Google says it wants the buildings we work and live in to be healthy, and today the company is putting its money where its mouth is.
The company has just announced a $3 million grant to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), an organization who's "committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings." Their LEED building initiative is the most widely used green building program in the world, spanning nearly 50,000 different projects in 135 countries across the world.
"There’s a lack of clear and accessible information on building ingredients, which means that a lot of us might be exposed to potentially harmful and toxic chemicals in building materials—whether it’s in the desk you sit at every day or the building’s paints, tiles and carpeting. This grant is designed to improve human health and well-being by supporting more industry research and better standards around healthy materials," says Google.
The USGBC says that the $3 million grant will be put to use on three initiatives: research on safer, greener building materials, new transparency tools, and drumming up support from stakeholders across the industry.
"Healthy, non-toxic building materials are a critical component in green building,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “Fostering awareness of the materials we put into our buildings is of paramount importance, since many materials can link to a host of environmental and health issues. Working with Google enables us to broaden our efforts in the materials industry as we prepare for the next version of the LEED green building program, LEED v4. This updated rating system will paint a more complete picture of materials and products, enabling project teams to make more informed decisions.”
Google says that they were inspired to make the contribution by their own work making their offices greener. The USGBC says that the initiatives will be developed over the next couple of years.[Image courtesy USGBC]