U.S. Green Building Council – Illinois Chapter to Host the 6th Annual Emerald Gala, One of the City’s Greenest Events

May 19, 2011

Saturday, May 21st, 6:00 p.m.

CHICAGO, May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) – Illinois Chapter will host the 6th Annual Emerald Gala at Soldier Field’s United Club on Saturday, May 21, 2011. The Gala is USGBC-Illinois’ biggest fundraising event of the year and the regional green building community’s night to celebrate individual and collaborative efforts to make our cities, region, and state healthy, sustainable, and efficient places to live, work, and learn. USGBC-Illinois is the state’s primary advocate and educational resource on green buildings and sustainable communities and annually offers over 150 programs, events and initiatives through its seven-branch, state-wide network. This annual “green” event attracts over 400 leaders from across the state and the new and existing design, construction and building operations industries.

“Sustainability is at the heart of what we do and integrates into all of our work”, explains Doug Widener, Executive Director of USGBC – Illinois Chapter. “Greening of the Emerald Gala is an important part of our work to change the market. There is a whole new way of doing events sustainably that wasn’t around even five years ago. I like to think that we have been and will continue to be a part of moving this industry towards sustainability just like our work related to green buildings and communities.”

The “Greening of the Gala” initiative begins with hosting the event at Soldier Field, which is pursuing USGBC’s certification, LEED® for Existing Buildings. Soldier Field has a significant investment in energy efficiency and the site employs several innovative recycling activities to reduce the impact of all the events it hosts. Additionally, Soldier Field has over 89,000 square feet of green roof, dual flush toilets and signage to reduce water use, as well as parking for alternative fuel or hybrid vehicles and bike parking for staff. “Green is one of our core values”, said Brendan Daley, Director of Green Initiatives at the Chicago Park District, “and we encourage events that are held in our facilities such as Soldier Field to be as green and sustainable as possible.”

Besides the venue, USGBC-Illinois made a concentrated effort to reduce the environmental impact of the Gala through many other sustainable choices. The caterer for the Gala sourced seasonal, organically grown produce and meats from a 500-mile radius of the city, with the vast majority of the menu coming from within 300-miles. In doing so, the venue and Gala are supporting local agriculture while reducing the amount of energy consumed transporting these items. Community Energy Inc. donated the carbon offsets for the electricity used for this event; these offsets are sourced from 100% wind energy in the USA. From the d©cor to the event printing to the Natural Leaders Awards, greening initiatives have been integrated into the event to lessen the impact on the environment wherever possible.

As a non-profit, charitable organization, USGBC-Illinois relies heavily on donations from corporations, foundations, and individuals. Proceeds raised at the Emerald Gala support our Chapter mission and specifically our education and advocacy work in three strategic areas: green and healthy schools, green and affordable homes and sustainable communities, and jobs for the green economy.

For information about the event or to purchasing tickets, please go to the USGBC – Illinois Chapter website, www.usgbc-illinois.org or contact the Chapter office at 312-245-8300 x202.

About the U.S. Green Building Council – Illinois Chapter

The U.S. Green Building Council – Illinois Chapter’s 1600 members represent the entire spectrum of Illinois’ green building community, from real estate professionals, architects, engineers, designers and trade associations to contractors, product manufacturers, state and local government officials, homebuilders and homeowners.

SOURCE U.S. Green Building Council – Illinois Chapter

Source: newswire

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