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?