USGBC Announces 2019 Green Building Leadership Awards

Microsoft and the Minnesota Twins are among the recipients to be recognized next month during the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Atlanta.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced the recipients of its 2019 Leadership Awards, an annual recognition of the outstanding individuals and organizations at the forefront of the green building community. This year’s recipients will be recognized at the USGBC Leadership Awards Ceremony on November 20, 2019 during the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo.

“Our Leadership Award recipients remind us that taking action – big or small – has the power to change lives and promote a higher living standard for us all,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of USGBC. “Each of these awardees have made commitments to improve our world through the power of green building. Their actions are an inspiration to us all and demonstrate how our collective efforts can lead to meaningful change that moves us closer to our vision of buildings, communities and cities that regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation.”

green building Leadership Awards
New this year, the Kate Hurst Leadership Award is named for Kate Hurst (pictured above, right) USGBC’s senior vice president of conference and events who passed away in January 2019. (Photo: USGBC)

The 2019 USGBC Leadership Award recipients represent individuals, organizations, projects, and cities around the world. This year, USGBC is introducing a new award in memory of Kate Hurst, USGBC’s senior vice president of conference and events who passed away in January 2019. The Kate Hurst Leadership Award recognizes an inspirational woman who embodies the spirit, strength and sentiment Kate brought to her work and life. The first recipient of the Kate Hurst Leadership Award will be Judith Webb, executive vice president, International WELL Building Institute, whose outstanding commitment to sustainability and improving quality of life exemplifies a passion for helping others.

This year’s Leadership Award recipients also include:

Outstanding contributions to sustainable design by an organization

  • Colgate-Palmolive Company: A global leader in demonstrating sustainability and corporate social responsibility, the company has certified 13 manufacturing facilities in eight countries to LEED and 15 manufacturing facilities in eight countries on four continents using the TRUE Zero Waste certification. Colgate is also a Platinum member of USGBC and has made a commitment to certify all its new manufacturing facilities to LEED.

    (Photo: MLB/Minnesota Twins)
  • Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball Organization: A model for sustainability in the sporting world, the Twins’ Target Field initially achieved LEED Silver in 2010 and recertified at the Gold level in 2019 demonstrating continuous improvement and high performance.
  • Microsoft Corporation: The technology leader is pursuing LEED Gold for its data centers and has nearly 2.9 million square feet registered, equivalent to 50 football fields. Microsoft is a leader in implementing LEED Volume program across its data centers.
  • NYU Langone Health: The first project in the world to achieve PEER Platinum certification and the first hospital to certify, NYU Langone Health’s Main Campus is a model for providing access to resilient and reliable energy that has the power to improve quality of life. After losing power during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the hospital underwent significant efforts to prepare the facility to maintain power in future events and protect the patients who depend on them and are now able to withstand a 500-year storm level.
  • Southface Institute: For over 40 years, Southface has made significant contributions to promoting sustainable homes, workplaces and communities through education, research, advocacy and technical assistance. Southface was one of the first members of USGBC and has participated in the LEED certification of more than 5,600 homes, multifamily units and commercial buildings.

Individuals at the forefront of sustainability

  • Dana Robbins Schneider, Senior Vice President, Director of Energy and Sustainability at Empire State Realty Trust: From the whole-building retrofit of the Empire State Building and its LEED Gold certification to more than 750 LEED buildings across the U.S., Dana’s work in sustainable design, energy efficiency and green building has informed state and national policy across the country.
  • Debbie Shock, Director of Operations and Facilities at Clinton Foundation: With more than two decades of experience in sustainable design, green building and healthy materials, Debbie’s leadership helped the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum achieve LEED Silver and subsequent LEED Platinum certification demonstrating the power of ongoing improvement.
  • Diana Yazzie Devine, President and CEO at Native American Connections: Over the last 40 years, Diana has committed to improving the lives of Native Americans in the Phoenix region with an approach to development that focuses not only on efficiency, but the long-term health of the community by providing access to culturally appropriate behavioral health, affordable green housing and community development services.
  • John Chadwick, Assistant Superintendent, Facilities and Operations at Arlington Public Schools: A leader in the development of greener schools, John was pivotal in helping Discovery Elementary School in Arlington Va. become the world’s first LEED Zero school creating a path for schools to be able to reach net zero goals.
  • Kevin Hydes, CEO & Founder at Integral Group: A pioneer in sustainable design for more than 20 years, Kevin has inspired a new breed of leaders committed to green solutions for buildings and communities globally. He believes that every building can be green and should be greener and everyone has to take accountability to advance our mission.

Outstanding efforts to create healthier, more sustainable cities and communities

  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa and OPN Architects: The LEED-certified city is a global model for how cities can bounce back and better prepare for unplanned events. Their story of community and rebuilding following devastating events has inspired resilience work around the country.
  • City of Hoboken, NJ and Mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla: As a LEED-certified city, Hoboken is committed to sustainability, resilience, and climate adaptation to ensure a safer and healthier future for thousands of residents.

Projects demonstrating excellence in green building

  • Entegrity Headquarters: The newly renovated office in Little Rock, AR is the first project in the U.S. to earn a LEED Zero certification and is a LEED Zero Energy building.
  • Orange Coast College Recycling Center: Integrating sustainability at every level, the recycling center is the first to achieve LEED, TRUE and SITES certifications. The work was led by Mike Carey, the college’s sustainability coordinator.
  • Petinelli Headquarters: Located in Curitiba, Brazil, the office is the first in the world to achieve LEED Zero certification and is a LEED Zero Energy building.
  • School of Environmental Studies in Minnesota: This year’s Malcolm Lewis Award recipient is a leading example of how a high-impact, volunteer-driven effort can create lasting positive and measurable change. For five years, the school and over 40 students and industry volunteers worked to develop a performance-based sustainability strategy that led to the school achieving LEED v4.1 Gold certification.

Leadership in Environment, Social and Governance (ESG)

  • CommonWealth Partners: A GRESB participant since 2014, the company was a 2019 sector leader with the highest global recognition of sustainability for an institutional real estate firm. With over 50% of its portfolio LEED Platinum, CommonWealth Partners continues to reduce energy, water and carbon across its portfolio.
  • Hemisferio Sul Investimentos: Since first participating in GRESB in 2013, the company has tracked solid sustainability improvements and its 2019 asset-level energy reduction rates are among the top GRESB fund participants.
  • Oxford Properties: Among the first GRESB Investor Members in North America, Oxford leads in nearly every GRESB aspect category based on the 2019 assessment results. Currently, 86% of its globally diversified portfolio has achieved one or more green building certifications, including its new LEED Platinum headquarters in Toronto.

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