Green Building Pioneer Daniel Tishman Becomes NRDC Board Chair

December 31, 2007 |

Green building pioneer Daniel R. Tishman has been selected as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the nation’s largest environmental organizations.


“The environmental challenges we face today at the local, national and global levels are unlike anything we have witnessed before,” Tishman said. “The good news is that we have more and better opportunities than ever before to remedy the problems. Cleaner energy, better business strategies and a commitment to cutting pollution are the heart of NRDC’s hard-edged advocacy and actions.”


NRDC is one of the nation’s largest environmental organizations. From winning passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972 to this year’s path-breaking negotiations with TXU, NRDC crafts innovative solutions and strategies to stop global warming, reduce air and water pollution, and protect both human and wild habitats. NRDC is also a leading presence in China, developing pioneering strategies to lower energy use and cut dangerous emissions.


Tishman has been a member of the NRDC board for ten years. NRDC has 350 lawyers, scientists and other experts and an annual budget of almost $80 million.


“Dan has taken his love of the environment and turned it into a strong business practice,” said Frances Beinecke, NRDC’s President. “This model is an increasingly crucial component of American environmental leadership today.”


Tishman is a fourth-generation owner and leader of the well-regarded national builder and real estate developer, Tishman Realty & Construction Co., Inc., founded in 1898 in New York City. Almost two decades ago, he joined the company his great-grandfather founded and has since then become a major force in propelling the green building movement to the forefront of the real estate and construction industries. He is Chairman and CEO of the firm’s building arm, the Tishman Construction Corporation.


Before that, he earned a degree in Wildlife Ecology from Evergreen State College in Washington State and began his post-college life as a professional environmentalist working with the National Audubon Society. He helped develop the National Audubon Expedition Institute, which is now a fully accredited environmental program of Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.


Tishman Construction has managed the construction of pace-setting skyscrapers, including 4 Times Square (also known as the Condé Nast Building) which is the first green skyscraper in New York City, and 7 World Trade Center, the first office tower in New York to receive gold certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Tishman Construction is currently managing the construction of the Bank of America Tower in midtown Manhattan, the first office tower slated to earn platinum LEED certification, as well as the World Trade Center Freedom Tower, which is pursuing a Gold LEED rating.


“Dan Tishman has had a lifelong commitment to a safe environment, healthy communities and robust protection of wild lands,” said Frederick A.O. Schwarz Jr., NRDC’s chairman for the last 17 years. “He is a long-time trustee of NRDC and proven leader in environmental protection, philanthropy and business. I am confident that leadership of NRDC’s board will be in very strong and capable hands.”


Tishman emphasized that he owes much to his predecessor as chairman. “Fritz has wisely led the NRDC Board and helped the organization become the nation’s preeminent voice for the environment,” he said.


Through its Partnership for the Earth campaign, NRDC is concentrating efforts in six major areas: curbing global warming; ending America’s dependence on oil; restoring the world’s oceans; saving endangered places and wildlife; protecting human health from toxic pollutants; and helping green China.


Tishman currently serves on several other boards including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Sustainability Advisory Board, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the Jackson Laboratory, UJA Federation of New York and the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation.  Past boards he has served on include: Natural Resources Council of Maine, National Real Estate Advisory Board for the Trust for Public Land, New York League of Conservation Voters and the American Museum of Natural History Board on Bio-Diversity.

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