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When the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) was created in 1993, we started off with an ambitious vision for buildings and communities to regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation. Nearly 30 years later, this vision continues to drive our work even as green building has grown into a trillion-dollar industry and USGBC’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program has become the most widely used green building system in the world. Today, there are nearly 110,000 LEED certified commercial projects and we recently surpassed 1 billion square feet of LEED recertified commercial green building space.
These tremendous achievements by the green building industry motivate us as we think about the future and set even more ambitious goals for our next chapter.
What does this mean for our members and LEED users and what can they expect from USGBC in the coming weeks and months?
To start, USGBC is making internal changes including a leadership transition. Peter Templeton – the current president and CEO of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute – will take on the interim role of USGBC and GBCI president and CEO. Templeton and the USGBC board of directors will oversee a review of USGBC’s structure, offerings, and go-to-market strategy to optimize the organizations’ support of the green building community.
“We are at a critical inflection point in the global climate crisis and the green building movement,” says Templeton. “The urgency and importance of USGBC’s work to prepare and enable resilient, sustainable cities, communities and buildings around the world cannot be overstated. I look forward to working alongside the USGBC team and community to transform USGBC’s strong legacy of leadership into the platform of partnership, collaboration and innovation we need to advance a prosperous and equitable future.”
Templeton and the USGBC leadership team, along with the USGBC board of directors, will undertake a strategic review to ensure that current USGBC and GBCI offerings and technology platforms are capable of serving our community effectively and at scale. This strategic review will also help make sure the organization is well positioned to meet evolving needs and expectations in the post-pandemic world that has made unprecedented public and private sector commitments to advancing health, decarbonization and ESG goals through green building.
Rising to new challenges while staying true to our mission to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life, is not an easy task or one that should be taken lightly. It requires honest conversations about not just our success but our shortcomings as well, which means listening to diverse perspectives.
We are listening to our community and will continue to do so in an effort to further strengthen our connections to the market.
The green building industry is expected to continue to grow over the next decade along with an increasing demand for green spaces. It’s an exciting time for the sector as innovation and technology to make green building more accessible and inclusive has become available. We look forward to building on the important green building foundation and progress that has been made – together!
Deisy Verdinez is director of communications, U.S. Green Building Council.