(Feb. 3, 2011) Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) today applauded a key element of President Obama’s plan to “win the future” by making America’s commercial buildings more energy- and resource-efficient over the next decade. The President’s plan, entitled Better Buildings Initiative, catalyzes private-sector investment through a series of incentives to upgrade offices, stores, schools and universities, hospitals and other commercial and municipal buildings.
“For all of those committed to the idea that green buildings can create jobs, save energy and save money, this is a great day, and the entire green building movement is incredibly grateful for President Obama’s leadership in this critical step forward for America. It is major steps like these that are necessary to address the challenges facing our environment,” said USGBC President, CEO and Founding Chair Rick Fedrizzi.
“We know that green buildings can and should be front and center of any credible jobs creation program,” he continued. “The jobs supported by the green building industry can’t be outsourced, and they are jobs that frequently can build on skills learned in the manufacturing sector.”
“The 5 million+ commercial buildings and the 120 million existing homes in the U.S. today are, by and large, squandering away precious energy and resources. With policies like the one introduced by the President today, our homes, hospitals, schools and offices can be turned into structures that will lessen our dependence on fossil fuel, increasing national security,” said Jason Hartke, Vice President of National Policy. “This also frees up those wasted dollars for growth in the private sector and for groceries in America’s households. We are laser-focused in doing what we can to move this important initiative forward as fast as possible.”
Leadership companies and organizations across America are already advancing the goals of the President’s initiative using USGBC’s LEED green building program to measure, manage and verify the energy and resource savings that President Obama has demanded and by furthering USGBC’s mission as corporate members.
“With the incentives the President has outlined, we are confident that these organizations are ready to take green building to unprecedented scale,” continued Fedrizzi.
U.S. Green Building Council
With a community comprising 79 local affiliates, 16,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 157,000 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, business and industry leaders, 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 LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Over 40,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising over 7.4 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 114 countries. In addition, almost 10,000 homes have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system, with more than 40,000 more homes registered.
By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.
USGBC was co-founded by current President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi, who spent 25 years as a Fortune 500 executive. Under his 15-year leadership, the organization has become the preeminent green building, membership, policy, standards, influential, education and research organization in the nation.
For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.