Greenbuild 2010 Conference Goes “Carbon-Neutral” with the Help of Renewable Energy Donations and USGBC Offset Commitment
(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) Chicago, IL - November 18, 2010 - Leonardo Academy announced today that the emissions resulting from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)’s annual Greenbuild International Conference & Exposition have been completely offset. The offset was made possible through the generous donation of renewable energy certificates (RECs) from WindCurrent, and a commitment from the USGBC to provide 100 percent of the remaining emissions offsets needed to make Greenbuild 2010 a carbon-neutral event. This marks the 9th year that Leonardo Academy’s Cleaner and Greener® Program has donated its services to the USGBC to quantify the emissions of and procure offsets for the event’s greenhouse gas emissions and emissions that affect human health. Based on projected attendance and energy use at this year’s conference in Chicago, Illinois, all of the greenhouse gas emissions from Greenbuild will be offset. Due to this emission reduction achievement, Greenbuild 2010 will earn Gold-level certification through the Cleaner and Greener® Program.
Greenbuild brings together sustainability-minded people from all over the world to address the future of the built environment. In an effort to make Greenbuild a sustainable event, renewable energy certificate (REC) provider WindCurrent donated 1,950 MWh of RECs to completely offset the electricity use from the event. WindCurrent’s donation of RECs includes Green-e certified wind-generated renewable energy from wind farms in Iowa and Pennsylvania. Carbon offsets purchased by the USGBC will address the remaining greenhouse gas emissions. The pre-event carbon offset commitment from the USGBC totals 12,900 metric tons of CO2 equivalent in order to make Greenbuild a carbon-neutral event. This quantity will be revised at the conclusion of the event when attendance figures are finalized, to ensure that all of the greenhouse gas emissions have been offset.
Leonardo Academy’s Cleaner and Greener® Program calculated the emissions resulting from the energy used at the event facility, as well as for travel, meals, and lodging associated with the event. This year’s conference is expected to host more than 30,000 attendees, who are projected to incur 1.6 million vehicle miles and 44 million flight passenger miles in transit to and from the Chicago event. In addition to the substantial donation made by WindCurrent, all Greenbuild participants, including vendors, exhibitors, and general attendees, have the opportunity to offset the emissions associated with individual attendance by purchasing offsets through either the Greenbuild registration page or the Cleaner and Greener® website (www.cleanerandgreener.org/).
Donated and purchased emissions offsets will be permanently retired to offset the carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions (methane [CH4] and nitrous oxide[N2O]) as well as the health-impacting sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), and mercury (Hg) emissions resulting from the use of the convention center and the travel, meals, and lodging connected to the conference. The pre-event estimates of the event emissions and offset achievements are posted on Leonardo Academy’s Cleaner and Greener® website (www.cleanerandgreener.org). This website also breaks down the total event emissions to the level of emissions per attendee, and provides a means for attendees to offset their personal event emissions. Following Greenbuild, the emissions and offset achievements will be updated to reflect final event attendance and additional donations made during the event.
Michael Arny, President of Leonardo Academy, stated, “Our friends at WindCurrent have once again showed their strong commitment to environmental sustainability through their donation. We also recognize the leadership of the USGBC in stepping up with a commitment to purchase enough emissions offsets to make Greenbuild a carbon-neutral event again this year. We believe the USGBC’s action in offsetting the emissions of Greenbuild 2010 will encourage other organizations and companies to start offsetting the emissions of their annual events.”
About WindCurrent (www.windcurrent.com)
The WindCurrent company has been providing LEED-spec Renewable Energy Certificates to US institutions since 2002. The company has greened Greenbuild since 2006. Its current customers include the US Department of Energy, NASA, the National Institute of Health, M&T Bank, and Random House. WindCurrent has greened LEED projects across the US, and has greened most of the US federal buildings across the planet.
About the U.S. Green Building Council (www.usgbc.org)
The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 78 local affiliates, more than 20,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 131,000 LEED Accredited Professionals, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students. Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.
About Leonardo Academy (www.leonardoacademy.org)
Leonardo Academy is a charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing sustainability by leveraging innovative tools and information to motivate the competitive market. By utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability strategies, education and implementation, we strive to make sustainability practical for everyone.
We develop integrative sustainability solutions designed to enhance the environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic prosperity of organizations, corporations and individuals. We see a world filled with sustainable opportunities that can transform the way we live today and ensure the prosperity of future generations.
Leonardo Academy works on a broad range of sustainability issues and provides comprehensive sustainability programs and services to help companies, organizations, families and individuals implement sustainability. Our programs and services include: organizational sustainability assessments and implementation; emissions footprints, reduction strategies and offsets; LEED® assessments, implementation and certification application preparation; sustainable land management; sustainability training; and sustainability standards development.