Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released a bold new strategy to support economic recovery as the country works to flatten the COVID-19 curve. Called Healthy People in Healthy Places Equals a Healthy Economy, the strategy outlines immediate and long-term actions to support buildings and communities in a post-pandemic world. It is based on the idea that prioritizing the health of people, communities and the planet is the fastest way to rebuild a healthier, more sustainable economy.
“USGBC and its thousands of member organizations are focused on getting the economy back on track and on demonstrating that we can provide a foundation that supports people, businesses and communities,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president & CEO of USGBC. “By helping everyone understand the role a LEED-certified building can have in creating healthy spaces, we can help rebuild public trust, stimulate the economy and ultimately bring about a healthier standard of living for all.”
A series of actions are underway, including launching new LEED pilot credits in the next two weeks to support social distancing, nontoxic surface cleaning, air quality and infection monitoring. USGBC will also organize Regional CEO Advisory Councils and accelerate the development of the USGBC Equity program to ensure solutions address health, economic and social disparities.
“We know that LEED is the key to a prosperous future,” added Ramanujam. “Sustainability is central to creating jobs, saving energy and saving money, all of which are part of the backbone of a strong economy. But strong economies must also support the people who make them run. Going forward, we will prioritize our efforts to build trust in people that their buildings and spaces are healthy and positively impacting their communities.”
Refining LEED strategies and providing guidance that clearly communicates the economic, health, and environmental benefits of sustainable buildings, communities and cities to people will be a priority. A full list of actions are available online.