Last week I packed my bags and headed to our 28th and 29th Distinguished Sustainability Lecture Series events in Beijing and Singapore. I had a great trip and enjoyed the opportunity to speak with many green building enthusiasts and sustainability thought leaders. Our special guest speaker, Dr. Joseph Allen, principal investigator of The COGfx Study, created quite a bit of buzz over the groundbreaking results from the study. This doesn’t quite surprise me because I believe these results have the potential to truly accelerate the green building movement, particularly in China and Singapore.
In brief, here are my number one takeaways from each location:
1) Beijing – Retired Chinese Vice Minister of Construction Dr. Qiu Baoxing reported that half of the world's green buildings by floor area are now in China. The Chinese government has a big goal to achieve 50% green building in new construction by 2030. Dr. Qiu also expressed a vision where buildings can become places of restoration for human health with optimized indoor environmental quality.
2) Singapore – Already one of the world's greenest cities, Singapore is pressing forward with an ambitious goal to achieve 80% green building by 2030. They're well on their way with 31% certified already. I'm always struck by Singapore's required green area ratio, with trees and plantings incorporated into building design which creates an important biophilic benefit for building occupants. The city is also on track to capture and recycle 100% of its waste water in a massive closed loop system on the island.
Also while in Beijing I had the opportunity to attend the International Green Aviation Forum. Here, UTC and Hainan Airlines Group announced the establishment of the Green Aviation Initiative & Network (GAIN). This initiative establishes an interactive platform for global stakeholders to foster green aviation through advocacy, dialogue and innovative solutions – something that can really help define the future of green aviation.
Make sure to stay tuned for an update on where we’ll host our 30th Distinguished Sustainability Lecture Series event later this year. It’s hard to believe that since 2011 we’ve already made it to this many events, but it’s part of our effort to connect a global dialogue so that worldwide, we can accelerate the green building movement.