World Green Building Week Kicks Off

Words: Dan Kamys

World Green Building Week Kicks Off

Countries around the world are kicking off World Green Building Week, and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is doing its part by helping move the green economy debate forward, locally and globally, through its participation in a series of events this fall. As a whole, the events support USGBC's efforts to make green cities and buildings pillars of sustainable economic development in all regions of the world.

"In communities around the world, green building is offering real, measurable results in humanity's efforts to reduce our global carbon footprint and promote environmental, economic and social prosperity," says Scot Horst, senior VP of LEED, USGBC. "In an increasingly connected world, we need to work together to embrace the challenge of developing a system that unites us in a global community, while recognizing our local realities."

This October, USGBC will host its Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in Toronto. Attendance at the event, taking place Oct. 4-7, is expected to hit 25,000 people and will feature keynote speakers Thomas Friedman, Dr. Paul Farmer, Cokie Roberts and New York City Mayor Bloomberg, as well as nearly 1,000 of the world's most innovative green building companies. Greenbuild also features hundreds of educational sessions, a master speaker's series, local green building tours and an opening plenary celebration featuring a performance by the chart topping band, Maroon 5.

While in Toronto, USGBC, the United Nations Environment Programme's Regional Office for North America (UNEP RONA) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) will announce a new initiative that will highlight the important role buildings and cities play in ensuring sustainable economic development, entitled the Road to Rio+20. This initiative will engage private sector leaders, civil society and local government officials in highlighting examples of the green economy in action, with a focus on energy efficiency in buildings and sustainable cities. Road to Rio events will take place in locations across North America throughout the coming year.

Also at Greenbuild, USGBC will hold the International Summit with sessions addressing climate change, infrastructure, regionally informed design and ecological natural resources.

Just this week, USGBC was recognized at the Clinton Global Initiative Conference (CGI) as a Commitment Maker for its work underway in Haiti through Project Haiti. With its project partners HOK, Adaptive Building Solutions, and Haiti's Foundation Enfant Jesus, USGBC is currently engaged in a full-fledged capital campaign to support the construction of a LEED-certified orphanage and children's center. Once built, the project will serve as both a powerful symbol of hope for the future and a model of sustainable building practices upon which to rebuild their nation.

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