The past month has been a busy one for the team over at USGBC-LA HQ. We’re challenging ourselves to rethink through how our organization operates, what our members need to help empower them, and where we can lead to make a positive impact on the built environment around us. We’re getting creative, we’re being scrappy, and we’re having fun.

This means we’re investing in a new member platform to help you connect better with opportunities to volunteer, to network, to learn, and the resources to support you along the way.  It might get a little bumpy, but we’re tuning the engine that is going to drive our engagement machine to move the green building market forward.

As for myself, I’ve been filling my calendar with meetings with stakeholders, potential collaborators, and fellow green instigators. I’m trying to open my ears and open my mind more than I open my mouth, except for another sip of more coffee or tea. Where are the gaps in the market for us to design more programs, increase learning on sustainability, and push policy? The vision is starting to come into focus and it means increased resiliency in the face of climate change, healthier buildings for our families, and a robust talent development pipeline for the local green building industry.

I’m also learning how much we’ve already accomplished and how much we’re already doing. That this organization that has been around for nearly twenty years now has many stories of success and of failure, but has already touched many lives. Through our Green Janitors Education Program with the Building Skills Partnership we’ve helped empower over 1,200 custodial staff that they are the ones who are really running the buildings they are working in and along the way we’ve reduced energy costs over 5% while reducing injuries, improving health, and reducing waste.

Leading through education is at the heart of what we do and we’re working with Metro to offer green fundamentals training to their staff and the public; over 800 people have been trained, creating a culture of sustainability along the way. We’re working with the City of LA’s Green Business Certification Program to help businesses improve their procurement, create a commitment to green practices, and lead by example for their employees. We’re working with Global Green on a Green Rebuilding Initiative to match volunteers from our member base with with people whose homes have burned down in the Thomas and Woolsey Fires, providing green rebuilding and design assistance. But all this is in so many ways just the beginning; we need to get more innovative, we need to lockdown more resources, and we need to learn how to become better communicators.

Just last week we hosted a branch leaders and committee workshop meeting where we started to breakdown silos and come up with some immediate ways we can work more effectively together. I sincerely hope you can join us as we co-create the future of this organization. I’m excited about where we’re headed and now more than ever we need your engagement, your energy, and your ideas to help us get there.

Onward and Upward,

Ben Stapleton
Executive Director
USGBC-LA

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