Board members bring expertise in ESG, portfolio management, sustainable real estate development, corporate social responsibility and the circular economy
WASHINGTON, D.C. – RealEstateRama – Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the global certification body for the LEED green building program, announced its 2021 Board of Directors. GBCI is responsible for driving implementation of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program through certification and credentialing. For more than a decade, with a trusted commitment to impartiality and quality, rigorous third-party certification and customer centric focus, GBCI has proved instrumental in ensuring LEED remains the world’s most widely used green building program.
“GBCI is responsible for implementing the LEED rating system by certifying the projects that transform the market and credentialing the professionals that bring these projects to fruition. With each professional accreditation and certified project that GBCI delivers, the global green building community is one step closer to realizing a shared vision where healthy people in healthy places equals a healthy economy,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO, GBCI. “To achieve this, GBCI is guided by a strategic plan, developed in partnership with the Board. The unique experience and leadership that our 2021 GBCI Board of Directors brings to the organization will be invaluable in ensuring that this plan continues to reflect the vision and values by which GBCI was created as we seek to full our unique mission.”
Don Anderson, Blackstone’s Chief Sustainability Officer, was elected Chair of the Board. He has served on the Board since 2014, most recently as the Vice Chair. Don is responsible for evolving sustainability initiatives that deliver cost effective quantitative and qualitative results across Blackstone’s portfolio companies and investments. The Blackstone sustainability program has led to significant energy savings across the portfolio and laid the foundation for the firm’s newly announced 15% carbon emissions reduction target for all new investments where the firm controls energy usage. Before joining Blackstone, he served as Vice President of Global Strategy and Business Development at ICF International, where he sold and managed energy efficiency and sustainability projects in the BRIC countries and Europe. Prior to that, he provided strategic consulting to corporations, ENERGY STAR, USAID and USGBC, associated with operational excellence and sustainability in large portfolios.
“It has been a privilege to serve on the GBCI Board of Directors these past seven years,” said Don Anderson. “I am excited to partner with Mahesh and the other members of the Board to help accelerate the more universal adoption of LEED.”
Jacquelynn Henke (LEED Fellow, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP), Head of Innovation for Enterprise Real Estate at TD Bank, was elected Vice Chair. Jackie is focused on connecting the benefits of lifecycle thinking and innovation to deliver quantifiable value. Jackie leads the innovation strategy for TDB’s Enterprise Real Estate group and helped establish the Bank’s IDEAS program, which is responsible for delivering continuous improvement and innovation in design, construction and operations of retail and corporate facilities. Her work covers score areas including colleague and customer experience, energy and sustainability, human health and wellness and facilities management. Jackie is also responsible for leading the workplace utilization strategy for the Bank which is focused on the intersection of technology and observational data sources to deliver an enhanced colleague experience and ensure portfolio efficiency.
Beau Armstrong, President and CEO at Stratus Properties, Inc., was elected Secretary-Treasurer. Stratus Properties Inc. is a diversified real estate company engaged in the acquisition, entitlement, development, management, operation and sale of commercial, hotel, entertainment and multi and single-family residential real estate properties primarily in the Austin, Texas area. Beau has been actively involved in the Austin real estate market for over 25 years and has developed long-standing relationships with tenants, lenders, regulators, community stakeholder groups, the City of Austin and the State of Texas. He is also Director of Moody National REIT II.
Sara Neff (MBA, LEED Fellow, LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, EB:O+M, ND) was also elected to the Board as a new member and will serve a three-year term. Sara is Senior Vice President of Sustainability at Kilroy Realty Corporation. In her first four years, Sara took Kilroy from having no sustainability program to being named the number one real estate company across all asset classes on sustainability in North America by GRESB, and in 2015 they won that honor for the second year in a row. At Kilroy, she oversees all sustainability initiatives such as the implementation of energy and water efficiency projects throughout the portfolio, the recycling and green cleaning program, all LEED certifications, electric vehicle charging station installations and the greening of building and construction standards. Prior to Kilroy, Sara worked at Google and in solar at Idealab, participated in irrigation and soil erosion work in India, and led green consulting projects in Brazil and Argentina.
Don, Jackie, Beau and Sara join GBCI’s President and CEO, Mahesh Ramanujam, and two additional directors including George Bandy Jr., Head of Circular Economy at Amazon, and Liberty Munson, Principal Psychometrician for Microsoft’s technical certification program.