Posts Tagged ‘Green Buildings Are Better’

Sustainable is Attainable

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U.S. Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter is pleased to introduce a new pilot program to our St. Louis region: Green & Efficient Buildings Are Better for St. Louis Neighborhoods! We have partnered with New Missionary Baptist Church, Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU), and St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO) to help make this program successful.

The program is made possible with funding, in part, by the Gateway Regional Environment Fund (GREF). This fund is managed by the St. Louis Community Foundation and seeks to fund projects in the St. Louis metro area that have an end goal of making the region more environmentally sustainable.  

With our specialty at USGBC-MGC being buildings, we proposed a program to focus on making building energy efficiency updates more equitable and accessible for congregations, non-profits, and small businesses. These building types are often overlooked for programs and funding that help increase the energy efficiency of the buildings they operate. We want to support these entities in leading the fight against energy waste, air pollution, and climate change. Additionally, we would like to help these organizations and businesses save money on energy bills. 

According to the City of St. Louis 2018 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Report, building energy use is responsible for 65% of the greenhouse gas emissions produced in the St. Louis region. The other major GHG contributors follow far behind, with transportation at 17% and industry at 15%. This energy percentage is higher than the overall average building energy use in the U.S., which is 40%. By reducing building energy use, we can drastically reduce emissions in our region.

Our goal for this pilot program is to assist congregations, non-profits, and small businesses in becoming heroes in the fight against climate change. We also want to secure savings on utility bills, so those savings can be allocated elsewhere to better support the mission, vision, and communities each organization serves. The program is slated to roll-out over the 2021 calendar year in three phases. 

Phase I: Current Phase

We are researching what has worked best for programs like this in other cities. This will be an ongoing effort. We are also holding information sessions and recruiting participants for the program. By the end of this phase, we hope to have roughly ten dedicated participants, each with a point person we can be in continual contact with for this program. 

Phase II: Mid-to-late Summer – Fall 2021

This phase begins in June or July, after we have confirmed the participating organizations. We will have a volunteer or intern working with each organization to gather historical utility information and begin the process of benchmarking. Benchmarking is essential in being able to track and assess energy usage. This will allow us to determine the most effective energy efficiency measures to focus on improving.  

Phase III: Fall 2021 – December 2021

The final phase of this pilot program will take place in the fall when we will focus on implementing energy efficiency measures that benchmarking has identified as the most effective. This will depend on the particular building. We will start with no and low-cost opportunities to save energy. And we will also research funding for larger-scale energy efficiency upgrades together, with the organizations’ point person and the volunteer or intern they were paired with in phase II.

If you are part of a congregation, non-profit, or small business in the St. Louis area, please fill out this interest form and we will be in contact with you. For more information, be sure to take a look at our info session slides: here

As our friends at MCU say, “sustainable is attainable.” We hope you’ll join us. 

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Environmental Injustice in STL

Click here to view list of attendees (PDF).

Click here for the link to the recording.

Environmental Injustice in STL, an evening educational program hosted in partnership by your local US Green Building Council (USGBC) – Missouri Gateway Chapter and National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) St. Louis Gateway Professionals.


The Environmental Racism in St. Louis report calls out environmental racism as—“the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards on people of color” —in St. Louis. While these disparities have been part of the long-standing discriminatory and profit-driven policies and practices known too well by black St. Louisans, the issue of environmental racism has rarely been addressed in the City (Environmental Racism in St. Louis report). At USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter we are here to change that and advocate for systemic changes to remedy these injustices and enhance public health with green building practices.

On Tuesday, March 9, 2021 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm we will be hosting a panel presentation on the overall effects racism has on community health with a focus on St. Louis. Each speaker will dive into specific sectors of our local environmental racism – air pollution, racism by design – the urban heat island effect, waste and illegal dumping, and other major environmental issues that have a disparate effect on the health of minorities and other disadvantaged community members.

SPEAKERS

Reverend Rodrick Burton, Pastor, New Northside Missionary Baptist Church, Ward 27 St. Louis
Karisa Gilman-Hernandez, Community Empowerment Organizer, Dutchtown South Community Corporation
Gwen Mizell, Vice President, Sustainability & Electrification, Ameren Corporation – Missouri 
Catherine Werner, Sustainability Director, City of St. Louis

MODERATOR

Nicole Adewale, LEED AP, Principal, Founder, Director of Business Development, ABNA Corporation, active USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Education Committee member, lifetime member of NSBE St. Louis Gateway Professionals.

CONTINUING EDUCATION
Approved for 1 LU | HSW credit credit
Eligible for 1 GBCI CE self-reported hour

WHEN
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
5:30 – 7:30 pm

WHERE
Virtual event via Zoom.
Registrants will receive login details prior to the event.

FEE
Free for USGBC-MGC Member
Free for NSBE Gateway Members
Free for Full-Time Students
$10.00 for Non-members

REGISTER
Click here to register online!

SHARE
Share this event using URL, bit.ly/envinjustice and tag us @usgbcmogateway or use the hashtag, #greenbuildingsarebetter.

QUESTIONS?
Contact USGBC-Missouri Gateway staff at fbrandt@mobot.org or (314) 577-0884.

CONNECT 




Stay Safe & Engaged

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Activity Updates

National Updates

Connect Remotely, Support Locally

Public health is important. Your health is important for better buildings, and better buildings equal better lives. Our vision is that buildings and communities will regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation. Help us make that happen by staying safe during this rapidly changing environment with the worldwide response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The most important thing you can do for the economy and the health and safety of our community is to slow the spread of the virus.

Grab-and-Go Food Sites

slps.org/meals Students 18 and younger must be present for grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals 8am-12pm in the Gym at 33 select city schools.

Operation Food Search

St. Louis Area Foodbank 

Good Life Growing
2720 N. 14th St. 63106 10am-7pm

STL Take It Home

Just because you can’t grab a meal inside your favorite local restaurant right now, doesn’t mean you can’t support local businesses in other ways. Purchase gift cards, make a donation, purchase merchandise, tip generously and visit Curbside STL for information on restaurants providing pickup, curbside and delivery services.

However you choose to support the local food and drink scene, you’re not just helping small business owners you’re also helping their employees, food suppliers, and the St. Louis economy at large. The service industry is highly affected by this change in environment, give them confidence and support local.

Support local farmers, buy fresh veggies, and stay healthy!

Shop @localharveststl @stlcitygreens @macslocaleats and Old North Provisions. Visit @tgfarmersmarket‘s website to sign-up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture program) food box starting Tuesday, March 24th or Fair Shares CCSA. Pick-up fresh produce from @legacycirclefarms online farmer’s market. Check out eatherestl.com for delivery of locally-grown food and @knownandgrownstl to see what other farmers offer online ordering and where to get local, Known & Grown farmers’ products during the pandemic.

Support local businesses and stay in the know, join #314together ‘s Facebook group and be part of the conversation using #314together. A local business yourself? Stay informed with business updates: stlregionalchamber.com/covid-19. Learn about the emergency legislation passed to assist businesses.

Connect with Green Building and the Community

If you have pictures you would like to share on how you’re keeping green, building green, or going green this pandemic please send your photo(s) and a sentence describing your experience to fbrandt@mobot.org or join the conversation with #greenbuildingsarebetter. Follow us online @usgbcmogateway. Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Email.

We thank you for the work you do to contribute to safer and healthier conditions for everyone, everywhere. Thank you.

St. Louis Flag

 




Charlotte’s Transition to a Circular Economy – March 10th

Envisioning a Circular Economy

As humans we’ve adapted a linear approach to economics; we take, we make, we dispose. Yet, does this activity benefit our living system? Does it benefit you? Or your business? Probably not. We need to redefine growth, focus on positive society-wide benefits and build economic, natural, and social capital. How is this possible? The Circular Economy. The circular economy is based upon three principles; design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems. It’s a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design, according to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation.

At the U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter (USGBC-MGC), we challenge the St. Louis region to be an innovative part of the solution, generating sustainable solutions that address the current needs and challenges we face, without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. Sustainable development plays a significant role in shaping the future of our environment and society. So that we might learn from another community taking innovative action, we’ve invited speaker Amy Aussieker, the Executive Director of Envision Charlotte, to share the successes and challenges Charlotte, North Carolina has had since launching their circular economy plan.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 5:30 – 7:30 pm, Aussieker will speak at Alberici Headquarters in St. Louis, MO about Charlotte’s Transition to a Circular Economy. This evening program aligns with the USGBC-MGC’s 2020 educational theme, Climate Solutions: Addressing Urgency & Taking Action. We are excited to welcome Aussieker and discuss how Charlotte’s local government, utilities, universities and businesses are addressing the four environmental pillars of energy, air, water, and waste.

Charlotte's Transition to a Circular EconomyA circular economy is all about energy, all the interconnecting companies that form our infrastructure and economy and how that energy is extracted, used, reused, and returned to the Earth and the people; building economic, natural, and social capital. For example, Envision Charlotte’s inaugural project tackled “Smart Energy,” helping 61 of the largest commercial buildings reduce their energy use by 19%, equivalent to 26 million dollars in savings and taking 11,000 cars off the road (Forbes, 2019). What about waste?

How can our waste build capital, rather than reduce it? What if the goods of today became the resources of tomorrow? Instead of the throw away and replace culture, we accept a new method of return and renew (Re-thinking Progress video, Ellen Macarthur Foundation). Charlotte came up with an action plan to make the city more circular, tying in with their sustainable energy goals to reduce carbon dioxide, they have begun to harness valuable materials, that would have been headed to the landfill like plastics, textiles, concrete and organics. REthinking the operating system and REdesigning the way Charlotte’s economy works – REpresenting a systemic shift that builds long-term resilience, generates business and economic opportunities, and provides environmental and social benefits.

Please be sure to join us March 10th, 2020 5:30 – 7:30 pm for Charlotte’s Transition to a Circular Economy and learn about the short and long-term strategies, community participation, and benefits of developing a circular economy. Follow us @usgbcMOgateway and register at www.usgbc-mogateway.org/events!