The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and USGBC's Northern California Chapter (USGBC-NCC) announced today that a total of 13 companies in California have committed to the California Best Building Challenge.
Heralded by the Obama White House's Better Building Challenge that seeks 20 percent energy reductions by 2020, the California Best Buildings Challenge tasks participants to reach 20 percent reductions in energy, water and waste in existing commercial buildings in just two years!
Seven new companies, including Bayer, Integral Group, Lockheed Martin, Method, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Webcor Builders and XL Construction will join existing participants Adobe, Genentech, Google, Prudential Real Estate Investors, SAP and Zynga. Together the companies own or operate more than six million square feet of commercial building space.
Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman of the USGBC made the announcement on-stage at the W Hotel in San Francisco during a Road to Greenbuild event leading up to the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, which runs from November 12 - 17 in San Francisco. The event was attended by 150 regional executives and included a luncheon, keynote by Fedrizzi, and appearances by executives from the participating companies.
"California companies have always been trail blazers," said Dan Geiger, executive director, USGBC-NCC. "When President Obama initiated the Better Buildings Challenge, we thought California firms could go further with the California Best Buildings Challenge. In the lead up to Greenbuild coming to its birthplace San Francisco, these firms are stepping up to pursue aggressive environmental goals in a landmark accelerated time frame - and most importantly, to inspire others to do the same."
USGBC-NCC developed the Challenge, launching it with former President Clinton at the closing plenary event of the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative America meeting, which focused on identifying solutions to the economic turmoil in the United States. CGI America identified the Challenge as an excellent approach to addressing clean electricity and efficiency.
"Some of the companies are committing to pursue the Challenge in already very efficient, even LEED Platinum, buildings," said Ashleigh Talberth, of USGBC-NCC, director of the California Best Buildings Challenge. "This Challenge could kick start a new wave of unprecedented, cutting-edge sustainability."
The USGBC is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings by utilizing its market-transforming LEED green building certification program, educational programs, a nationwide network of professionals, and the annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. USGBC-NCC is one of the largest chapters in the country with more than 22,000 constituents, 10,000 LEED accredited professionals and more than five percent of the world's LEED-certified square footage.
Allen Smith, CEO of Prudential Real Estate Investors, said, "As a major investor in commercial real estate
around the world, PREI is committed to our investors, our tenants, and each other to find creative, sustainable approaches to building, improving and managing property. We're excited to be part of the California Best Buildings Challenge as it is an opportunity to demonstrate that commitment by bringing out the best in us while improving our environmental practices."
"SAP is committed to developing innovations that help run operations more sustainably for ourselves and our customers. A key part of SAP’s sustainability leadership is our dedication to environmentally-sustainable buildings, including optimizing the efficiency of our existing buildings and when creating new buildings from the ground up. By participating in the California Best Buildings Challenge, all companies have an opportunity to demonstrate how they are driving sustainability into their core business strategy and communities," said Peter Graf, chief sustainability officer at SAP.
Phil Williams, Webcor Builders' vice president of technical systems and sustainability, stated, "As the region’s leading builder, sustainability is pivotal for Webcor’s designs, job sites, business practices, and research and development. Through a combination of experience and innovation, we are fundamentally committed to improving the quality of the built environment and collaboratively delivering this knowledge to the industry."
Dave Beck, vice president, XL Construction, added, "XL Construction is excited to be joining the likes of Genentech, Google and Zynga in the California Best Buildings Challenge. As a builder committed to sustainability, we are always seeking better ways to serve our clients and communities. In challenging ourselves to meet the 20% reduction of energy, water, and waste in two years, we will be implementing strategies at home that we can then bring to our clients with living proof of efficacy and cost-effectiveness. We also hope to lead the industry in continuing to push the boundaries of efficiency and sustainable building."