Tag Archives: green living

Let’s Celebrate World Green Building Week!

This week we’re celebrating World Green Building Week. For me, it’s a time to reflect, celebrate and renews my sustainability commitments.

It’s hard to believe it’s almost two decades now since I stood on that stage in Tokyo on Earth Day 1998 and proclaimed by vision to found a UN of country green building councils. I figured that since I was there welcoming Japan as the world’s second green building council, that this movement would soon go global.

Fast forward to today, and the World Green Building Council, which I envisioned that day now has more than half the world as members. Many of them have green building rating systems like LEED, Green Star or BREEAM and are actively certifying green buildings as their memberships grow and inspire. Some say we’ve spawned a trillion dollar economy!

Here’s a blog I wrote to celebrate this week and to share some of our history with country green building council members.

When I was about 20 years old and a young engineering student at Stanford University in 1980, I used to sometimes skip my hardcore classes and walk over to the fountain in the central quad of the beautiful campus and read Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse. I had difficulty understanding how all the mathematical formulas and equations would apply to my life and found the problem sessions abstract. Instead, as a salve, I found the story of the young Brahman wandering through the desert and into remote villages as he searched for meaning and purpose more palpable.

I believe we’re here for a higher purpose, one that’s actually divine. But I’ve found that it’s easy to quickly lose focus and no longer hear the calling. Pressures of designing, building and operating our buildings requires diligence to successfully navigate the outcome. Financial pressures, risks and schedule constraints often force the process. But to what result?

>> CLICK HERE to read the rest of my story <<

Episode 45 Sander Paul van Tongeren

I’ve long believed that if you want to boost global sustainability, then work on greening real estate – our buildings and homes. The impact is vast in terms of energy, water and materials consumption, and health of occupants and the planet.

GRESB is a nonprofit based in Amsterdam [and is a subsidiary of the GBCI] and is having huge success with its benchmark tool in assessing some of the world’s largest real estate portfolios. The membership organization has participants from 60 countries, including some of the world and US’s biggest pension fund investors, such as CALPERS.

Join me in this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast show where I interview GRESB’s Co-Founder and Managing Director Sander Paul van Tongeren. We learn more about GRESB and its enormous initiative, organizational details, and annual growth, as well as what drives Sander Paul.

To the greening of real estate portfolios while boosting profit!

David

Episode 24 Hunter Lovins

I remember the first time I met Hunter Lovins. We were on a joint trip to China, invited by a group sponsored by the mayor of Shanghai. Our mission was to help brainstorm the future sustainability of a city that wanted to double in size in about ten years, adding the equivalent density of San Francisco.

On the morning of the first day we boarded a bus to tour the old city, where they’d started to tear down many of the historic structures for their growth on steroids. I looked over at a woman standing next to Amory Lovins, who I’d met before at a few early U.S. Green Building Council meetings at the renowned Rocky Mountain Institute, one of the foremost environmental NGO think tanks in the world, which Hunter cofounded.

She had on a large black cowboy hat, pointed red and black cowboy boots and a large thick oval metal belt buckle securing her thick brown leather belt around her dark blue jeans. Long braided brownish blonde hair hung down over a checkered pink and white flannel shirt. She looked fit and strong. Later I learned that Hunter was an active rodeo barrel racing champion.

During our intensive US/China brainstorms on how to mitigate the environmental impact of the massive development plans for Shanghai and decades later of good work and interactions, I’ve come to admire Hunter’s prolific mind and passion for nurturing business and capitalism to solve our ecological problems in a win-win.

In this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast show, Hunter says, “It has become really apparent that there is a business case for sustainability. Activists used to think that it was simply a moral imperative that we would lose life as we know it on the planet, and that remains true, but what has changed… is that companies have realized that when you behave more responsibly to people and the planet, you make more money. Surprise!”

Hunter has an incredible background. She’s president of Natural Capitalism Solutions and has been a professor of sustainable business at several MBA programs. She’s an author of more than 14 books, global keynote speaker, and Hero of the Planet award winner by Time Magazine. Hunter was Rocky Mountain Institute’s CEO for strategy and has a law degree.

It’s my pleasure to invite you to listen in to our conversation as Hunter Lovins and I discuss the future of business and our planet in this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast show.

Episode 23 Alan Christianson

A few years ago I was in the Caribbean at a business mastermind. On the first morning, I woke up early and took a long walk on a pathway along the sparkling ocean. Just as I was hitting stride about a mile from the hotel, I was startled by an exuberant call.

“Excuse me!”

I jumped to the side of the road as what looks like an ironman triathlete passes me on… a unicycle? Sweat is pouring off the guy’s face, drenching his joy. It was Dr. Alan Christianson.

“Hey, David,” Dr. C shouted. “Great morning for a ride.” I nod my head up and down in awe. I wipe my forehead.

Fast forward one year. I’m in Dr. C’s Prius driving to another business event when he tells me that his other favorite morning sport starting at 5 a.m. is to lift boulders next to his home in Arizona and place them on a wall he’s building. Once the wall is finished, he takes down the boulders and builds another one. And he’s not even in prison.

Not only is Dr. C an uber athlete, but he’s similarly driven in his functional medicine practice. He’s also the author of the New York Times bestseller The Adrenal Reset Diet. At his clinic, he helps patients with thyroid problems, adrenal issues, weight loss, and hormonal imbalance. Dr. C brings a rare blend of intellect, care, humor and cutting-edge personalized medicine.

It’s my pleasure to invite you to join Dr. C and me in this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast show. You’ll learn how to boost your health and take individual control of your weight, energy, stress and future.

To your health,
David Gottfried

 

Episode 21 Bill Browning

I remember the first time I heard Bill Browning speak. It was in 1991 at the AIA convention in Boston. Initially, I was sitting in the rear, but I moved to the front row after he’d started so that I could catch every word. Bill is a bit soft spoken and speaks at his own cadence, stopping to smile, chuckle and sprinkle his thoughtful words with humor or more like an erudite riddle. He spoke about terms I’d never heard before: life cycle assessment, embodied energy, blackwater treatment. I wrote so fast in my notebook that it’s a wonder that I didn’t break my pen.

Please join me in this week’s Regen360 podcast show where I have the pleasure of interviewing Bill Browning. We talk about Biomimicry and some of his favorite green projects. We reminisce about the early days of green building such as the greening of the White House.

At that first green convention for me, I learned that Bill had started the green development services arm of the renowned Rocky Mountain Institute, under the tutelage of Amory Lovins. I’d read Amory’s book Soft Energy Paths in my solar engineering course at Stanford in 1981. It was the first time I’d heard the term Amory invented: Negawatt, meaning that a watt of energy saved is equivalent in power to a watt generated, but has a zero ecological footprint.

Bill went on to write several important sustainable building books, including Green Development. We first worked together when I founded ASTM’s green subcommittee and then the U.S. Green Building Council in 1992. Bill was our first environmental organization member and is still active 25 years later.

What I love about Bill is his mind. It’s prolific, almost photographic and critically analytic. It seems that all concepts come easy to Bill and his unique ability is the synthesis and articulation. He can apply his focus to almost any topic, but sustainability and the future survival of humans and other species is his main concern.

Please join me to hear my interview with Bill Brown in this week’s Regen360 podcast show. You’ll understand why Bill is so dear to the world and our future, and worth every minute of your time.

To our sustainable future,
David

Episode 19 Peter Ellis

Every so often you meet someone who just blows your mind. At first, you don’t think they’re for real, but then you realize that such an extraordinary human being actually does exist.

I first met the renowned architect Peter Ellis about twenty years ago. His firm at the time, SOM Architects, had asked me to join their team to compete as the development, construction and design team for San Francisco’s Presidio Letterman complex. I’d be the sustainability consultant for the 26 acre ground up mini town within the old Army base located along the fabulous waterfront. A more prominent site was extremely rare anywhere in the world.

What was so unusual was how Peter intuitively understood the natural development potential of that inspiring site above the Bay. I think he must have been camping out on the site since he knew it’s natural characteristics so well: winds, groundwater tables, solar exposure, gradations, history, and indigenous species.

Whereas competing designs proposed building enormous monuments that felt more like cold windy urban downtowns, Peter sketched out a new town complete with main street, pedestrian access throughout, and mixed use appropriately scaled buildings surrounded by huge open parks. He had coffee and bike shops, and rental apartments along with new senior housing and a hotel, opening up the historic site to the public.

Even though we came in the runner-up position to George Lucas’ film production company, Peter and I remained friends and colleagues. He went on to design large cities, including Jaypee Sports City that would house a million people in India, 30 miles south of New Delhi. His city and campus design practice embraced new concepts on transportation, water, energy and waste. Another specialty is Peter’s focus in re-structuring of America’s 19th-century cities, always looking for how they could contribute positively to the natural environment.

It’s a true pleasure to share with you my conversation with Peter about his vital work in this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast. I hope you’ll join me in being inspired by Peter’s vast vision and love of architecture that sustains.

Thanks for your support,
David

Episode 18 Rick Hanson

What is your most important organ that you take for granted?

We worry about our weight. Many of us stretch and do yoga for flexibility. We meditate for reducing stress. We try to limit carbs, sugar, and GMOs for our health…

But what about our brains?

In this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast show we dive deep into our neural networks as we focus on how to heal and optimize our brains. My guest is Rick Hanson, Phd, author of several bestselling books including Buddha Brain and Hardwiring Happiness. He’s a Senior Fellow at U.C. Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and Founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom.

It’s time we let go out of our Stone Age brains. We’re no longer under threat of being eaten and can learn to take in the good and utilize plasticity to manifest a different path forward.

-David

Learn more about Rick Hanson here!

Episode 17 Jean Rogers

Today, more than ever we need to build and scale organizations to not only boost economics, but add in the other two tenets of what is known as the triple-bottom-line: economy, sustainability, and social equity.

If we are to save Earth and preserve life sustaining elements [air, water, soil, precious resources] capitalism must embrace these essentials in its calculation of profitability and net worth.

In order to make this happen, it’s imperative that the essence of making money and determination of value incorporates a triple-bottom-line calculation in determining the ultimate valuation of corporations.

Fortunately, global companies are waking up to embracing environmental and social equity practices [including health] into their business operations and reporting. Transparency is an essential operating principle for us to be able to evaluate organizational performance in these

For this week’s Regen360 iTunes podcast show I’m privileged to host an interview with Dr. Jean Rogers, the founder of the foremost non-profit establishing corporate financial accounting standards for sustainability. She’s a rare inspiration and brilliant in her vision and execution of the movement building organization she founded know as SASB.

I first met Jean when she was writing the green building standards for San Francisco’s LEED Platinum California Academy of Science, and then later on for Treasure Island.

In this interview, you’ll learn the details of “greening” corporations through the power of financial standards reporting, as well as many facets of creating a global movement. Get ready to be inspired…

-David

Learn more about Jean Rogers here!