Saturday, June 9, 2012

President Clinton Announces the Launch of California’s Best Buildings Challenge at 2012 Clinton Global Initiative America

Jason Hartke
Vice President, National Policy
U.S. Green Building Council

Add six companies…five million square feet of collective real estate…and one challenge. Stir.

What do you get?

A recipe for something remarkable – not just better buildings, but best buildings. In other words, California’s Best Buildings Challenge.

Yesterday, six major leading companies – Adobe, Genentech, Google, Prudential Real Estate Investors, SAP and Zynga – stepped up to the Challenge, a commitment to achieve not just a 20 percent reduction in energy but also in water and waste.

The kicker? They’re doing it in 2 years.

President Clinton announced the Challenge at yesterday's CGI America conference

California’s Best Buildings Challenge, a joint effort of the U.S. Green Building Council and its Northern California Chapter, gained significant national recognition today when President Clinton highlighted the effort at the closing plenary of the Clinton Global Initiative America conference in Chicago.

"Greater building efficiency can make - listen to this - can make available to us 85 percent of future U.S. Energy demand and a national commitment to green building has the potential to create 2.5 million jobs," said President Clinton. "It is also by far the most labor rich of all the clean energy investments. A billion dollar invetment in energy efficiency yields about seven thousand jobs."

The Best Buildings Challenge was also selected as a CGI-America ‘Commitment to Action.’

"This is a serious commitment," said President Clinton.

“We are pleased to have these leading-edge organizations on board with this incredibly meaningful challenge,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, USGBC. “The California Best Buildings Challenge is raising the bar in terms of what is expected in the realm of corporate sustainability. We are eager to prove that curbing energy and water use and reducing waste by 20 percent in two years is not only possible, but a must-do.”

Inspired by the White House’s Better Buildings Challenge and President Clinton’s pioneering work to promote sustainable building, California’s Best Building Challenge is going further faster to advance green, resource efficient buildings that help businesses save money and stimulate job creation.

Buildings have a huge impact on the environment. In the U.S., they account for 41% of our energy use, 38% of our CO2 emissions, and 13% of our potable water.

“As President Clinton has said many times, a strong economy and clean environment go hand in hand. Green building is Exhibit A,” said Fedrizzi. “Thank you to our participants for advancing the movement for greener buildings.”


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