The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently received the Champions of the Earth award, the United Nation’s top environmental accolade. USGBC won the award in the category of entrepreneurial vision.

USGBC CEO Rick Fedrizzi, who received the award, acknowledged the role of the World Green Building Council (WGBC) and its 100+ member councils in driving the global green building movement recognised by the UN award.

Though the award usually honours a single individual, USGBC won it for its outstanding contribution to sustainable building practices worldwide and the immense impacts of those practices.

Fedrizzi accepted the Champions of the Earth award on behalf of the thousands of USGBC members, volunteers, LEED professionals and staff, and the global green building movement at large, including the 100+ World Green Building Council members from around the world.

He added that all the stakeholders have come to deeply understand to what extent buildings and communities represent the world’s first line of defence in battling climate change, noting that, ‘green building is not just about market transformation, it’s about human transformation’.

According to WGBC CEO Jane Henley, if the UNEP research estimates that buildings contribute as much as one third of total global greenhouse gas emissions are correct, then it’s up to every one of the more than 100 green building council members of WGBC to lead their countries by example and continue the tireless work of creating buildings that are energy-efficient, water-efficient, daylight-filled, toxin- and-pollutant-free structures, and placing them in walkable communities with access to fresh food and green space, with recycling and composting. She acknowledged the role of WGBC members in creating these places every day.

‘Champions of the Earth’ is the United Nations' flagship environmental award launched in 2005 to recognise outstanding visionaries and leaders in the fields of policy, science, entrepreneurship, and civil society action. Past laureates have included Mikhail Gorbachev, Al Gore, Felipe Calderon, Mohamed Nasheed, Marina Silva, Vinod Khosla and many other such exemplary leaders on the environment and development front.