Reinforcing the Bottom Line with Sustainable Strategies
Sustainability, transparency, wellness and resiliency are the pillars of the green building world. Host Daniel Huard, the Godfather of Sustainability, collaborates with the experts around the world focusing on green design.
What if every single act of design and construction made the world a better place? Well, according to living-future.org, the Living Building Challenge is the world’s most rigorous proven performance standard for buildings. People from around the world use the organization’s regenerative design framework to create spaces that give more than they take, becoming a living, regenerative building that:
- Connects occupants to light, air, food, nature, and community
- Is self-sufficient and remains within the resource limits of their site
- Creates a positive impact on the human and natural systems that interact with them
Environmental champion, Anthony Guerrero, is both a Board Chair for the International Living Future Institute as well as the Chief Real Estate and Sustainability Officer at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)—an organization of more than three million members and online activists with the expertise of some 700 scientists, lawyers and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water and the wild. Leading the development of sustainability strategies for NDRC’s core operations, Guerrero focuses on the triple bottom line—social equity, sustaining the environment and financial viability—putting in to practice the principles of the Living Building Challenge to revamp the internal operations of NRDC and to demonstrate transformation in Operations Management.
Build for Impact, a Green Building podcast by MarketScale, is a platform that allows for collaboration with some of the best minds in the world who focus on green design and sustainability, then incorporating these ideas into building projects to help lessen their environmental impact, ensuring a cleaner future for the next generation. And on this episode of Build for Impact, Guerrero joins host Daniel A. Huard, LEED Fellow and the Godfather of Sustainability. They discuss the catalyst that peaked Guerrero’s interest in the environmental movement and a career that centers around building sustainability, projects that he has led to reduce our carbon footprint, the issues of climate versus social justice, the Living Building Challenge, implementing rigorous Materials Petal Certification to offset the adverse effects that building materials have on humans, other species, our planet and its resources, the industry’s responsibility, and more.
Attaining, at the time, the highest-rated LEED Platinum V2 build-out for both their New York and DC offices, when NDRC began the process for their Chicago office, Guerrero was caught off guard by concerns from his own team.
“Our staff—who are very immersed in these issues of toxins in our materials and in our everyday products—they would ask me about the materials we were bringing into our spaces, and I realized that the rigors that we were doing to adhere to the LEED-scorecard were not as rigorous as the expectations of our staff. So I kept looking for a better way to ensure that we didn’t have any of the toxins that we were advocating against in our DC material selection, in our process at all,” remarked Guerrero. “During our build-out in Chicago, Eileen Quigley (NDRC Sustainability Manager) brought up the Living Building Challenge Petal Certification for materials. We found that it was rigorous—far and above what we were doing before. We realized it was going to be extremely hard, but it paid off. We did that work and didn’t have a single concern from our staff. We had evolved to be actually more rigorous and more aggressive in our vetting of materials.”