Going Green

U.S. Green Building Council

The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a 501 c3 non-profit organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.

With a community comprising 78 local affiliates, nearly 16,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 162,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.

Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.

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.

Vision: Buildings and communities will regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation.

Guiding Principles: USGBC’s Board of Directors has articulated “guiding principles” that will help us all with the decisions we make every day about USGBC and its programs. In an industry predicated on innovation, the principles provide us with clarity and continuity, while also giving us the flexibility to grow and respond to a rapidly changing market.

  • Promote the Bottom Line: USGBC will pursue robust triple bottom line solutions that clarify and strengthen a healthy and dynamic balance between environmental, social and economic prosperity.
  • Establish Leadership: USGBC will take responsibility for both revolutionary and evolutionary leadership by championing societal models that achieve a more robust triple bottom line.
  • Reconcile Humanity with Nature: USGBC will endeavor to create and restore harmony between human activities and natural systems.
  • Maintain Integrity: USGBC will be guided by the precautionary principle in utilizing technical and scientific data to protect, preserve and restore the health of the global environment, ecosystems and species.
  • Ensure Inclusiveness: USGBC will ensure inclusive, interdisciplinary, democratic decision-making with the objective of building understanding and shared commitments toward a greater common good.
  • Exhibit Transparency: USGBC shall strive for honesty, openness and transparency.
  • Foster Social Equity: USGBC will respect all communities and cultures and aspire to an equal opportunity for all.

 

USGBC Education: LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally-recognized green building certification system. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in March 2000, LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

LEED promotes sustainable building and development practices through a suite of rating systems
that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance. The LEED rating systems are developed through an open, consensus-based process led by LEED committees, diverse groups of volunteers representing a cross-section of the building and construction industry. Key elements of the process include a balanced and transparent committee structure, technical advisory groups that ensure scientific consistency and rigor, opportunities for stakeholder comment and review, member ballot of new rating systems, and fair and open appeals.

LEED is flexible enough to apply to all building types – commercial as well as residential. It works throughout the building lifecycle – design and construction, operations and maintenance, tenant fitout, and significant retrofit. And LEED for Neighborhood Development extends the benefits of LEED beyond the building footprint into the neighborhood it serves. LEED also makes business sense, benefiting commercial building owners as well as tenants.

Information provided by U.S. Green Building Council Website