Unique Leadership Platforms

Taryn Holowka

Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications & Advocacy

When we set out to develop this issue of USGBC+ we chose the theme: leadership platforms. Each of us has a unique leadership platform—a set of values and beliefs for which we stand. Our platform may be known to others, or it may just be a quiet presence that guides our daily lives.

In thinking about leadership, one of the things I’ve always thought of as the definition of a leader is someone who inspires purpose and progress but more importantly, someone who uses their leadership platform to make things better.

By that definition, every single member of the USGBC community is a leader.

USGBC and its 12,000 member companies, the more than 20 billion sq-ft of LEED projects, the hundreds of committee and community members, the volunteers, the 201,000 LEED Accredited Professionals (APs) and the 25,000 Greenbuild attendees are all inspiring purpose and progress and making things better. Whether it’s creating a new and innovative fixture that saves water, developing alternative materials that are healthier for people, identifying a new strategy designed to reduce cooling costs, or helping to educate the future green building industry—we are all making things better.

Having been with USGBC for more than 15 years, I have seen the rise of green building up close. More than 20 years ago, USGBC started as a vision, and today it is an unparalleled global brand of sustainability and is responsible for anchoring one of the most important environmental movements of our time.

I have firsthand knowledge of the leadership that makes up our community. I have seen the committed volunteers who come to Greenbuild every year and dive right in to make the show a success. I have seen the amazing committee members who have so much knowledge and information, dedicating hours of their time every week to committee meetings to make LEED the best green building program in the world. I have seen the newly integrated USGBC communities who have worked really hard to unite and to speak with one voice, leading the movement nationwide! I have seen the LEED APs and LEED Green Associates from all over the world who have studied so hard to pass their exams so that they could be a part of the story. They are all true leaders and they are all part of the USGBC leadership platform.

But what exactly is USGBC’s leadership platform? If I had to spell it out, I would sum it up in three points:

  • Leave the world a better place by reducing the environmental impact of our buildings, homes, and communities.
  • Make the benefits of green building accessible and available to as many people as possible.
  • Foster an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous world that improves the quality of life for everyone.

This leadership platform guides us in our everyday activities at USGBC. Everything we do is looked at through this lens. We also need the right tools and platforms in place to succeed. That’s why I’m looking forward to this year’s Greenbuild conference, which also happens to be one of USGBC’s largest platforms. We have an amazing lineup of educational sessions on LEED v4, materials, human health and water issues, to name a few. We are also in the thick of planning USGBC’s signature events: Waterbuild, the International Summit, the Communities & Affordable Homes Summit, the Women in Green Power Breakfast (which I am hosting this year!) and the Executive and Leadership luncheons.

You want to see innovation? Experience leadership in action? Execute on your leadership platform? Then I’ll see you at Greenbuild Boston this November!