WASHINGTON – The U.S. Green Building Council, in an attempt to provide resources to help state and local governments nationwide take advantage of the economic recovery opportunities presented by green building, has released “Top 10 Ways to Use Recovery Funds for Green Building.”
From investing in green schools and home energy retrofit programs to creating a revolving loan fund, this list can be used by governments from small towns to metropolitan cities and counties as well as state governments looking to make the best use of federal economic recovery funding. The full document can be downloaded by following www.usgbc.org/government to the Green Economic Recovery Resources page.
Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% of water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.
“A strong economy and a healthy environment go hand-in-hand,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman of USGBC. “Governments and business alike have recognized that the triple bottom line of economic, environmental and social sustainability is the key to thriving and prospering today and into the future. Smart use of federal economic stimulus funding by improving the efficiency of our existing building stock as well as our new buildings and communities will create green jobs that save energy, water and taxpayer money.”
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act represents a tremendous opportunity for green building. Governments are acting fast to take strategic steps to identify not simply shovel-ready, but shovel-worthy projects that will play a vital role in the short-term and long-term strength of the economy. USGBC is working collaboratively with state and local governments across the country as they think holistically about how to use recovery dollars to maximize sustainability in the built environment.
By following www.usgbc.org/government to the Green Economic Recovery Resources page, readers can find such resources as a matrix outlining how specific provisions of ARRA are relevant to green building, a recorded series of Webcasts on implementing recovery funds, the Roadmap to Sustainable Government Buildings, and other tools. Local governments that are looking for more holistic guidance on sustainability planning may also want to review the Playbook for Green Buildings + Neighborhoods at www.greenplaybook.org.