In recognition of their commitment and innovation towards a sustainable built environment, a pioneering embodied carbon calculator and a trailblazing climate leader receive a World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) Chair’s Award.
Each year, WorldGBC presents two major awards recognising the contributions of individuals and organisations to the global green building movement: the WorldGBC Chair’s Award and the Chair’s Award on Global Green Building Entrepreneurship.
WorldGBC Chair’s Award 2019-2020
The Chair’s Award is given to those who have added outstanding value to the development of sustainability in the built environment. This year WorldGBC’s Chair, Lisa Bate, presented the Chair’s Award to Elizabeth Wangeci Chege in honour of her impressive achievements spanning nearly two decades.
Elizabeth receives the award in recognition of her many years of service and dedication to the sustainable built environment. Her accomplishments include co-founding WEB Limited, her position as Chairperson of the Kenya Green Building Society, and for the past 19 years making it her mission to be part of the solution to the climate crisis, living by the motto, “What we build today will form the Africa of tomorrow.”
WorldGBC Chair’s Award on Global Green Building Entrepreneurship 2019-2020
The Chair’s Award on Global Green Building Entrepreneurship is given to individuals or entities whose contribution to global sustainable buildings has proven to be unique, innovative and entrepreneurial. This year the WorldGBC Chair’s Award on Global Green Building Entrepreneurship was awarded to the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) tool and accepted by the co-creator of the tool, Stacy Smedley—Executive Director of Building Transparency, Director of Sustainability, Skanska USA.
Stacy conceived the idea for the EC3 tool whilst working at Skanska, in collaboration with software developer Phil Northcott of C-Change Labs. Stacy secured initial support from Skanska to get the tool to a proof of concept. To accelerate its development, EC3 was further incubated and developed as a project of the University of Washington Carbon Leadership Forum, with financial support and collaboration from over 50 foundation and industry sponsors, including Pankow and MKA Foundations, and global companies Autodesk, Interface, Microsoft and Skanska. It was launched publicly in November 2019, and the new nonprofit Building Transparency was established to continue to manage and scale the tool.
EC3 is a free, open-access tool and database of over 22,000 materials, searchable by performance requirements, design specifications, project location, and global warming potential—all based on third party verified environmental product declaration (EPD) data. Tools such as EC3 are vital in tackling embodied carbon emissions, allowing users to calculate and identify key areas where they can focus mitigation efforts to have the most impact at no user cost.
The award presentation was held virtually as part of the online MENA Green Building Congress 2020.
Lisa Bate, Chair of WorldGBC said:
“This year’s winners have played truly outstanding roles in championing green buildings around the world.
Elizabeth Wangeci Chege has shown years of tireless commitment to the cause through her technical leadership, sustainable consultancy work and striving for Kenya and Africa as a whole to build resilience to climate change in sustainable development.
The EC3 tool has demonstrated pioneering leadership in sustainable advocacy, allowing architects, engineers and policy makers to easily compare potential building products and choose the lower carbon option.
I congratulate both winners and wish them every success for the future as they continue on our collective journey to deliver green buildings for everyone, everywhere”.
Winner’s comment (Elizabeth Wangeci Chege):
“I am greatly honored by this Global recognition of local action by the World Green Building Council. As an African woman juggling family and vocation, the conscious path to do for buildings and the built environment what the Nobel Peace Prize winner, the late Prof Wangari Maathai, did for trees and forests was challenging but not impossible. I thank all those who have been part of this journey, the Kenya Green Building Society and the World Green Building Council Africa Regional Network of Green Building Councils. Kenya and largely Africa, has the greatest opportunities now and with the solidarity shown during COVID-19 pandemic it means we can act on the climate crisis in building a low carbon climate resilient Africa. Thank you World Green Building Council for this recognition.”
Winner’s comment (Stacy H Smedley):
“It is an honor to have the EC3 tool’s mission and vision for positive environmental impact recognized by this award. Already, we are seeing how an easily accessible, free, immediately actionable tool can empower collective impact and industry collaboration. With over 50 industry sponsors, and 6,000 current users, EC3 continues to grow its materials database globally, and inform building industry specifications and procurement of low carbon materials, through both private owner commitments and public policy integration. We are excited about the market transformation we are already seeing in adoption of Environmental Product Declarations for verified and transparent disclosure of environmental impacts of materials, and we are committed to scaling the tool to more markets and material categories, to spur further innovation in our industry.”
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About the World Green Building Council
The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) catalyses the uptake of sustainable buildings for everyone, everywhere.
Transforming the building and construction sector across three strategic areas—climate action, health & wellbeing, and resources & circularity—we are a global action network comprised of around 70 Green Building Councils around the globe.
As members of the UN Global Compact, we work with businesses, organisations and governments to drive the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Through a systems change approach, our network is leading the industry towards a net zero carbon, healthy, equitable and resilient built environment.