We sat down with Jon Smieja, PhD, Corporate Sustainability Manager at Andersen Corporation, to chat about the state of sustainability in 2020 and where the industry headed in the future. He will also be speaking at Greenbuild International Conference & Expo Virtual this fall.

Check out our conversation with Jon below:

What is the biggest sustainability trend of 2020?

Wow, this is a tough question. 2020 has been such a challenging year. It is hard not to fall into a cynical spiral that overlooks all the great progress happening around us. For me there are two trends that, while different, are similarly important.

The first is the rise of the circular economy. While we have a long way to go in this regard, the number of companies thinking deeply about circular business models, products and solutions is exciting.

The second trend is the supercharged discussion around diversity, equity and inclusion in the sustainability arena. We saw this trend emerging over the previous several years, but the recent high-profile deaths of black Americans in our streets and in their homes has accelerated these discussions to a degree I didn’t think was possible even 6 months ago. Sustainability has been an area that has been far too white for too long, and it’s my hope that we make real change now to bring more diverse voices to these important discussions about our future.

What is the biggest sustainability innovation so far in 2020?

It may not be a singular innovation, but I have been impressed by continues gains in affordability of solar power and energy storage. This is not only a huge step in the march towards a clean energy economy, but also represents an opportunity to increase energy accessibility for people in developing nations that have, to date, not had adequate access to the electricity market by high costs and poor infrastructure. What we hear over an over now is that renewables are not only an environmentally sound investment, but one that has good economics

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected sustainability and/or green building?

The pandemic required companies to quickly shift their focus to safely managing their business though an unprecedented public health and economic crisis. While this resulted in other important work being paused, many of us in the corporate sustainability field are excited about the opportunity the recovery will present to rebuild the building industry in a stronger, more sustainable way. As we work to rebuild our economy and our companies, it’s important to focus on resilience and differentiation, both areas where sustainability plays a key role.

How will the COVID-19 pandemic shape the future of sustainability?

The pandemic and its following economic collapse has brought the opportunity for stakeholders to make a concerted effort in making sustainability a priority in their business. Sustainability can both save companies money and differentiate them against competitors. This pandemic has laid bare the flaws in our healthcare system, the racial opportunity divide, and other challenges in our society. I believe it is also bringing a reckoning about how our economic system undervalues the environment and my hope is that it will lead to systemic change.

Why is corporate social responsibility becoming more and more important?

In the last several years we’ve seen a lot of progress in corporate social responsibility. This could be the result of a culmination of many small steps over the last several decades, or it could be that we finally reached a tipping point where the cost to businesses of inaction became greater than the cost of action And while this process has been important, it is still not enough. It continues to be proven that doing good is good for business, and it is my hope that we will see this trajectory continue with increasing focus on long-term systemic change that results in better social, environmental and business outcomes for everyone.

Why is social equity so important today?

Social equity is finally reaching all the areas of the economy that have been slow to react to changing conditions. As the world (and the companies that operate within it) has begun to realize that a diversity of opinions, a diversity of backgrounds, and a diversity of people is important, we’ve all sought to find ways of incorporating these dimensions of diversity into our decision making.

How can sustainability and green building professionals help create a more circular economy?

As sustainability professionals, it is our responsibility to prove the business case for a circular economy. We must also be willing to present the circular economy as more than just circular products (recyclable, repairable, re-usable, etc.). For a circular economy to be realized, it must be built from the ground up using new business models and new ways of operating our businesses. Buildings, for example, could be designed with modularity, multiple uses, and end of life in mind from the early design phases.

It is also incumbent upon green building professionals to push for circular economy innovations from manufacturers and to make the case to their customers that more sustainable products and buildings are important.

What is your advice to fellow sustainability and/or green building professionals to make a positive impact in 2020?

Don’t waste this opportunity to make the change you want to see. Companies throughout the green building supply chain are rethinking things right now, and while it may seem like the wrong time to push sustainable innovation, we may never get this type of opportunity again to make the systematic change we need to see.

Where do you see sustainability going 10 years from now?

I’ve been doing corporate sustainability work now for almost a decade. In that time, I’ve been lucky enough to see the rise in product transparency, the growth of cutting-edge green building practices, and renewable energy shift from “the right thing to do” for the environment to the right thing to do for the bottom line. I’ve also seen the tidal shift from CFLs to LEDs, a rise in awareness around some of the worst acting chemicals in the building industry, and other advancements.

What we’ve yet to see, though, is the true democratization of sustainability. I’d like to see an economy where safe, durable products with low environmental impact are developed by and available to everyone.

We sat down with Lisa Conway, VP of  Sustainability – Americas at Interface, to chat about the state of sustainability in 2020 and where the industry headed in the future. She will also be speaking at Greenbuild International Conference & Expo Virtual this fall.

Check out our conversation with Lisa below:

What is the biggest sustainability trend of 2020?

The abundance of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has a measurable impact on climate change’s impact on human health. Reducing embodied carbon is the most urgent opportunity as it stands today with the manufacture of building materials making up 11% of total GHG emissions. By addressing embodied carbon emissions, we can continue to create a climate fit for life.

What is the biggest sustainability innovation so far in 2020? 

At Interface, we are launching carbon negative products – which is a positive thing for our climate.  We have innovated new ways of working with recycled content and bio-based materials, which has driven us to produce the first carbon negative carpet tile, which directly benefits the planet. We accomplished this by learning to love carbon instead of seeing it as the enemy.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected sustainability?

It is easier to change when everything has changed. As we begin to build back from the initial disruptions caused by COVID-19 unpreparedness, we can place sustainability at the core of the built environment to move forward and build more resilient communities.

How will the COVID-19 pandemic shape the future of sustainability?

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the entire world to experience a severe period of transition and turmoil as we continue to adapt and respond to the coronavirus outbreak. Despite the warning signs of a potentially destructive pandemic, we were still unprepared. We mut now recognize the similarities of the COVID-19 pandemic and another pandemic facing our world – climate change. By understanding this, we can spark an increased interest and urgency in reversing global warming so that we can avoid the devastating impact of yet another global crisis.

Why is corporate social responsibility becoming more and more important?

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to shine a light on the importance of corporate social responsibility. But it also demonstrates that all social issues are intertwined – we cannot view the issues and crises facing our world as siloed events or discussions.

For example, at Interface, while focused heavily on reversing global warming, we recognize that we cannot achieve this goal without addressing social equity. Specifically, climate change disproportionally impacts communities of color and low-income communities. We must address racism and environmental justice as a whole while we continue to pursue corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Why is social equity so important today?

The bulk of social inequities stem from society asking for more and needing it fast. As we pursue increased manufacturing and development, the question of where it comes from and how its production impacts others has become less important. The facets of corporate social responsibility – economic, social and environmental impacts – are all inextricably tied together. However, all must view these conversations as equally important across professional and personal boundaries.

A sustainability leader cannot opt to solely focus on reversing global warming without realizing its impact on low-income communities. These issues do not live in siloes. They are found everywhere and impact everyone.  We are up to that challenge.

How can sustainability & green building professionals help create a more circular economy? 

The first critical step in creating a more circular economy is prioritizing transparency around circular economy claims. We cannot view the circular economy as a list of boxes to check, and we must be able to trust claims across the industry to pursue successful endeavors now and in the future. Without transparency, we cannot meaningfully move forward.

What is your advice to fellow sustainability professionals to make a positive impact in 2020?

We do not often tell kids they can choose between a snack of carrots or cookies because we know they may not make the best choice. Instead, we offer our kids the option of better snacks – carrots or apples – removing the opportunity to select a less healthy option.

For building professionals that say their clients are not asking for sustainable building materials, so they are not suggesting them, there’s a lesson here. We have the opportunity as an industry to control the narrative and reduce the GHG emissions associated with the built environment by only presenting low-carbon products that are recycled at end of life. We are in the position and have the power to make low-carbon building materials the norm – not the exception. 

Where do you see sustainability going 10 years from now?

Earth has natural carbon sinks – oceans, plants and soil – that absorb carbon from the atmosphere and lock it away. Businesses must take a cue from nature and find ways to use and store carbon to reverse global warming, working in greater harmony with nature.

In 2030, I predict we will view buildings as carbon sinks, making them a solution to global warming as we endeavor to make the embodied and operational carbon associated with a building’s carbon life cycle more sustainable.  

Want to hear more from Lisa? Attend Greenbuild Virtual starting September 10th through November 12th. The industry’s leading green building event now offers three virtual summits in lead up to International Conference & Expo virtual event.

Safe, secure, sustainable. Connections without geographic boundaries. Expanded education courses available in real time or any time. Interactive supplier sourcing and peer networking forums. This is Greenbuild’s next chapter. Join us – Sign up here!

Google “healthy workplace” and you’ll find more than 300 million results. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified our definition of health and wellness and prompted architects, building managers, construction companies, and product developers to re-think how to create spaces that are both safe and sustainable.

More people are working from home than ever before and the amount of time spent in conventional office buildings is certain to decline as companies adapt to remote work arrangements. But a number of structures and businesses are immune to this trend.

Each of these spaces needs to be convenient for workers and conducive to productivity. The sustainable workplace movement has led to the need for workplaces to be carbon-neutral, energy-efficient, and health-focused. We are in the early stages of defining what healthy work environments need to be heading into the future. Air quality, social distancing guidelines, and cleaning products and procedures are more important than ever before.

Today’s employees will want to know, “Is this company culture and mission right for me?” and “Will I feel safe and productive in this environment, and is the company doing its part to preserve the planet?” In fact, 40 percent of millennials choose jobs based on the sustainability policies of companies and brands.

Here’s what constitutes a workplace today:

  • Office Buildings
  • Co-working Spaces
  • The Hybrid Workplace (home and office)
  • Retailers
  • Restaurants
  • Schools
  • Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities
  • Prisons
  • Factories
  • Theaters and Entertainment Spaces
  • Farms
  • On-the-Road (transportation centers, drivers and pilots)
  • Hotels
  • Convention Centers
  • Stadiums

We can see that the availability of technology to connect to teammates, wherever they are, can make a huge difference in the ability to collaborate and move large projects forward. One thing we are definitely seeing, though, is that people working from home are more open to being their authentic selves and are happier, so a sustainable and productive workplace should strive to be more like home in as many ways as is possible.” – Jon Smieja, Corporate Sustainability Manager, Andersen Windows & Doors

We’ll see flexibility and the ability to avoid crowding: open stairwells and spaces that can easily be reconfigured for groups or solo work. Workplaces will be flexible, where spaces can accommodate both collaborating and social distance.” – Sara Neff, SVP Sustainability, Kilroy RealtyCorporation

For more on this topic, download our new whitepaper, “Redefining the Sustainable Workplace.”

Business leaders are more focused than ever before on employee health and well-being, especially as they create a new balance between physical space and remote working. We reached out to the movers and shakers of the green building movement and gathered their perspectives on the challenges facing businesses as they adjust to the sustainable, and healthy, new normal. Download it here.

You believe we can enhance building performance, support new technologies and build a green economy with sustainable materials. We do too. So, Greenbuild has gathered the brightest minds in a transformational virtual event series running Sept 10 – Nov 10.

With 4x the content, you’ll do much more than stare trancelike at your screen for 16 hours. Discussion groups, AI-fueled matchmaking and interactive breakouts mean that whether you are designing in Dubai or creating in California, this is your one chance to connect as an industry.

You don’t want to miss these sessions:

Green Business Summit – September 10th

Resilience Summit – October 1

Global Health & Wellness Summit – October 22

Greenbuild International Conference  & Expo – November 10-12

Early Bird Deadlines End September 4th. Get your All Access Pass today and save $200. With three convenient summits and one main event, Zoom fatigue is a thing of the past. Join us!

Working from home has become the “new normal” for many businesses. As people return to offices, social distancing and healthier workplaces are imperative. Attracting and retaining the best employees is no longer just a function of corporate culture but also the environments in which they work. 

Air and water quality and ventilation, building systems that encourage social distancing, and other solutions will continue to evolve. The willingness of many companies to allow employees to work remotely will ultimately have an impact on air quality, as commuters establish new at-home routines. 

“The CDC now wants us to highly increase building energy use through ventilating in off-hours, turning off demand-controlled ventilation, etc. Spaces will need to accommodate both collaborating and social distance.”

  • Neff, Kilroy Realty

“COVID-19 has reframed the way we think about building use and occupation comfort. The conversation also includes efficiency upgrades because many new HVAC systems allow for several accessories, like UV sanitizing lights.”

  • Agazio, Motili

“We’ll see automated technology that seamlessly integrates into our workspaces — like automated doorways and fixtures. A phased reduction in density will be evident via people and spaces.”

  • Ahmad, Sustainable Architect

“While we use floor design for aesthetics, branding, and wayfinding, it will also become more prominent in terms of safety — especially to provide visual cues to keep occupants connected but at a safe distance.”

  • Conway, Interface

“I believe that the circular economy will ebb and flow, based on needs and demands…the innovative mindset of the new entrepreneur will help accelerate the movement and steer it in a great direction.” 

  • George Bandy, Global Leader for CSR and Sustainability 

“I’ve become more cognizant of the need to design and build for the challenges of the next decades…not just today.”

  • Sims, American Chemistry Council

For more on this topic, download our new whitepaper, “Sustainability: Yesterday vs. Tomorrow.” You’ll learn the 7 must-know insights defining the future of our industry, post-COVID-19 transformation, powerful innovations, and how companies are becoming more socially responsible.

The term “future-proofing” first came into use in 2007. Originally applied to technology security, it was embraced rapidly by the sustainability community. Natural disasters and the damage to the planet caused by irresponsible human decision-making prompted the building industry to look at how the choices they make can result in irreparable damage to individuals, neighborhoods, and the planet. Today (and tomorrow) everyone involved in the design, development, and building process is held to a higher standard. 

We reached out to professionals who are changing the trajectory of green building and sustainability. This “green dream team” represents a broad and diverse cross-section of sustainability and business leaders, including architecture, manufacturing, design, consulting, and real estate.

They spoke to us about the post-COVID-19 transformation, how innovation will need powerful new solutions, and how companies and brands are expanding their knowledge and commitment to social responsibility.

Common themes that emerged about the future of sustainability from this group are:

  1. The need for true collaboration and sharing of best practices across industries
  2. Automation as a lever in creating solutions and in data reporting
  3. An expanded role of socially-responsible corporations in facilitating change and innovation
  4. Emphasis on health and well-being of individuals and communities in the post-COVID-19 environment
  5. The ongoing need to track and report the short- and long-term financial benefits of sustainable building

 Here are their powerful insights for the next decade. 

“Along with the continued move toward collaboration, I am excited to see the impact institutional investors can have on effecting change. I look forward to the changes future generations will dream up that are unimaginable today.” 

“There will be a huge focus on people and the impacts of all actions that affect people’s lives, quality, accessibility, equality, health, etc.….We will see a major shift in how all stakeholders approach corporate sustainability. In the long-term, there really needs to be a better plan for infrastructure in cities and overall public transportation.”

“In 10 years, I believe we will improve reporting and move the needle on social impact. There is no better time to redesign the new normal.”

Solar photovoltaic technology, battery storage, and the use of electric vehicles will be at the forefront of commercial energy storage. National energy codes and local state financial incentives will recognize and mandate the implementation of solar-ready infrastructure and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.”

“In three years, automated sustainability will take hold as the wave of IoT (Internet of Things) and 5G spread across the nation. I expect to see many smart devices that help homeowners and building operators monitor electricity, water use, and potentially trash and recycling volumes. Automation will pave the way towards inherent building sustainability. Within 10 years, I expect to see huge strides towards carbon neutrality nationwide. The major changes will be around energy use rates and grid mix transactions to renewables. I would also expect a higher responsibility of action placed on major manufacturers.”

  • Maria Agazio, Sustainability and Energy Efficiency Lead, Motili

“In the short-term, I think environmental sustainability will take a back seat to health and wellness in the built environment. I think we’ll see larger strides in the electrification of buildings, renewable energy, and energy efficiency as more new buildings move toward net zero goals and have carbon neutrality goals.”

“We’ll see materials advances – especially nanotechnology based advances in areas like insulation and super windows. 3D printing will be applied to affordable housing using sustainable materials and reducing construction times. AI tools will lead to the expansion of generative design and integrative design.”

  • Roger Duncan, Author, former Research Fellow at the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin, and former General Manager of Austin Energy. Co-author with Michael E. Webber of the upcoming book, The Future of Buildings, Transportation and Power (August 2020)

“There will be an increasing focus on understanding physical climate risk, and disclosing that financial impact to investors.”

“In the near future, sustainability will be better focused on our independence and interconnectedness. Stakeholders are starting to align their contributions to the broader interrelated system to achieve better results. An excellent example is how utilities, solar companies, and builders all impact the sustainability and monthly cost of buildings — the largest segment of energy consumption globally…Sustainable energy doesn’t result unless these separate groups coordinate the results and support each other’s initiatives.” 

For more on this topic, download our new whitepaper, “Sustainability: Yesterday vs. Tomorrow.” You’ll learn the 7 must-know insights defining the future of our industry, post-COVID-19 transformation, powerful innovations, and how companies are becoming more socially responsible.

San Francisco’s renewable energy program, CleanPowerSF was one of seven winners at the C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards, which took place on the sidelines of the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen last week.

The awards recognize cities across the world that have taken significant action to address climate change issues.

CleanPowerSF, which was established in 2016, gives San Francisco residents and businesses the option to purchase their electricity from renewable and low-carbon sources of energy at competitive rates.

It forms a key part of the city’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2025, and to have 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.

Read the full article here

By: Marc Spiegel, Rubicon Global

Attendees at this year’s Greenbuild Conference & Expo are no strangers to the idea that construction and demolition (C&D) recycling and diversion from the landfill in your project is a cost-saving, not a cost center, if done properly.

The results speak for themselves and have been replicated on countless C&D projects over the years. But how well has this message been heard by the home and commercial property builders who have yet to put diversion at the center of their work? Better yet, how is this message being disseminated to executives who think more strategically about giving their company an upper-hand?

There is a misconception among some sectors of the general public, as well as numerous construction companies, that diverting materials away from the landfill and into recycling streams is more expensive than simply disposing of C&D waste in a landfill.

It’s my belief, however, that C&D recycling and diversion can be a cost-saving, not a cost center, for almost all C&D projects. All a project needs is the right plan, knowledge of infrastructure, and the ability to do something differently from what they have done for decades.

Recycling is a Cost-Saving

Consider LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), a green building certification program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). For a building to become LEED-certified it must use resources (many of which are nonrenewable) more efficiently than they would if they were simply trying to stick to a standard building code—and in most cases, for a building to be LEED-certified from the moment it’s completed, it must divert the vast majority of its C&D waste from the landfill and into recycling streams.

Earlier this year, State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia received LEED Gold certification after partnering with Rubicon to recycle 12,500 seats from the arena as part of a refurbishment project. The project resulted in 64 tons of recyclable material being identified.

Green buildings can have lower maintenance costs, can significantly cut down on waste, and can be better for a developer’s bottom line. This is no trivial thing.

How to Divert C&D Materials

This isn’t just true of LEED buildings. C&D recycling and diversion is a cost-saving regardless of a building or other construction project’s certification, as materials that would otherwise have been sent to landfill have a monetary value that you can leverage.

When you recycle C&D waste, the cost of recycling these materials is often less than the cost of standard disposal fees because you receive some of the value back from recycling these materials; especially valuable ones, such as aluminum, copper, and other non-ferrous metals.

To determine how you can save money on your waste disposal fees on your next C&D project (while also doing something good for the environment), get in touch with an expert and ask them how they can help you recover in your area. Typically this consists of metals, wood, concrete, and gypsum, but more can be added to this list depending on the scope of your project.

Remember, you don’t need to spend more to be a more sustainable business, and do the right thing for the environment.

About the Author: Marc Spiegel is a Co-Founder and Head of Construction & Demolition Project Solutions at Rubicon Global, a technology company born in the waste and recycling industry. You can contact Marc at marc.spiegel@rubiconglobal.com.

At Greenbuild Conference & Expo 2019 you’ll be inspired and learn about new products and programs. But ultimately, the PEOPLE of the global sustainability effort make all the difference. Each week, leading up to the event, we showcase one game-changer, profiling a speaker, supporter, sponsor, or friend of Greenbuild. 

Up next:

Josh Jacobs, LEED AP&BD&C, Director of Environmental Codes & Standards, UL Environment & Sustainability

“In our world, you can sometimes feel like Sisyphus…same rock, same hill, every day,” says Jacobs. But he remains hopeful about our future. “When you take a step back and look at the changes that have happened in building and procurement, they are monumental.” 

As part of the original International Green Construction Code’s (igCC) working group for Indoor Environmental Quality, he helped the committee understand the impact that VOC emissions can have on indoor occupants. Getting building code officials, builders, and product manufacturers to see the importance of building materials in preserving human health and that the criteria should be part of the code was one of Jacob’s greatest moments.

Jacobs gets his inspiration from people who look at what has been done and ask, “Why can’t I do this differently?” His own “green heroes” include Eric Corey Freed, the originator of concept of Prostruction and Shaun McCarthy who greened the London Olympics. 

He is also a connector. “This industry is filled with some incredibly smart people from around the globe. I try to make sure that most of the smart people I know, know each other. Listening to them and sharing ideas and concepts makes me smarter and pushes me to do better every day,” Jacob says.

Interested in being profiled in our Voices of Greenbuild series? Please contact us!

Atlanta has been called “a dark horse of sustainability.” A mere three years ago it was selected from among 1,000 submissions to be part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative. In 2018 alone, more than 11 million gross square feet of space achieved LEED certification in the state of Georgia. Now, Atlanta not only has its own strategy for sustainability but has been chosen as the 2019 site for Greenbuild International Conference & Expo 2019.

Atlanta’s  goal of powering the city with 100 percent clean energy by 2035 is ambitious, and the businesses and developers in the city (which is expected to grow from 6M to 8M people by 2040) are up for the challenge. To help that effort along, more than 10K sustainability professionals will be converging in the city this fall at Greenbuild 2019 to share ideas, inspiration, and new solutions.

 

Here’s what you can expect to find in Atlanta in November:

It Begins at the Airport

More than 103 million people pass through the airport each year. From its own solar production facility to LED runway lights to its Sustainable Food Court Initiative, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport(R) is soaring in its efforts to maintain a more sustainable environment. Among the first international airports to engage in an initiative like this, it uses specialized software to manage utility performance for all its assets.

It was, in fact, the first airport in the world to earn pre-certification under the LEED for Communities program, which tracks energy, water, waste, transportation, and the human experience, including education, prosperity, equability, and health and safety. As we noted in the first part of the series, health (both individual and community) is playing a bigger role in the definition of sustainability — this year and beyond.

Welcome to One of the Greenest Cities in America

Atlanta is now in its fifth year of the Better Buildings Challenge, and is reporting impressive results — both in terms of progress in energy-efficiency and the economic health of its population.

Fast Green Fact: Atlanta is in the top 20 in the Locavore Index for its commitment to healthy food.

The Atlanta Mayor’s office has outlined nine key projects as part of the city’s ongoing sustainability commitment. The Office of Resilience commits that “through action-oriented policies, Atlanta continues to update its city infrastructure to align with these values and become a region that works for its residents, as well as a model for cities globally.”

Atlanta is home to many corporate headquarters. Home Depot, one of Greenbuild’s sponsors, has made a company-wide commitment to sustainability. Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Invesco, and Newell Rubbermaid have all also been heralded for their commitment to a better planet.

Part of the national Target Cities program, Atlanta’s Eco-District has made a commitment to educating its midtown community about sustainable living practices. These new models of urban development and certification process are intended to “spark a movement of urbanists committed to using a governance and performance framework for district and neighborhood-scale redevelopment.”

Fast Green Fact: Georgia Tech offers a fully-integrated Serve-Learn-Sustain (SLS)  curriculum and the state’s first Master’s program in Sustainability

Touchdown! Football season has begun, which reminds us of “the most sustainable Super Bowl ever.” Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium was the first professional sports stadium in the world to earn LEED Platinum Certification, scoring an impressive 88 points. The Green Sports Alliance declared that this Atlanta-based icon and its practices “brings sustainability to the forefront of sports.“  

Fast Green Fact: Serenbe, an experimental green community outside of Atlanta, has been thriving for more than 15 years and is home to 600 residents

The Event

The organizers of Greenbuild made a firm commitment to “walking the talk” when bringing a conference of this magnitude to a new city. The Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) earned its LEED Gold Certification. This 4 million square foot facility tackled a variety of challenges and has become a model for convention centers nationally. We work closely with the U.S. Green Building Council and its Georgia chapter to engage the local business community in the event, along with national game-changers and leaders.  Last year, 66 percent of event attendees made at least one pledge about their own role in making the Expo itself more sustainable. An impressive 28,000 pledges were made.

Greenbuild organizers set goals for various aspects of conference production — from transportation to and from the convention center, to display production, to the handling of waste and food. Following last year’s event in Chicago, the organizers issued a comprehensive Sustainability Report, measuring every aspect of Greenbuild. Because this annual event is, in effect, its own community, Informa (the organizers) hold themselves to high standards, as if they were a city-within-a-city. The 2018 KPIs will be the stats to beat as we head into 2019.

Atlanta Welcomes You

From a global perspective to local community game-changers, Greenbuild 2019 will give sustainability professionals insights into our industry from a variety of perspectives. You’ll discover why Atlanta is rapidly becoming the epicenter of sustainable innovation in the South.

Greenbuild continues to prioritize sustainability and demonstrate leadership when it comes to greening the conference and events industry. This year’s conference will take place November 20-22 in Atlanta, GA. Registration is now open. Get your tickets here.