A Gateway to Sustainable Development, Kicking off the Year at USGBC-Missouri Gateway’s State of the Chapter & Social Jan. 23

By Brandon Verhoff, USGBC-Missouri Gateway Education Committee Chair

Sustainable development is significant to the future of our environment and society. Sustainable development demands an integrated approach to not only combat climate change, but also work to resolve social injustices. To ensure current and future generations are equipped with the right information to make the best possible decisions in their everyday lives and their professions, we must provide education for our communities on sound environmental, social, and economic reasoning. 

Organizations such as the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) – Missouri Gateway Chapter play an important role in accelerating the implementation of green building principles through educational programming. The Chapter challenges the St. Louis region to develop sustainable building technologies. 

Every January, the USGBC- Missouri Gateway Chapter announces a full year of educational programming. This year, the organization’s Education Committee has chosen to focus on three thoughtfully curated themes; A Just and Equitable Future, Resilience & Innovative Recovery, and Climate Solutions: Addressing Urgency & Taking Action. These three themes are woven into nearly twenty educational events that will be held throughout 2020. 

Each seminar will emphasize one of the three themes. Examples aligned with the theme of a Just and Equitable Future include ‘Jumping into JUST’ where attendees will learn about the JUST Label, a transparency platform that helps organizations report on social equity, and explore examples of how it is being applied by a local company. The 13th Annual Green Schools Event will also address a Just and Equitable Future by highlighting student-driven sustainability projects underway at over 60 local K-12 schools participating in the 2019-20 Green Schools Quest. Aligned with the Resilience & 

Innovative Recovery theme, we will welcome thought leader Richard Graves, Ph.D. speaking on ‘Regenerative Design: The Intersection of Resilience and Sustainability.’ Finally, to address Climate Solutions: Addressing Urgency & Taking Action, we will showcase a panel of ‘Women in Green’ whose work contributes to a wide range of solutions to climate change, as well as a seminar on ‘Achieving Net Zero Cost Effectively.’ 

Skills needed to implement sustainable development cannot be developed in only one-way teaching methods, but must also include collaboration with practical experiences and interactions with others. Networking opportunities, like the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s State of the Chapter & Social, provide involvement opportunities to learn and play. This year’s free event on the evening of January 23rd, will be hosted at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 where recent renovations to their building and parking lot boast substantial sustainable features. The event is a great opportunity to learn more about these building renovations, network with others interested in sustainable development, and explore how you can engage with USGBC-Missouri Gateway to contribute to a positive future for our community.

Please be sure to join us by registering for State of the Chapter & Social event on Thursday, January 23rd, 2020, 5:30-8:00pm at www.usgbc-mogateway.org/events