Businesses Put to the Test with the California Best Buildings Challenge

CHICAGO — The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the USGBC’s Northern California Chapter (USGBC-NCC) has launched the California Best Buildings Challenge, which will recruit California businesses in a competition to achieve a 20 percent reduction in energy, water and waste in their buildings in just two years.

The California Best Buildings Challenge was announced at President Clinton’s second annual Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America), a meeting focused on finding solutions that promote economic recovery in the U.S.

California Best Buildings Challenge was inspired by the White House’s Better Buildings Challenge and President Clinton’s pioneering work to promote sustainable buildings. The California Better Buildings Challenge consists of industry-leading firms with strong California presences that have committed their companies to be environmentally responsible. Companies including Adobe, Genetech, Google, PREI, SAP and Zynga have stepped up to kick off the challenge, collectively committing five million square feet of building space from their portfolios.

“We are pleased to have these leading-edge organizations on board with this incredibly meaningful challenge,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of USGBC. “The California Best Buildings Challenge is raising the bar in terms of what is expected in the realm of corporate sustainability. We are eager to prove that curbing energy and water use and reducing waste by 20 percent in two years is not only possible, but a must-do. The goal is for this type of achievement to become the norm.”

Both USGBC and USGBC-NCC are working to inspire other companies to sign on and take the challenge to be a role model of sustainability for other companies in the future. The companies already on board are ready to show the USGBC they have what it takes to be a green business.

“As the founder of the biotechnology industry, Genetech is excited to be part of the California Best Buildings Challenge and we look forward to sharing best practices with other leading California companies. As we continually strive to create and deliver innovative medicines for patients, we also seek to employ new, more sustainable technologies and processes in order to minimize our impact on the environment,” said Carla Boragno, vice president of Site Services at Genetech.