GBI press room: GBI’s 2021 Year-End Community Update

January 21, 2022

GBI’s 2021 Year-End Community Update

Dear GBI Community,

As we head into a new year, I’m gratified knowing that our community is working diligently to mitigate climate change by reducing emissions, resource consumption, and waste in design and operations of the buildings within our sphere of influence. To focus our commitment, our Board approved and updated GBI’s mission to better reflect our primary goal, “to reduce climate impacts by improving the built environment through education, standards, and assessments developed by an inclusive and collaborative global network.”

GBI Standards Development
GBI remains dedicated to developing and delivering science-based, comprehensive standards through a transparent process as an ANSI Accredited Standards Developer. In April of last year, GBI released Green Globes for Existing Buildings 2021, an ANSI Draft Standard that is scheduled to complete public reviews and be published by GBI and ANSI in 2023. In September, GBI announced the approval of ANSI/GBI 01-2021: Green Globes Assessment Protocol for Design, New Construction, and Major Renovations, or Green Globes for New Construction 2021, by ANSI and GBI’s Board of Directors. Both of these new Green Globes programs are holistic, three-in-one certifications evaluating the environmental sustainability, health and wellness, and resilience of individual buildings or entire portfolios.

Green Globes, GRESB, and ESG Reporting
The demand for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting is rapidly growing. In 2021, GBI began offering services to support organizations with expanding not only green building certification but also ESG reporting processes into their portfolio planning efforts.

Green Globes certification is recognized as a Tier 1 certification, or for full points, under the Building Certifications and Performance section of GRESB as well as under the Development, or new construction, section. Our network of Green Globes Professionals (GGPs) and ESG experts are in high demand helping REITs with office, multifamily, and industrial portfolios, as an example, as portfolio teams expand the validation of their sustainability efforts through use of Green Globes Core & Shell, New Construction, Interiors, and Existing Building certifications. We’ve enjoyed leveraging our inclusive and collaborative experts to be a bigger part of our members’ and portfolio owners’ ESG journeys.

Community Growth and DEI
In 2021, GBI dedicated itself to becoming an industry leader in facilitating needed yet often difficult conversations about racism, bias, and equitable systems within our global network of organizations and individuals. We are committed to taking meaningful action. In March, we launched a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) task group and completed our own demographics survey of Board and staff members. In June, we encouraged our community to participate in the National Institute of Building Sciences’ social equity survey, and in October, I signed the PwC CEO Pledge and made a similar CEO commitment through National Institute of Building Sciences to support inclusive workplaces and encourage discussion around DEI. Then, in November, we launched our first “Giving Tuesday” promotion, inviting nominations for community benefit projects to receive a complimentary Green Globes certification. GBI also initiated a Green Globes Emerging Professional credential for students and those newer to the green building industry, providing low-cost education to a wider audience. Lastly in 2021, we approved a Volunteer Time Off Policy for GBI staff to dedicate time to charitable organizations of their choice. Our efforts will continue throughout 2022 with formal creation of a DEI policy and training for GBI Board and staff members among other planned initiatives.

Looking Ahead
Last year was an unprecedented year for many reasons. We engaged with local governments that desired increased access to Green Globes as an option for validating sustainability efforts in their regions. We launched updated Green Globes assessment tools. We hosted thought leadership webinars. Importantly, we also recognized and distinguished Green Globes and Guiding Principles Compliance leaders through a new a Fellow program. We’re following through on our objective to make green building education, tools, and assessment programs more accessible to all.
Thanks to you, our community, we have been able to thrive as an organization and promote meaningful action throughout the last year and into this new year. We are creating #betterbuildingstogether.

We greatly appreciate you and your many past and upcoming contributions to advance our mission, objectives, and principles.

Best regards,
Vicki Worden
President & CEO, GBI