A new living standard at Greenbuild Atlanta


Read a letter from Mahesh Ramanujam, President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Green Building Council.



Let’s talk about the future.

In theory, the future is an endless horizon stretching out ahead of us.

But here in the green building community, where we chart our progress by data as much as by dreams, it’s something far more within our reach.

The future is a unit of measurement. And we know exactly how far we need to go to rise to its challenges.

But first, we must consider how far we’ve come as a community over the last 25 years. Green building has grown into a trillion-dollar industry. USGBC is the backbone of that business and, more importantly, a global force for improving the living and working conditions of people in 167 countries and territories across the globe. LEED is the most widely used green building program in the world. And with more than 20,000 global attendees each year, Greenbuild, supported by our conference partner Informa, has become the largest thought leadership platform of its kind. 

Our community’s goal has always to been to create a better future for the next generation, and that goal is as timely and relevant as ever.  

But here’s the truth: The future is here. 

The next generation we’ve been working toward has arrived. And that means that setting our sights on the future demands looking at the world already around us. We have to face our obstacles head-on, acknowledging that the people relying on us aren’t hypothetical human beings in some distant decade. We are here. 

So yes, the end of 25 years of progress means we all deserve a pat on the back – but it calls for an even more passionate embrace of those we haven’t yet fully considered or included in this work. We’ve extended our mission beyond buildings to sustainable and resilient communities and cities too. Greenbuild will be the hub for the creation of the standards, policies and partnerships that will enable us to relentlessly build toward a future where all citizens can thrive – regardless of their background. We’re also focused on connecting green buildings to what matters most within our buildings – human beings – because ultimately, the standards that we aspire to raise are those of the quality of life itself. Greenbuild will become the platform where we celebrate the stories that are challenging the status quo and the people behind them working to raise the standard of living in their communities, and change the narrative of our community.

That’s why we launched the Living Standard campaign at last year’s Greenbuild in Chicago, a global initiative that leaves no one behind. A higher living standard and a better quality of life is what we envision for everyone—today and for generations to come. And that’s why this year’s Greenbuild theme is A New Living Standard. When we gather together this November in Atlanta, we will challenge the status quo and celebrate the notion that every single human being, regardless of circumstance, deserves to live a long and healthy life. Greenbuild is where the future of the next generation is shaped, and a tGreenbuild Atlanta we will lay a foundation for the next 25 years of our community.