Promoting sustainability through Green Building Councils

Worldwide, Green Building Councils and the Regenerative Network have helped the building industry to create a movement and a demand for the construction of sustainable, energy-conserving buildings. ASSA ABLOY is a member of both organizations and is committed to providing products and services that are environmentally sound.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, buildings were responsible for 8 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in 2004. That might not sound like much, but this figure does not include the emissions that resulted from the production of the electricity that is consumed in these buildings.

Twenty years ago, David Gottfried helped to form the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to promote sustainability in how buildings are designed, built and operated. The USGBC is now best known for its development of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system and for helping to form the World Green Building Council, a coalition of national Green Building Councils.

In the videos on this page, Gottfried and others – including Aaron Smith, Director of Sustainable Building Solutions for ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions – explain the benefits of buildings that are not only better spaces to live, work and play in, but also better for the environment.

“We have come together as a coalition to not only define the rating system, but build an industry and a movement around green building,” Gottfried says. “In doing that we created a market and when the economy got creamed the last five years, green building was stable or grew and the rest went down 30 to 50 percent. Now there’s economic proof – green buildings have always grown.”
Gottfried is also CEO of Regenerative Ventures and its Regenerative Network, a private coalition of leading green building product manufacturers.

“I went hunting for the leading firm in every area of the building industry,” he says. “I wanted to bring them together so that we could collaborate and create a network effect.”
Gottfried evaluated about 100 companies and found that ASSA ABLOY scored in the top three percent. “We’re really thrilled to be working with ASSA ABLOY,” he says.

Smith explains that ASSA ABLOY’s membership of various Green Building Councils helps it to keep in touch with the people who are designing the next wave of cutting-edge buildings – and to learn what they want from the next generation of ASSA ABLOY products.

“We just got some numbers from McGraw Hill that by 2016 green buildings will account for 55 percent of the market in the United States,” Smith says. “That means that every other building that we do will be a green building.”

It’s clear that, increasingly, sustainability will become an intrinsic part of everything that the building industry does.