Leaders take the stage in Berlin for Greenbuild Europe

Selina Holmes

At Greenbuild Europe 2018, we welcomed nearly 400 green building professionals, leaders and stakeholders from 35 countries and 233 companies to learn, network and celebrate the work being done in the green building movement across Europe. Attendees logged over 773 CE hours for credentials like the LEED AP. Education sessions represented the full spectrum of green building in Europe, with sessions highlighting LEED, WELL, BREEAM, DGNB, GRESB, Passive Haus and more.

For decades, the European building community has been among the greenest, continually raising the bar on sustainability. With 39.07 million gross square meters of LEED-certified space and two nations in the Top 10 Countries for LEED 2017, there is a great deal to celebrate. And this is just a small sample of what is happening in the region.

In his keynote address, Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO of USGBC and GBCI, highlighted how Europe has made some of the most impactful contributions to the green building movement. These are the everyday miracles, or "little wonders," that together create awe-inspiring change.

Mahesh Ramanujam at Greenbuild Europe

Mahesh Ramanujam at Greenbuild Europe.

Greenbuild Europe highlights

On Monday, preconference workshops featured topics such as LEED Operations and Maintenance, LEED Green Associate exam preparation, GRESB real estate assessment training and green building materials.

The Opening Plenary featured remarks from Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO, USGBC and GBCI; Lena Hök, Senior Vice President, Green + Community Advancement, Skanska AB; and Kay Killmann, Managing Director, GBCI Europe.

The keynote addresses were delivered by two well-known figures in green building and sustainability: Rick Fedrizzi, Chairman and CEO, International WELL Building Institute, developers of the WELL Building Standard, and Selina Juul, Founder and Chairman of the Board, Stop Wasting Food Movement, Denmark’s largest nonprofit movement against food waste.

Women in Green is an event that inspires, uplifts and challenges the women of the green building movement. Nicole Killmann, Director, European Network, GBCI Europe, opened the event with a presentation of the theme "Leading with Purpose" and a reminder of the critical need for women to continue to lead across industries. Speakers included:

  • Sue Clark, LEED Manager, Sweden Green Building Council
  • Monica Ardeleanu, Executive Director, Romania Green Building Council
  • Elizabeth Heider, Chief Sustainability Officer, Skanska USA
  • Agnes Schuurmans, Public Affairs, Sustainable Construction Policies and Regulations, ROCKWOOL Group

Women in Green speakers at Greenbuild Europe

Women in Green speakers at Greenbuild Europe.

The Closing Plenary, serving as an inspirational end to the conference, started with remarks from Rachel Gutter, Chief Product Officer International WELL Building Institute, and recognition of those pushing the market forward through LEED:

  • Altensis Insaat Enerji San ve Tic Ltd St
  • Arup
  • Deerns
  • Drees & Sommer
  • ERKE Sustainable Building Design Consult
  • Green Building Partners
  • Henning Larsen Architects A/S
  • O’Connor Sutton Cronin (M&E) Ltd.
  • RKD Architects
  • SED-Smart Eco Design
  • Skanska

This was followed by the inaugural Greenbuild Leadership Awards presentation in Europe, recognizing exceptional organizations and individuals at the forefront of the green building movement:

  • Anna Denell, Sustainability Director at Vasakronan, who has been instrumental in transforming the Swedish property industry and in advancing high-performing buildings in Europe
  • Technopolis, the first company in Finland to participate in LEED volume certification for existing buildings, and only the second worldwide to start using LEED v4 for volume certifications
  • Saint-Gobain, which designs, manufactures and distributes materials and solutions—key ingredients in well-being and the future of all.

The event culminated in a keynote address by Ramanujam, who reminded us all of what is possible when we come together. Using the renowned image of the blue marble, a photo of Earth taken from the moon in 1972 and then recreated from a mosaic of individual images as inspiration, he reiterated how in the face of change, calamity and uncertainty, we still have the ability and responsibility through the work we do to contribute to great change.

If you missed Greenbuild Europe, you still have four more opportunities to attend Greenbuild in 2018. Join us at one of the remaining events in Mexico, China, India or Chicago.

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