Celebrating global leadership: May Roundup

Sumner Byrne
June 15, 2021

Celebrating global leadership across our Four Pillars. 

GBCI was founded in 2008 to drive implementation of LEED, and for more than a decade, has proved instrumental in ensuring it remains the world’s most widely used green building program. None of this would have been possible without the leadership of the projects and professionals who have advanced LEED in communities around the world. We have launched a monthly newsletter to share the stories of the projects and professionals who are leading the way toward a more sustainable, healthy, resilient and equitable future – for all. Be sure to subscribe to GBCI's email list to hear more of these stories. 

Mahesh Ramanujam
President and CEO, USGBC and GBCI

Sustainability 

ITC Windsor in Bengaluru, India 

In India, ITC Hotels’ motto, “Responsible Luxury”, can be seen in action across their suite of entirely LEED Platinum certified properties — the largest number of LEED Platinum certified properties in the country.  

And as of 2021, the ITC Windsor has become the first hotel in the world to achieve LEED Zero Carbon certification, which recognizes buildings operating with net zero carbon emissions from energy consumption. The hotel uses energy-efficient technologies like electric boilers, induction burners and other renewable sources of energy and is powered by its own wind turbine generatorsGiven the climate-related risks we face and the central role buildings play in climate mitigation, ITC Windsor’s LEED Zero Carbon certification demonstrates visionary leadership 

“Elevating the role of buildings in mitigating climate-related risks and halting resource depletion is critical in achieving a sustainable and regenerative future for all,” explained ITC’s executive director, Nakul Anand“At ITC Hotels, we understand the value of going beyond efficiency.” 

Learn more about LEED Zero certification 

Health and Wellness 

Johnson & Johnson  

USGBC Gold member Johnson & Johnson is helping frontline healthcare workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic around the world – and not just through its groundbreaking vaccine. Last March, its family of companies and its foundation committed $50 million dollars to support and supply frontline health workers, from meals to protective equipment, extra training to mental health. This expands on a $250 million multi-year commitment they made at the Davos 2020 conference to support those at the frontlines. From their incredible effort to create a COVID-19 vaccine, to cash donations, J&J employee actions and product donations like PPE, Johnson & Johnson has demonstrated phenomenal leadership in prioritizing global health and wellness, far beyond their LEED certified properties across the world. 

Learn more about USGBC membership 

Resilience 

Hoboken, New Jersey 

Under the leadership of Mayor Ravi Bhalla, the city of Hoboken, New Jersey achieved LEED for Cities Gold certification in 2019Acting on their motto to “act locally, think globally”, Mayor Bhalla signed a Climate Action Plan that commits to lowering carbon emissions beyond the guidelines in the Paris Climate Agreement. The city has begun purchasing 100% renewable electricity for its municipal facilities in an effort to make its operations carbon neutral by 2035 and the city itself carbon neutral by 2050.  

The mayor and his city understand the impact of severe weather events as Hurricane Sandy put Hoboken virtually under water in 2012. Mayor Bhalla and his team not only know the importance of coastal flood mitigation, but they continue the tradition of a near decade old Hoboken Green Team, a local group of volunteers who promote sustainability initiatives in the city that help with that and other pressing issues. Through LEED for Cities certification, they’re ensuring Hoboken is ready and resilient for the future. 

2021 LEED for Cities Local Government Leadership Program 

Equity 

Orange Coast College Recycling Center 

California’s Orange Coast College Recycling Center is the first project in the world to earn TRUESITES and LEED certification in pursuit of a building that would best serve both the student body and city community. Their triple-certified space has allowed them to increase efficiency, divert nearly all of their waste from incineration and landfills, benefit the local habitat and reduce their carbon impact through minimizing waste and sustainable landscape design measures such as use of native plants to reduce irrigation. 

Now, this community-driven space boasts a wide variety of environmental education opportunities and hosts public art exhibits of work by OCC students who use recycled materials in their pieces. The public has access to demonstrations that teach visitors about stormwater quality and runoff, composting and recycling areas, a recycled water and retention basin, reflective pavement art, and an on-site food production garden where individuals can learn about farm to table gardening and how to implement a healthier lifestyle. The OCC Recycling Center is educating and empowering not only its student body, but its community as a whole.  

Learn more about OCC’s path to triple certification