Greenbuild 2009 Conference Goes “Carbon-Neutral” with the Help of Renewable Energy and Offset Donations
(Madison, WI – November 12, 2009) —Leonardo Academy announced today that the emissions resulting from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)’s annual Greenbuild International Conference & Exposition have been offset through the generous donations of carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Milliken & Company and WindCurrent, respectively. This marks the 8th year that Leonardo Academy’s Cleaner and Greener® Program has donated its services to the USGBC for quantifying and procuring the offsets for the event’s greenhouse gas emissions and emissions that affect health. Based on projected Greenbuild attendance and energy use, the donations to this year’s conference in Phoenix, Arizona, have offset 100 percent of the greenhouse gas, sulfur dioxide, and mercury emissions, as well a portion of the nitrogen oxides and particulate emissions associated with the event. Due to this emission reduction achievement, Greenbuild 2009 earned Gold-level certification through the Cleaner and Greener® Program.
Greenbuild, an annual conference hosted by the USGBC, brings together sustainability-minded people from all over the world to address the future of the built environment. In an effort to make Greenbuild a sustainable event, renewable energy certificate (REC) provider WindCurrent donated 3,100 MWh of RECs to completely offset the electricity use from the event, and Milliken donated 12,500 metric tonnes of carbon offsets to offset the remainder of the greenhouse gas emissions. WindCurrent’s donation of RECs included Green-e certified wind-generated renewable energy from wind farms in the eastern United States. The carbon offsets donated by Milliken were created through carbon sequestered in the company’s existing forests, which were assessed according to the Leonardo Academy Draft Standard for Trial Use for Emissions Inventories, Offsets, Reduction Credits, and TAGs. This donation from Milliken, a founding member of the USGBC, stems from a long-term commitment to the organization.
Leonardo Academy’s Cleaner and Greener® Program calculated the emissions resulting from the energy used at the event facility, as well as for travel, meals, and lodging associated with the event. This year’s conference is expected to host more than 20,000 attendees, who will incur over 2 million vehicle miles and over 40 million flight passenger miles in transit to and from the Phoenix event, which will make a weighty contribution to the event’s emissions impact. In addition to the substantial donations made by Milliken and WindCurrent, Greenbuild vendors, exhibitors, and general attendees also have the opportunity to offset the emissions associated with individual attendance by purchasing offsets through the Cleaner and Greener® website (www.cleanerandgreener.org/greenbuild2009.html).
Donated and purchased emissions offsets will be permanently retired to offset the carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions (methane, CH4 and nitrous oxide, N2O) as well as the health-impacting sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) and mercury (Hg) emissions
resulting from the use of the convention center and the travel, meals, and lodging connected to the conference. The pre-event estimates of the event emissions and offset achievements are posted on Leonardo
Academy’s Cleaner and Greener® website (www.cleanerandgreener.org). This website also breaks down the total event emissions to the level of emissions per attendee, and provides a means for attendees to offset their personal event emissions. Following Greenbuild, the emissions and offset achievements will be updated to reflect actual event attendance and additional donations made during the event.
Michael Arny, President of Leonardo Academy, stated, “Milliken and WindCurrent have, through their donations, brought to light the importance of two very different, but equally important emissions topics: the sequestration of carbon in existing forests and the continued support of renewable energy. It is wonderful that both of these companies have stepped up to make Greenbuild a carbon-neutral event again this year.”
About Milliken (www.sustainablecarpet.com) Milliken & Company, a founding member of US Green Building Council, achieves carbon negative certification without purchased credits. The privately-held international chemical and textile manufacturer uses alternative energy and generates zero waste to landfill from carpet manufacturing. Supporting its No Carpet to Landfill Pledge, all Milliken carpet products may be renewed, reused or recycled. Milliken champions sustainable principles and practices internally and in partnership with others. Together with USGBC, the company annually recognizes the achievements of local USGBC organizations by presenting the annual Chapter Awards of Excellence during Greenbuild.
About WindCurrent (www.windcurrent.com) The WindCurrent company has been providing LEED-spec Renewable Energy Certificates to US institutions since 2002. Its current customers include the US Department of Energy, the World Bank, the National Institute of Health, M&T Bank, and Random House. WindCurrent has also greened most of the US federal buildings across the planet.
About the U.S. Green Building Council (www.usgbc.org) The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 78 local affiliates, more than 20,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 131,000 LEED Accredited Professionals, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students. Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.
About Leonardo Academy (www.leonardoacademy.org) Leonardo Academy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1997 that is dedicated to advancing sustainability and putting the competitive market to work on improving the environment. We develop and distribute strategies, guidance, metrics, standards, education, and information on how to increase sustainability. We also help companies, organizations, families, and individuals successfully promote, encourage, and implement sustainability. Our integrated approach makes sustainability very practical for our clients. We provide sustainability assessments and strategies for companies and organizations, LEED® implementation and certification, emissions footprint analysis plus emission reduction and offset strategies, sustainable land management, sustainability education and training, and certification of emission reduction and offset achievements through our Cleaner and Greener® Program for events, companies and organizations.