Greenbuild 2012 Day 1

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See all GreenBuild 2012 posts.

This year’s 30,000 attendee GreenBuild2012 conference started today in San Francisco, California. The opening plenary was packed as the Mayor of San Francisco, Edwin M. Lee began the session. Lee told attendees that this was the ideal location for Greenbuild this year as two buildings in the Moscone Center received LEED Gold certification and San Francisco was recently named the greenest city in North America with the highest score among 27 major cities on CO2, energy, land use, buildings, transport, water, waste, air and environmental governance, and the greatest number of LEED certified buildings.

The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Director of Green Schools, Rachel Gutter spoke about the USGBC’s Green School Program which has grown to over 200 groups on college campuses. Gutter was joined by Geraud Darnis, President and CEO of United Technologies to present awards to Dr. Wim Wiewel, president ofPortlandUniversity and Jerry Webber, the President of College of theLakeCounty for their leadership in green, higher education.

A surprise announcement was made early in the program that Google had awarded a $3 million grant to the USGBC to conduct research on the relationship between building materials and human health. According to the USGBC website, the grant “will focus on three areas that will spur the creation of healthier indoor environments and encourage market transformation in the building materials industry: supporting research on building materials and health, developing new transparency tools and engaging stakeholders from across the industry.”

USGBC President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi, spoke of the global pulse of green building and LEED. There is an exponential growth in the web of influence, as green buildings are now appealing to everyone around the world. He said that the movement is about transparency and proving claims. LEED is about the people inside the buildings, their health, and their well-being. He spoke of green building as a social movement, and while success did not come overnight to other social movements like women’s suffrage, civil rights, etc., the common denominator for these movements was that their advocates were “right” and their detractors were “wrong,” plain and simple. It seemed like that message resonated with the crowd.

Morning Joe co-hosts, Joe Scarborough  and Mika Brzezinski hosted 3 lively, intelligent and engaging panel discussions during the last half of the session featuring: Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey; George Pataki, Former Governor of New York and Founder & Chairmain of Pataki-Cahill Group; Biz Stone, Co-Founder of Twitter; Gavin Newsom, Lt. Governor of California; Majora Carter, Urban Revitalization Strategist; David Kohler, President and Chief Operating Officer, Kohler Co.; and Paul Hawken Environmentalist, Entrepreneur, and Author.

Some of the conclusions from the panels were:

  • Building a forward thinking infrastructure 20-50 years ago could have prevented 10’s of billions of dollars in Hurricane Sandy damage.
  • We are living in a world where one way communication is dead.
  • Social technologies, such as Twitter, have not been fully realized as to their potential to impact social change and government policy.
  • Listening, collecting data, interpreting that data, how we transmute information into knowledge, and knowledge into understanding.
  • The way to educate the public about environmental change and sustainability is to relate them to social causes and job creation.
  • And lastly, environmental equality is the next step, and we will all benefit from it.


What are you up to at #Greenbuild? Let us know in the comments! See all GreenBuild 2012 posts.
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Learn more about Schneider Electric Green Buildings Solutions.

Ashley Baker on Google+



  • Melissa O'Mara

    12 years ago

    Great summary Ashley! It was a truly inspiring start to whirlwind conference. I was able to meet with many, many smart, dedicated people that seemed to be surveying the landscape of solutions, and solution providers, in order to solve real problems or challenges they are facing. Judging from many hours in the Schneider Electric booth, it appears that our solutions portfolio is really aligning with those needs. In particular, I personally heard much interest in Resource Advisor, which provides the CFO/COO data driven view of a institution’s progress against their sustainability commitments, including outstanding project tracking capabilities. LOTS of interest in our IT plugload management solution, where we partner with Cisco and Joulex. We are truly able to tame the phantom workload beast! And great interest and dialogue around Smart Cities, as we educated folks on the diversity of our offers across several domains in the city: buildings, water, traffic & transportation, energy/grid, security and public safety, as well as our services (including performance contracting – funding infrastructure upgrades from energy/operational savings). But also just great dialogue on the hope for smart cities, making them more resilient – an oft-heard term this week.

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