More than 20 years ago, USBGC started as a vision. Today, it is an unparalleled community of sustainability-focused and like-minded people responsible for anchoring one of the most important environmental movements of our time. In 2000, the very first LEED buildings were certified, propelling the multi-billion-dollar global green building industry and spurring explosive growth in energy-efficient, green buildings across the globe.
In 2002, USGBC held the first Greenbuild conference as a thought leadership platform to engage and support our movement’s leaders. In 2008, USGBC created GBCI, an independent certification and credentialing organization, to accelerate the mission of USGBC and the adoption of LEED.
Today, LEED is the most widely used green building rating program in the world and is on track to directly contribute $303.5 billion to the U.S. GDP by 2018. LEED is one of the single most powerful economic development tools for revitalizing and scaling sustainable buildings across the globe. In the U.S. alone, it supports nearly eight million jobs across all 50 states and contributes $554 billion to the economy annually. LEED has become a full-scale global movement, with nearly 90,000 registered and certified projects and more than 19.15 billion square feet participating in LEED across 165 countries and territories. Every day, 2.2 million square feet of building space certifies to LEED.
What’s next for USGBC, LEED and GBCI? One of our main focuses is preparing for the next 20+ years and sustaining LEED’s explosive growth trajectory. So, in the last few years, we have shifted our vision to prepare ourselves for the future. To further ramp up the green building movement and complement LEED, GBCI has expanded to administer several other rating systems.
We know that the built environment goes far beyond the four walls of a building, and the increased scope of USGBC and GBCI shows the ways our movement spans across industries: From land and sustainable site development, parking structures and power sources, to human health and wellness, the indoor environment and the reduction of waste and investment in sustainability as a way to increase the bottom line.
GBCI is now administering and supporting nine rating systems including LEED, WELL, PEER, SITES, Parksmart, EDGE, GRESB, Zero Waste and the Investor Confidence Project. And with these new rating systems, GBCI is consistently advancing our strategy to create new markets, build capacity and create value.
Together, USGBC and GBCI are creating unstoppable momentum in the marketplace. You can see that through LEED, and with the addition of these rating systems, we are expanding from buildings to communities to cities, and that the next era of green building is about seamless integration to ensure a sustainable future for all.
In support of this vision, GBCI also recently launched Arc, a new state-of-the-art technology and data platform designed to take LEED and GBCI’s other rating systems and the green building movement itself to the next level through the shared use of technology, feedback and performance recognition excellence.
Arc empowers people all over the world to connect and collaborate toward a collective higher quality of life by making the most informed sustainability decisions possible.
Every year, USGBC and our Greenbuild partner Informa produce the largest green building conference and expo in the world. This is where the contributions of USGBC, GBCI and our community members come together.
For 15 years, Greenbuild has been bringing forth world leaders such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu; former President Bill Clinton; former Vice President Al Gore; former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton; environmental activists such as Tom Steyer, Sheryl Crow, E.O. Wilson and Josh Bernstein; media celebrities such as Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough, David Brooks, Cokie Roberts and Thomas Friedman; numerous nonprofit organizational leaders like WRI, UNEP, AIA, ASLA, IFMA, NAHB, C40, EDF, Nature Conservancy, NRDC, World Bank, IFC and IMF; and technology and manufacturing giants such as Autodesk, Adobe, Google, UTC, Intel and Kohler.
Greenbuild 2017 will continue this legacy, featuring something for everyone. We are projecting more than 25,000 attendees from 100 countries will join us for this year’s event in Boston, which will feature several hundred exhibitors of green products and service innovations on the show floor and more than 150 presentations and educational sessions by business, environmental, government and social leaders.
We are also putting together a stellar lineup of inspiring plenary and keynote speakers, master series speakers and diverse educational content. Greenbuild education includes Special Sets, which reinvent traditional breakout sessions with alternative formats and new engaging environments.
We will also hold four separate summits, including the Communities and Affordable Homes Summit, WaterBuild—The Water Summit at Greenbuild, the popular International Summit and the Builder Sustainability Forum. Greenbuild will feature an entire Master Series track, as well as sessions on LEED and the GBCI programs—GRESB, Parksmart, PEER, SITES, WELL, Zero Waste and Investor Confidence Project.
Greenbuild has become the go-to place for the green building industry to convene, and it is where the future of the green building movement is shaped. The ideas and passions of the green building community come alive each year at Greenbuild. It’s where inspiration happens, business relationships are cultivated, innovation is recognized and celebrated and where people from around the globe come to reconnect and remind each other why they do what they do—and why they work hard every day to better the built environment.
This year will be a turning point for Greenbuild, and for the future of our movement. More than ever, we’re at an important crossroads where our movement must carefully consider which direction we will take. At USGBC, we are encouraged about the future because we’ve witnessed the green building movement double down its efforts to bring people in, lift communities up and demonstrate that green buildings and communities are all about people, the environment, human health and wellness. We’ve been encouraged by the continued commitment to build a sustainable future for all.
We know that at this point in time, we need to look to new leaders who are inspired by the promise of a brighter future for our children and for generations to follow. We know that these leaders are everywhere, because we’ve watched them make history together and define the work that we, as an organization, do each day. And we know that private industry and public leaders are the key to continuing to transform the market and push the sustainability movement forward.
The green building movement is a community of 13 million strong and growing. And we are ready to rise. We are in this together.
The theme for this year’s Greenbuild is “All In” and encompasses the breadth of the sustainability and green building movement. The green building movement is living proof that real change starts with people—real change starts with you and me.
To carry this movement forward, we need a network of fellow changemakers who keep building—who keep building net zero office buildings and hospitals, who keep building the homes we open to one another and the schools for our children, who keep building communities that run on brilliant minds and diverse backgrounds, who keep building the community centers where we gather and the headquarters where we commit to doing better for our nation. And most important, those who keep building trust in one another and keep building bridges and bonds and breaking barriers.
In order to keep building, we must be “All In”—for the ideals of equality, opportunity, diversity and acceptance. And we must be “All In” for creating a future we all can believe in—a more sustainable future for all regardless of economic, social, cultural or political background. And we must be “All In” for fighting inequity and injustice, ending poverty and tackling climate change.
“All In” showcases the depth of the commitment we feel to our community, to our mission and to our world. We leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of what’s next—new technology, new ideas and new ways forward. We are dedicated to transforming the market and changing the way people all over the world experience buildings.
“All In” also encompasses the increased scope of USGBC and GBCI. This year’s Greenbuild in Boston will feature an even larger connection to USGBC and GBCI’s programs, which offer unparalleled opportunities to revitalize the economy through green jobs, energy efficiency and operational cost savings.
These programs provide a real chance to turn the tide of climate change; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; preserve water and natural resources; promote health, security and resiliency; and target causes of global strife, such as dependence on fossil fuels and a worsening water shortage. USGBC and GBCI take a results-oriented approach to transforming the green building—and business—marketplace.
“All In” encompasses the idea that all buildings, all communities and all cities can do better. While LEED has always been, and will continue to be the leadership standard, there is a tremendous opportunity to effect change on a global scale across the entire built environment and across both existing and new buildings, communities and cities. This year we welcome everyone to Greenbuild as green building champions—from all corners of the globe.
I am also excited to announce that this year we have expanded our Greenbuild platform to include conferences in India and China, in addition to Greenbuild Boston and Greenbuilding Brasil. These new events serve as platforms for green building knowledge and shared expertise across continents—while scaling the breadth and reach of global market transformation for the built environment.
When we come together for Greenbuild in Boston, Brazil, India and China, we represent professionals, advocates, practitioners, students, teachers, designers, builders and everything in between.
We are one community. We are what’s next, and we are “All In.”