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USGBC Names 2017 Leadership Award Winners

Evangelists from Johnson Controls, Kohler, Bank of America, and Boston Properties are among this year's global crop of public and private honorees.

WASHINGTON D.C. — (October 26, 2017) — Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the recipients of its 2017 Leadership Awards, an annual recognition of the outstanding individuals and organizations at the forefront of the green building movement. The recipients will be honored at the USGBC Leadership Awards Luncheon at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 in Boston, Mass.

“USGBC’s Leadership Awards recognize some of the most innovative leaders in the green building movement. These people and companies are upending the status quo and pushing their respective industries to create a more sustainable future for generations to come,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of USGBC. “Each of these leaders is passionate about their work and about the environmental, health, economic and social benefits of green building.”

This year’s leadership award recipients are:

Alex Liftman, the global environmental executive for Bank of America, leads the team responsible for the company’s environmental sustainability strategy. Under her leadership the company addresses climate change and demands on natural resources by providing financial capital to low-carbon and sustainable projects across the globe. She has introduced significant goals to reduce the environmental impact of the bank’s operations, including becoming carbon neutral and purchasing 100 percent renewable electricity by 2020. Additionally the bank has more than 18 million square feet of LEED-certified workspace across its global operations. It has completed more than 3.4 million square feet of certified projects in 2016 and 150 of its financial centers have achieved LEED certification. Liftman’s leadership has made a positive difference in the landscape of the green building movement. Bank of America has been a member of USGBC for 20 years.

Bryan Koop, executive vice president of Boston Properties, oversees the operation and development of the company’s portfolio in the Boston area. Bryan has been the driving force behind Boston Properties’ sustainability movement and is a longstanding supporter of sustainable business solutions. He has spearheaded a company-wide strategy to utilize LEED for Existing Buildings throughout its portfolio. Bryan has served on the City of Boston’s Climate Action Leadership Committee and the City’s Green Ribbon Commission. His years of experience in real estate development and contributions to the global green building movement have helped reshape the Boston real estate market.

Dorothy Stoneman is the founder and former president of YouthBuild, an international organization that empowers low-income 16-24 year-old volunteers to rebuild homes and businesses in their communities in the hopes of breaking the cycle of poverty. YouthBuild emphasizes the importance of building sustainable communities, both through the development of new and improved buildings and by providing meaningful, empowering work to at-risk youth. After 40 years working with vulnerable communities, Dorothy retired this past year, but her legacy lives on as the organization continues to grow globally.

Clay Nesler, the vice president of global sustainability and industry initiatives at Johnson Controls, chairs the company’s Global Sustainability Council and leads sustainability strategy, programs and initiatives for the Buildings business. Clay serves on the board of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy and is a senior advisor to the World Resources Institute Building Efficiency Initiative. Clay has been a tireless leader, especially in China, one of the fastest growing countries for green buildings in the world. He serves as the U.S. chair of the Industrial Advisory Board for the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center Building Energy Efficiency Consortium.

Govindbhai Laljibhai Dholakia, is the chairman and founder of SRK Exports, one of the top diamond producers in the world. Its longstanding commitment to sustainable business solutions has set SRK Exports apart in the jewelry industry. Govindbhai’s leadership has propelled SRK Exports to become an international philanthropic leader. His commitment to sustainability clearly impacts the company’s values and operations. With the creation of the SRK Knowledge Foundation the company actively addresses issues of education, human welfare and conservation in support of agriculture across India.

Kohler Co., one of the leading manufactures of plumbing products in the world, is the recipient of the Ray Anderson Award for Radical Industrialism. Kohler is one of USGBC’s longest standing members, and goes above and beyond to support socially responsible practices and initiatives. Kohler’s Net Zero 2035 is a sweeping program that sets a company-wide goal of eliminating all solid waste sent to landfills, reducing or offsetting 100 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions and reducing water usage. Kohler weaves sustainability through every aspect of its business model, from the products it makes to the way the company is run.

The Parkwood Tech Centre (PTC) is this year’s recipient of the Malcolm Lewis Impact Award. A partnership between building professionals in the San Francisco Bay area and the South African education nonprofit, Bottomup, the PTC started as a way for a the disadvantaged population in the Parkwood community of Cape Town, South Africa, to access computers and educational courses, especially for children. An all-female team of engineers rebuilt the crumbling and unhealthy existing building, and created a sustainable green building that generates most of its own power and helps the community with job training and access to technology.

Richard Kauffman is this year’s Galvin Award recipient. In his role as Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York, Richard is leading the groundbreaking work of New York State, Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), one of the nation’s most innovative, comprehensive and forward-thinking policies to modernize the energy sector. This work prioritizes renewable integration to mitigate climate change, resiliency planning, and consumer choice while creating thousands of jobs in the process. Richard joined the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo as New York State’s first “energy czar” in February 2013 and has led a distinguished career in energy and finance. He has been a leader in advocating for affordability in the state and pushing for market transformation.

USGBC’s 12,000 member organizations, more than 201,000 LEED professional credential holders and network of local leaders across the United States and throughout the world are at the heart of its mission of market transformation through the LEED green building program. Currently, there are more than 90,000 commercial projects participating in LEED, comprising more than 19 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and more than 167 countries and territories. For more information, go to http://newsroom.usgbc.org/usgbc-announces-2017-leadership-award-recipients/.

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