Women in Green: Celebrating ‘Sheroes’ of Sustainability

By Abigail Sirevaag, USGBC-Missouri Gateway Board of Directors

In 2012, the US Green Building Council began a Women in Green initiative to recognize and empower women who advocate for green buildings and communities around the world. This year’s program theme is “Sheroes,” which represents the female hero who excels under pressure and overcomes adversity. In this year of COVID-19, females in green industries are being asked to persevere, lead, and advocate for health and well-being in ways not previously encountered.

To honor the Sheroes in our community, the US Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter is partnering with 500 Women Scientists St. Louis Pod and the American Institute of Architects-St. Louis Chapter Women in Architecture for a virtual panel discussion to highlight our own Women in Green on October 14. We are excited to bring together women who continually make a difference in green building, architecture, sustainability, and science. Each organization will be providing one panelist to provide insight on the female perspective of the sustainability industry and real-life examples of sustainability solutions.

The unifying theme for the event is Project Drawdown, developed by Paul Hawken, which provides a framework that outlines solutions and three connected areas of action to prevent catastrophic climate change. First, the project aims to identify solutions to bring human carbon emissions to zero including the reduction of impacts from transport, buildings, electricity, industry, and food, agriculture and land use. Second, the project aims to support sinks, such as marine ecosystems and strategic land areas, to improve nature’s carbon cycle. Finally, the project aims to improve society by promoting equality, health, and education to foster global change.

The confirmed panelists for the upcoming Women in Green panel discussion impact areas outlined in Project Drawdown on a daily basis. Our first panelist is Angela Moore, who will represent the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter. Angela is the Facilities and Sustainability Coordinator for the Missouri Historical Society, responsible for sustainable operations and programs. Angela gathers statistical data to analyze and gain a greater understanding of the organization’s sustainable practices and its social and environmental effects on St. Louis and on communities across America.

Our second panelist is Mary Ann Lazarus, who will represent the AIA-St. Louis Chapter Women in Architecture. Mary Ann is a consultant with Cameron MacAllister Group, advisors to the design and construction professions, and works with design firms to integrate greater sustainability and resiliency outcomes. Mary Ann also is an Adjunct Faculty and Sustainability Program Coordinator at Washington University in St. Louis, was a founder of the sustainable design initiative at HOK, and served as the Resident Fellow for AIA National on Sustainability and Design for Health.

Our third panelist is Madeline Smith, who will represent CREW St. Louis. Madeline is the Sustainable Development Manager for the Clayco enterprise, where she works to reduce the environmental impact of the built environment. Madeline focuses on third party certifications, innovative sustainable technologies, building energy analysis, and assists in internal corporate responsibility. Stay tuned for details on our fourth panelist, who will represent 500 Women Scientists St. Louis Pod.

The Women in Green panel will be hosted virtually by the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter on Wednesday October 14th from 5:30 – 7pm and is free for all. We hope you can join us for this enlightening discussion and celebration of female leadership, empowerment, and “Sheroes” in our community. Learn more or register at www.usgbc-mogateway.org.