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Green Building War Heats Up

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In an open letter to the Green Building Initiative’s (GBI) Board of Directors, Greenwash Action, a joint initiative of Sierra Club and Greenpeace, calls into question the claims made by GBI regarding its green building rating system, Green Globes. Since 2006, when the Canadian-based Green Globes standard first launched in the U.S., the developers of the standard have been competing for market share against the popular U.S. Green Building Council’s counterpart, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Recently, there were major victories for Green Globes as the GSA recommended Green Globes as an alternative to LEED, for federal buildings outside the Government Services Administration (GSA) portfolio, and the U.S. Department of Defense decided to allow its facilities to use the Green Globes certification program.

However, according to the letter signed by several environmental groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council and product manufacturers, the Green Globes rating system is "greenwash". The letter describes Green Globes as "less stringent than LEED in important ways" and "while it is true that Green Globes is more flexible than LEED, avoiding prerequisites and granting significant discretion to auditors in granting points for projects, it is not at all clear that these differences translate into better buildings."

While the various stakeholders debate the merits of the green building rating systems, it is clear as previously reported that green buildings are a growth sector and the concrete industry needs to be engaged. NRMCA has a number of sustainability initiatives (click here to learn more) that will assist producer members to meet the requirements in the various standards. 

Click here to see the open letter. For more information, contact Tien Peng at 206-913-8535 or

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