Local Legislator Among Greenbuild’s 2010 Leadership Award Winners

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has named the recipients of its 2010 Leadership Awards, including one local legislator, recognizing organizations and individuals who signify vision, leadership and commitment to the evolution of green building design and construction. The awards, which will be presented during the Closing Plenary on Friday, Nov. 19, during USGBC’s 2010 Greenbuild International Conference & Expo held next week in Chicago. The 2010 awards recognize leadership achievement in the private, public and non-governmental organization sectors.

“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.”

State Rep. Karen May (D-Highland Park) was honored as an Individual recipient in the Leadership in the Public Sector Category. Rep. May is a founding member of USGBC’s 50 for 50 Green Schools Caucus Initiative and a green schools champion, helping to further USGBC’s vision of green schools for everyone within this generation. Rep May has dedicated herself to the welfare of schools, which can be seen through her authorship of House Joint Resolution 45. HJR 45 created a LEED Task Force chaired by the USGBC Illinois Chapter and is delegated with making recommendations to the Illinois General Assembly on a prospective state program for greening existing schools and potential funding sources for such a program.

The Recovery School District received an award for its steadfast commitment to rebuilding healthy, high-performing schools for New Orleans’ community. Five years after the devastating hurricanes that ravaged New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast, the District made rebuilding sustainably a priority, committing to build all public schools to a minimum of LEED Silver and reducing energy use by 30 percent. When phase one of the master plan is completed in 2013, there will be 17 new and 13 renovated LEED schools. The first of those schools opened in August 2009, with double-digit increases in test scores just in the past school year.

In the Private Sector Category, Interface founder and Chairman Ray Anderson was honored as an Individual recipient for his steadfast commitment to transforming the carpet manufacturing industry into a restorative enterprise. Since 1994, Anderson has been leading Interface, the world’s largest producer of commercial floor coverings towards eliminating any negative impact the company has on the environment by 2020.

Skanska was honored in the Private Sector Category for its commitment to worldwide market transformation. With a portfolio of numerous LEED-certified buildings, its Commercial Development group set the floor at LEED Gold for all projects it develops. Skanska is a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and signed the Copenhagen Communiqué in 2009.

The Syracuse Center of Excellence in New York received this year’s award for Leadership in the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). SyracuseCoE’ has exhibited extraordinary leadership in creating innovations in environmental and energy technologies and their immediate application. Their work in the area of improved indoor environmental quality has provided an international platform that has raised this critical issue to the forefront.

Richard Piacentini, executive director of the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pa., received the award for Individual Leadership in the NGO category. Piacentini has been touted for leading the transformation of a century old conservatory into a model of green building practices and environmental awareness, including earning LEED Silver for its Welcome Center. In 2009, the Conservatory was the site of the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit Welcome and Dinner.

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