‘The Green Picture’ with Erika Schnitzer: Can the World Learn a Lesson from Buildings?

New York City is flooded with some major events this week: the U.N. General Assembly, the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative and Climate Week N.Y.C., which falls just a few months before the international climate meeting slated to take place in Copenhagen this winter.

At a meeting at the U.N. on Tuesday, President Barack Obama, addressing world dignitaries, noted that though some progress has been made in the fight to combat climate change, there is much more work to be done.

The President called on all nations to work together to face the global crisis. “Difficulty is no excuse for complacency. Unease is no excuse for inaction,” he said. “Each of us must do what we can when we can to grow our economies without endangering our planet – and we must all do it together.”

For a while now, much of the burden of reducing greenhouse gas emissions has been placed on those in the building industry. But the industry has also made some truly great advances in making our buildings healthier and more sustainable.

There are still those, however, who have not yet embraced the concept of building green. Perhaps it is due to finances, a lack of education about the benefits—whatever the reason, everyone, in the industry, or outside it, must come together to figure out the best means possible to make our lives, and the future, a little bit greener.

The President has called on nations to work together to fight the fight. It seems to me that many in the industry are already doing so. Is it possible that the world could learn a lesson or two from our buildings?

What do you think? How does the multifamily industry—or any building sector, for that matter—already work together to make our lives more sustainable? Or do you disagree—is there more that can be done within the industry to bring people together and take a more integrated building approach?

Share your thoughts. Email me at Erika.Schnitzer@nielsen.com, or leave your comments here for others to view and learn from.

(Erika Schnitzer is Associate Editor at Multi-Housing News.)