value of investment, as well as impact of green building. USGBC will also conduct a credentialing survey to understand the needs of the market as it works to build the green building workforce. More information on USGBC research will be available next year.
  • LEED Zero for Design –USGBC announced that a LEED Zero rating system will be released for projects in the design phase. More information is to come on the rating system and its release.
  • Leadership Awards –USGBC recognized 10 individuals, companies and projects for their commitment to LEED, as well as improving Environmental, Social and Governance performance, enhancing citywide sustainability and resilience, and introducing innovative waste management solutions.

All In Initiative

At the expo, the USGBC announced its commitment to provide funding for 500 people in underserved communities to earn their LEED professional credential as part of its new “USGBC All In: Building Equity Together” initiative.

USGBC’s “All In” plan is focused on addressing social, health and economic disparities through green building. The draft strategy outlines 12 priorities and commitments and the USGBC is soliciting feedback on these priorities in order to release a final strategy plan in the first quarter of next year.

“Our goal is to create an environmentally and socially responsible world that improves quality of life for all, but to achieve that we need to look deeper, take bolder action and address some challenging questions as an organization and community,” added Ramanujam.

Currently, the USGBC is seeking feedback on several priorities, including the following.

  • Make LEED more accessible through Arc for All. LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and USGBC aspires for all buildings to use LEED to transform the spaces where people live, learn, work and play.USGBC will offer Arc for Allfor free to projects from underserved and underrepresented communities to meet them where they are and help them take the incremental steps towards LEED certification.
  • Evolve equity strategies in LEED. USGBC will refine and enhance the LEED intent, pilot credits, credits, regional priority credits and the integrative design process to ensure projects pursuing LEED certification prioritize and implement inclusive design, construction and operational strategies.
  • Educate and develop a new workforce of green building leaders. USGBC will develop new credentials and certificates, commit to strengthening its current credentials and approach to equity and undertake an effort to build capacity for current and future credentials (including the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP) for those from underserved and underrepresented communities.
  • Transform USGBC internal governance. USGBC will review and transform its governance structure including its board and committees, and the policies by which it operates, to include and empower those who have not historically been able to participate in shaping the vision for USGBC, GBCI and LEED. USGBC will also establish CEO Advisory Councils around the world to advise and support USGBC’s CEO on how to evaluate, evolve, implement and grow USGBC All In.
  • Conduct research. USGBC will conduct periodic research and public opinion surveys to understand the effectiveness of All In, overcome any inherent biases and to ensure that everyone’s voice is included. USGBC believes that measurement leads to refinement, which leads to progress.

“All In will encourage every member of our community—from member companies to projects to individuals—to participate in and share the efforts they are making around increasing equity,” the organization said.

“We will not only celebrate and recognize the leadership of the people getting it right, but also identify opportunities for our community to be effective allies and partners in this work and provide resources and tools to help advance equity in green building.”

When engaging in feedback, the USGBC wants to know:

  • What are your overall reactions?
  • What’s missing and what should be added?
  • What should be deleted or revised?
  • How can we make these documents more meaningful?
  • What good resources have you seen--tools, case studies, stories, organizations that might want to be involved?
  • What would make you more likely to use the tools of the “All In” program?

To provide feedback on the program, click here.

   

Tagged categories: Environmental Controls; Green building; Health and safety; LEED; NA; North America; Safety; United States Green Building Council (USGBC)

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