USGBC Leadership Award Winners

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At today’s closing session at Greenbuild in Chicago, the USGBC presented its annual Leadership awards and the inaugural Richard M. Daley Legacy Award for sustainability in cities and communities.

The Richard M. Daley Legacy Award went to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley for his pioneering work in greening the city.  Chicago boasts the most municipal-owned LEED buildings, at 40, and 90 miles of landscaped medians that keep stormwater out of the sewer system.  McCormick Place, the conference center where Greenbuild was held, collects 55 million gallons of rain water per year and diverts  it into Lake Michigan instead of the storm sewer system.  Mayor Daley says Chicago is a prime example that “nature can co-exist in a city.”

Skanska USA was recognized in the Private Sector for its commitment to sustainability.  It’s own office in the Empire State Building serves as a symbol of its commitment.  Skanska’s Commercial Development group has established LEED Gold as the minimum standard for all its project.

Recovery School District in New Orleans received the organizational award in the Public Sector.  The District has made a commitment to LEED for all the schools it is rebuilding.  These schools are revitalizing the neighborhoods they are located in, as people see them investing in the area.  When current projects are completed in 2013, the District will have 17 new and 13 remodeled LEED certified schools.

Illinois State Representative Karen May was recognized as an individual in the Public Sector.  Rep May is a founding member of USGBC’s 50 for 50 Green Schools Caucus Initiative and has dedicated herself to the welfare of schools, including authoring an initiative creating a LEED Task Force to make recommendations for greening the state’s schools.

Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems was recognized in the non-governmental organization (NGO) category.  The Center has created several innovations in environmental and energy technologies, as well as indoor air quality.

Richard Piacentini of the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens was honored in the Private Sector NGO category.  He lead the transformation of a century old conservatory into the model of green building practices and environmental awareness.

Finally, Ray Anderson of Interface was recognized for his work as an individual in the Private Sector.  Anderson has tranformed his carpet manufacturing firm into the epitome of a green business.  Prior to this transformation, Interface created over 60 tons of carpet waste a day, which has been reduced to nothing.  He now tours the country speaking about his company philosophy.

“This year’s recipients are accelerating the green building industry through innovative ideas in tandem with strong leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC.  “It is their passion, expertise and their tremendous contributions that allow us to move closer toward fulfilling our collective mission of transforming the built environment.”

Logo courtesy of Greenbuild Expo.