USGBC is honored to announce the 2020 Leadership Awards recipients from Europe. Five companies were selected: COIMA, Ecover, the International Olympic Committee, Palazzo del Monte di Pieta and Union Investment Real Estate. USGBC’s Leadership Awards recognize those advancing the development of sustainable, healthy and resilient buildings, cities and communities in regions around the world.
This year’s European awardees have made significant strides in green building design and construction, innovative waste management solutions, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. Take an in-depth look at the impressive work of this year’s recipients.
COIMA’s visionary work has helped integrate innovation with tradition to support the City of Milan’s urban regeneration. Through the use of LEED, the company has overseen the development of 20 LEED-certified buildings, representing more than 400,000 square meters of space, and more are expected. With the support of its Sustainable Innovation Committee, COIMA continues to work toward its goal to promote, manage and accelerate the integration of new practices for sustainability and innovation. COIMA has become a participant in GRESB and also hopes to achieve the first LEED-certified community in Europe.
Ecover showed how factories can reimagine waste management. The green cleaning product maker put ecological design at the forefront when it built its factory in Belgium in 1992, and it continues to find ways to improve. The company adopted TRUE, a zero waste certification program, as a framework to take a more holistic approach to waste, and through strategic changes, it achieved TRUE Platinum certification. Ecover redesigned its bin layout and optimized collections with external contractors to avoid unnecessary waste pickups. The company also implemented a composting system and moved to bulk storage for raw materials, as well as reusable drums to help avoid excess packaging.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a sustainability leader in the international sports world. The Olympic House, its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, embodies the IOC’s commitment to sustainability and received the rigorous LEED Platinum certification. The team was able to reuse or recycle 95% of the former administrative building and 95% of construction waste. The building is powered by renewable energy, part of which is produced on-site. Carbon emissions from its construction and operations have been compensated through the IOC–Dow carbon partnership. The design makes user comfort a priority with flexible space, high indoor air quality and quality views for 90% of regularly occupied spaces.
Palazzo del Monte di Pieta in Padua (Veneto, Italy) captures 500 years of Italian history and culture. Its impressive restoration and LEED Gold certification is a signal that preserving history can also contribute to a sustainable future. The building is the oldest historical bank building in the world and underwent a complex restoration that also required the people inside to modify their behaviors. From the use of water to the way people move throughout the space, from heating to recycling, the efforts undertaken by the team prioritize the well-being of both people and the planet.
Union Investment Real Estate has an impressive portfolio of more than 60 LEED projects, has been a GRESB participant since 2012, and is an early adopter of Arc, demonstrating its commitment to high-performance green building. As a real estate leader, the company is promoting a progressive sustainable business strategy for its tenants, investors and the community at large. The company first embedded sustainability into its business strategy more than a decade ago. Over the intervening period, they have been measuring, analyzing, planning and improving, steadily moving closer to the declared goal of making the nation’s building stock virtually climate-neutral by 2050.
USGBC’s Leadership Award recipients are a model for using LEED to improve communities, support human health and well-being, and contribute to a more sustainable future for all. To further encourage adoption of LEED and green building across Europe, USGBC is hosting an online education series featuring content and speakers originally intended to be presented in person at Greenbuild Europe. It will include free virtual events throughout 2020 on LEED and other sustainability topics, including health, climate change, net zero buildings and resilience.