Washington, DC (Nov. 9, 2010) – The U.S. Green Building Council  (USGBC) has named the recipients of its 2010 Leadership Awards, recognizing organizations and individuals who signify vision, leadership and commitment to the evolution of green building design and construction. The awards will be presented during the Closing Plenary on Friday, Nov. 19, during USGBC’s 2010 Greenbuild International Conference & Expo held in Chicago, Ill. The 2010 awards recognize leadership achievement in the private, public and non-governmental organization (NGO) sectors.
“This year’s recipients are accelerating the green building industry through innovative ideas in tandem with strong leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC. “It is their passion, expertise and their tremendous contributions that allow us to move closer toward fulfilling our collective mission of transforming the built environment.”
State Rep. Karen May (D-Highland Park) was honored as an Individual recipient in the Leadership in the Public Sector Category. Rep. May is a founding member of USGBC’s 50 for 50 Green Schools Caucus Initiative and a green schools champion, helping to further USGBC’s vision of green schools for everyone within this generation. Rep May has dedicated herself to the welfare of schools, which can be seen through her authorship of House Joint Resolution 45. HJR 45 created a LEED Task Force chaired by the USGBC Illinois Chapter and is tasked with making recommendations to the Illinois General Assembly by Nov. 1, 2010, on a prospective state program for greening existing schools and potential funding sources for such a program.
The Recovery School District received an award for its steadfast commitment to rebuilding healthy, high-performing schools for New Orleans’ community. Five years after the devastating hurricanes that ravaged New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast, the District made rebuilding sustainably a priority, committing to build all public schools to a minimum of LEED Silver and reducing energy use by 30 percent. When phase one of the master plan is completed in 2013, there will be 17 new and 13 renovated LEED schools. The first of those schools opened in August 2009, with double-digit increases in test scores just in the past school year.
In the Private Sector Category, Interface founder and Chairman Ray Anderson was honored as an Individual recipient for his steadfast commitment to transforming the carpet manufacturing industry into a restorative enterprise. Since 1994, Anderson has been leading Interface, the world’s largest producer of commercial floor coverings towards eliminating any negative impact the company has on the environment by 2020.
Skanska was honored in the Private Sector Category for its commitment to worldwide market transformation. With a portfolio of numerous LEED-certified buildings, its Commercial Development group set the floor at LEED Gold for all projects it develops. Skanska is a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and signed the Copenhagen Communiqué in 2009.
The Syracuse Center of Excellence in New York received this year’s award for Leadership in the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). SyracuseCoE’ has exhibited extraordinary leadership in creating innovations in environmental and energy technologies and their immediate application. Their work in the area of improved indoor environmental quality has provided an international platform that has raised this critical issue to the forefront.
Richard Piacentini, executive director of the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pa., received the award for Individual Leadership in the NGO category. Piacentini has been touted for leading the transformation of a century old conservatory into a model of green building practices and environmental awareness, including earning LEED Silver for its Welcome Center. In 2009, the Conservatory was the site of the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit Welcome and Dinner.
U.S. Green Building Council
The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is 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, more than 20,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 131,000 LEED Accredited Professionals, 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.
The U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference & Expo convenes the industry’s largest gathering of representatives from all sectors of the green building movement. Three days of extensive educational programming, workshops, a vast exhibition floor and ample networking events provide unrivaled opportunities to learn about the latest technological innovations, explore new products, and exchange ideas with other professionals. Greenbuild is the three time recipient of IMEX Green Meetings Award and the 2010 show will be held on Nov. 17-19, 2010, in Chicago, Illinois. This past year’s conference in Phoenix, Ariz. drew more than 27,000 attendees and featured more than 1,800 exhibit booths. Visit www.greenbuildexpo.org  for more information.