USGBC California Hosts 23rd Annual California Green Building Conference at the Beehive, May 23rd

Event features Keynoters energy policy expert (DOE, OPR) Kate Gordon, author Obi Kaufmann; 16 Sessions, 30 Table Talks, Collective Impact Case Studies, and 90+ Exhibitors and Community Partners

Los Angeles, CA (May 2024) The U.S. Green Building Council California (USGBC California or USGBC-CA) is excited to announce its 23rd annual California Green Building Conference, an impact-oriented event that is the largest and longest-running gathering of leading advocates across California’s public and private sectors. The event, Thursday, May 23, 2024, at The Beehive, a SoLa Impact Company in South Los Angeles, has evolved into the West Coast’s premier green building conference, featuring over 90 exhibitors and community partners, with speakers from across the industry spectrum. The Conference is a dynamic platform for sharing expertise and knowledge in sustainability, fostering a collaborative environment for all to engage in the pressing topics driving climate change and the innovative solutions at the forefront of addressing it. 
 

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The USGBC California team looks forward to welcoming sustainability leaders from across California and beyond to gather, learn from one another, and find ways to take collaborative action to create forward progress on green building policy, workforce development, and decarbonization. Registration for the Conference is open; please click here
 


The Conference design offers a rich learning and networking experience for all attendees. It features 16 Workshop sessions, 30 lunch Table Talks, and 20 Collective Impact™ Case Studies (ten minutes each) throughout the day. This diverse format ensures a comprehensive exploration of the conference themes and ample time for interactive discussions and knowledge sharing, fostering a dynamic and engaging environment for all participants.

“The underlying theme of this year’s conference is unification, and we are at an important moment in an election year where we can bring together green building leaders from across the state to strengthen our connections and learn from one another,” states Ben Stapleton, Executive Director, USGBC California. “There is no place quite like California that offers an unparalleled opportunity for technology innovation, diverse collaboration and, ultimately, acceleration of policy and action in the fight against climate change.” 
 
Session Highlights include efforts to address hot topics across sustainability: 

  • Addressing the ongoing wildfire crisis, “Nature-Based Approaches to Wildfire Mitigation in the Built Environment” will explore innovative strategies and solutions for mitigating wildfires in our built environment. This session is part of the Nature-Based Solutions track of sessions.
  • Material waste discussions are on the rise, and “Advancing Deconstruction and Materials Reuse in the Built Environment” will explore all facets of mitigating waste in the built environment, from residential to commercial.
  • “Zero Emission Equipment: Technicalities, Use Case, and Benefits” is a key part of the increasingly important focus on Clean Construction for the benefit of workers and the surrounding community
  • Equity is at the center of two sessions: “Workshop Multifamily E.V. Charging – Where are we Headed: Collaborating with Local Government, Incentives, and Private Finance,” addressing strategies and inclusivity in infrastructure design inclusive of the marginalized communities often most impacted by the drivers of climate change; and “2% for Impact”, which introduces an innovative standard where dedicating just 2%—1% design and 1% construction—of total project costs to community impact initiatives, yields a 100% impact return for both public and private sector developments.
  • Addressing the TV/Film & Live Event world, “Bringing together Film, TV, Music, and Sports to address the Entertainment Industry’s Green Workforce” focuses on the current state of sustainability, building educational capacity, best environmental practices, and unifying entertainment workers around new sustainable education for any person in the industry.
  • On health and wellness in the campus sector, two Workshops showcase the great work local sustainability leaders have achieved on educational campuses throughout Los Angeles to attain net-zero through design for rapid decarbonization and the opportunity for others to replicate the work through data-driven innovations, respectively, “The Living Laboratory: Sustainable Performance through Modern Computation” and “Achieving Net-zero Energy through LACCD’s Digital Twin”.
  • Especially as the heat of summer approaches and manufacturers and operations grapple with strained energy grids, “Grid Resilience: Electrifying the Inland Empire” reviews a new paradigm in energy management.

 
USGBC California team is thrilled to introduce this year’s esteemed keynote speakers, who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the California Green Building Conference. They are Kate Gordon, a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and former Senior Advisor to U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, and Obi Kaufmann, an award-winning California author. Additional highlighted remarks will be presented by Peter Templeton, President and CEO, USGBC; Martin Muoto, Co-Founder and CEO, SoLa Impact; and Nurit Katz and Mia Lehrer, Commissioners, LADWP. Their insights and perspectives are set to enrich the Conference and inspire attendees in their climate action efforts. 

Kate Gordon has spent the past two decades working at the intersection of climate change, energy policy, and equitable economic development. In her role with  Secretary Granholm, she led various place-based initiatives to help drive a more sustainable and resilient energy transition, including creating the agency’s “Community Benefits Plan” requirement for funding applicants.

Gordon continues to serve on the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board (SEAB). Before her time in the Biden-Harris administration, Gordon served in the California state government as the Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and Senior Climate Policy Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom. In this role, Gordon launched or led initiatives to integrate state climate and economic development strategies better.

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Obi Kaufmann is an award-winning author of many best-selling books on California’s ecology, biodiversity, and geography. Most famously, his 2017 book The California Field Atlas, recontextualized popular ideas about what he calls “California’s more-than-human world.” Subsequent books, The State of Water Understanding California’s Most Precious Resource, and The California Lands Trilogy: The Forests of California, The Coasts of California, and The Deserts of California, present a comprehensive survey of California’s physiography and its biogeography in terms of its evolutionary past and its unfolding future.

An avid conservationist and lifelong California resident, Kaufmann travels around the state, presenting his work and vision of ecological restoration and preservation. His latest book, The Deserts of California, won a 2024 Book Award from the California Independent Booksellers Association, and his next book, The State of Fire, Why California Burns(Heyday Books), is due out in September.

USGBC California will present the annual Civic Leadership, Green Building, and Green Product Awards recipients during the Conference. These awards honor the work and solutions impacting the drivers of climate change, and their recognition is essential to the collective mission of a healthy, happy, and sustainable environment for everyone to thrive. USGBC California hopes attendees are inspired and motivated to move the climate action efforts forward and return next year to share and be honored for the work. 
 
“I have attended many conferences, and I can’t express how much I loved [this conference] and the high value my colleagues saw in [it],” states Kathleen Hetrick, Sr. Sustainability Engineer, BuroHappold. “The great networking (both new and seasoned friends), beautiful venue, progressive and relevant sessions, community art, diversity of attendees/speakers, and great exhibitors… so fabulous and inspiring!”
 
USGBC California is grateful for the significant support for the California Green Building Conference: Gold sponsor – Southern California EdisonSilver sponsors – Consulate General of CanadaLADWPSoCalRENBronze sponsors – Clean Power AllianceSoLa ImpactChampion sponsors – Business FinlandGAFSwoogoTRANECarbon Offset Sponsor – cNaught.
 
To learn more about the Conference, please click here or contact julie@usgbc-ca.org. To contribute in any way or to inquire about providing funding support, please email ben@usgbc-ca.org.

About USGBC Green Building Council California


USGBC California is a 501(c)3 non-profit and member-based organization whose vision is to transform California’s built environment into a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable region for all. USGBC California is comprised of green building communities across the state. We lead by inspiring leaders throughout our communities to take action on climate change, public health, and environmental justice while educating, developing, and empowering a diverse talent pipeline through our training, mentorship, and direct-to-community programs. We connect by merging interdisciplinary perspectives and collaborations to create positive systemic change. We advocate through promoting innovative, impactful policy solutions addressing the most urgent environmental and social challenges of our time.(www.usgbc-ca.org)

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