USGBC and its Northern California Chapter Launch the California Best Buildings Challenge

On stage at CGI, President Clinton announces the six initial participants – Adobe, Genentech, Google, Prudential Real Estate Investors, SAP and Zynga – who have committed to a 20 percent reduction in energy, water and waste in two years across a portfolio of five million square feet.

Chicago, Ill. – (June 8, 2012) – The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and USGBC’s Northern California Chapter (USGBC-NCC) will launch the California Best Buildings Challenge at the closing plenary event of the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America), a meeting focused on finding solutions that promote economic recovery in the United States. President Clinton and USGBC President, CEO and Founding Chair, Rick Fedrizzi, will join three of the six inaugural commitment participants, Genentech, Google and Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI®), on stage to announce the Challenge during the closing plenary of the popular event that draws more than 900 business, non-profit and media participants.

Inspired by the White House’s Better Buildings Challenge (BBC) and President Clinton’s pioneering work to promote sustainable buildings, the California Best Buildings Challenge consists of industry-leading firms with a strong California presence that have committed to reduce their building energy, water and waste by 20 percent in two years. Adobe, Genentech, Google, PREI, SAP and Zynga have stepped up to kick off the challenge, collectively committing five million square feet of building space from their portfolios.

“We are pleased to have these leading-edge organizations on board with this incredibly meaningful challenge,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, USGBC. “The California Best Buildings Challenge is raising the bar in terms of what is expected in the realm of corporate sustainability. We are eager to prove that curbing energy and water use and reducing waste by 20 percent in two years is not only possible, but a must-do. The goal is for this type of achievement to become the norm.”

USGBC and its Northern California Chapter are launching the California Best Buildings Challenge as a 2012 CGI America Commitment to Action and are working to inspire other leading companies to sign on. The commitment was selected by CGI America as an exemplary approach to addressing challenges in the clean electricity and efficiency space.

The plenary will be live webcast at

“As the founder of the biotechnology industry, Genentech is excited to be part of the California Best Buildings Challenge and we look forward to sharing best practices with other leading California companies. As we continually strive to create and deliver innovative medicines for patients, we also seek to employ new, more sustainable technologies and processes in order to minimize our impact on the environment,” said Carla Boragno, Vice President of Site Services, Genentech.

“When it comes to greening our office buildings, we apply the same focus that we use for any of our products: put the user first. Improving the environmental performance of our buildings not only helps us reduce waste, save energy and water and improve indoor air quality, but also positively impacts the health and productivity of our employees around the world. Through our early participation in the California Best Buildings Challenge, we hope to inspire companies of all shapes and sizes to implement innovative approaches to reducing their environmental footprint,” said David Radcliffe, Vice President of Real Estate and Workplace Services at Google Inc.

“As a major investor in commercial real estate around the world, PREI is committed to our investors, our tenants, and each other to find creative, sustainable approaches to building, improving and managing property. We’re excited to be part of the California Best Buildings Challenge as it is an opportunity to demonstrate that commitment by bringing out the best in us while improving our environmental practices,” said Allen Smith, PREI’s CEO.

“SAP is committed to developing innovations that help run operations more sustainably for ourselves and our customers,” said Peter Graf, Chief Sustainability Officer, SAP. “A key part of SAP’s sustainability leadership is our dedication to environmentally-sustainable buildings, including optimizing the efficiency of our existing buildings and when creating new buildings from the ground up. By participating in the California Best Buildings Challenge, all companies have an opportunity to demonstrate how they are driving sustainability into their core business strategy and communities.”

“Zynga takes the challenge to reduce our environmental impact seriously and we are proud to be an inaugural participant of the California Best Buildings Challenge. We are committed to reducing the consumption of energy, water, and waste in our San Francisco headquarters building by 20% or more in two years. Zynga fundamentally believes that with innovation and diligence that we can achieve our commitment goals. We hope the Challenge will inspire other building owners and managers to do the same,” said Jim Morgensen, Vice President of Workplace, Zynga.

About CGI America
President Clinton established the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) to address economic recovery in the United States. CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting in June 2011,CGI America participants have made more than 100 commitments valued at $11.8 billion. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will improve the lives of three million people, create or fill more than 150,000 jobs, and invest and loan $354 million to small and medium enterprises in the United States. The 2012 CGI America meeting will take place June 7-8 in Chicago. To learn more, visit

About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $69.2 billion.

CGI’s Annual Meeting is held each September in New York City. CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at

About the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building certification program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, to be held this year Nov. 14-16 in San Francisco, and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @USGBC, and Facebook at

About USGBC-Northern California Chapter (USGBC-NCC)
USGBC-NCC is one of the largest USGBC Chapters in the country, with 22,000+ constituents, 10,000+ LEED accredited professionals, and more than five percent of the world’s LEED-certified square footage. The chapter hosts more than 150 annual events, workshops, and conferences with regional, national and international organizations, and is a leading voice in green building public policy. To join the California Best Buildings Challenge, contact Ashleigh Talberth, Director of Special Projects, USGBC-NCC, at For more information, visit

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