Greenprint 2013: How Green Is Our Region?

Janet Milkman, Executive Director for the Delaware Valley Green Building Council Mayor Michael Nutter has pledged to make Philadelphia the greenest city in America. His administration, led by the Office of Sustainability, is on its way to meeting this goal through its Greenworks Philadelphia plan. In the meantime, our entire region will have an opportunity to proudly display our sustainability work when DVGBC and the U.S. Green Building Council host Greenbuild 2013 next November. This annual conference will bring 30,000 green building advocates to Philadelphia who will be eager to see why our region is a leader in the field.

At DVGBC, we’re using the conference as a deadline for our 2013 Challenge Pledge. We’re asking regional businesses, educational institutions, government agencies and nonprofits to make a written pledge to sustainability. So far, we have more than 75 high-impact pledges across sectors—from the City of Philadelphia to the Philadelphia Zoo—and plan to get many more in the coming months.  For some examples, see page 4.

We’ll also be using the conference to highlight our policy accomplishments and the role green building partnerships have played in our region. We’ll talk about how Philadelphia is the sixth city in the nation to pass energy benchmarking and disclosure legislation. This legislation requires commercial buildings of a certain size to track, measure and report energy and water use. DVGBC played an important role in this accomplishment and we’ll continue working with the City, Energy Efficient Buildings (EEB) Hub and others to help building owners implement this new law.

Greenbuild will give us a chance to demonstrate our work on green schools as well. We’re using the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools program to advocate for a holistic, three-pillared approach to creating green schools: achieving net-zero environmental impact; improving the health and performance of students and staff; and ensuring the environmental and sustainability literacy of all graduates. This work includes training facility managers and students how to measure their buildings’ energy use by partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency and their Energy Star program, and developing a student-led conservation team pilot program with the School District of Philadelphia.

And, of course, we won’t just be talking about this work, we’ll also be showing it off with tours of the amazing building projects in our region so attendees have a chance to see this work firsthand.

We hope you’ll join us on the road to Greenbuild 2013. The journey begins this fall at our Annual Green Building Celebration, happening September 27 at the new (and soon-to-be LEED Platinum) Barnes Foundation. See you there!

Janet Milkman

Executive Director

Delaware Valley Green Building Council