Friday, April 25, 2008

Los Angeles First With Private Sector Green Building Law

LOS ANGELES, California, April 23, 2008 (ENS) - In an effort to combat climate change in Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Tuesday signed the Private Sector Green Building Plan into law, setting the city on course to cut carbon emissions by an estimated 80,000 tons by 2012.

Developed by the Mayor's Office in partnership with City Council, the ordinance will create a series of requirements and incentives for developers to meet the US Green Building Council's LEED energy and design standards, the country's strictest environmental building standards.

LEED silver, gold and platinum certifications are awarded based on the level of environmental sustainability met by a developer.

"Our City is growing fast and growing up, and we're holding the private sector accountable to their commitment to be friends to our environment," said Mayor Villaraigosa.

"Already the City of Los Angeles has the largest, most aggressive municipal green building plan of any large city in America. Now it's time for green building to go private," he said.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sustainable Travel Int'l Eco-Certification

"The Sustainable Tourism Eco-Certification Program™ (STEP) is the world's first comprehensive, global sustainable tourism eco-certification program offered by a non-profit organization. It's designed to be user-friendly, educational in nature, practical as a measurement and management tool, and applicable to tourism businesses of all sizes, including newcomers to sustainability, those wanting to improve their existing approach, and businesses that have long-standing sustainability programs. For more information, please review the web pages detailed above or download a STEP brochure."

The Business of EcoTourism

The Business of EcoTourism
By Martha Honey

Ecotourism is like the elephant, not only is it large, it also appears to be very different, depending on which part is being examined. A blindfolded person, touching the trunk, the tail, the tusk, or the belly, is likely to conjure up very different versions.

For many indigenous and poor rural communities, development NGOs, and international financial institutions, ecotourism is a poverty-alleviation strategy, -a cleaner, greener alternative to logging, plantation agriculture, mining, oil drilling, and other extractive industries. For the world's protected-area managers, ecotourism is a tool for saving rhinos and rainforests. And for a growing number of countries on all continents, ecotourism is an important-in some cases, the most important-source of foreign exchange.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bay Area Green Business Program

" The Bay Area Green Business Program verifies that businesses meet higher standards of environmental performance. We offer motivated businesses and agencies an easy-to-use framework for improving environmental performance. Over 1,000 businesses and public agencies have been certified since 1997."

Friday, April 4, 2008

Study on viability of Green Buildings

Does Green Pay Off?

by Norm Miller, Ph.D., Jay Spivey and Andy Florance
University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate

"To calculate the true impact of green building, my co-authors Jay Spivey and Andy Florance of the CoStar Group and I recently completed the first nationwide, systematic study that looks at the benefits of investments in energy savings and environmental design. We compared all U.S.-based Energy Star office buildings as one measure of “green” building and LEED-certified office buildings as another measure of “green” with a large sample of non-Energy Star and non-LEED rated buildings. Our analysis is significant since, to date, most studies on the benefits of green investment have been case studies, which are seldom the prototypical mean. Our study far surpassed the one-off case study by beginning with a database of 2.4 million properties before paring it down to a comparable set for the office market."