Sustainable Building innovators commended through prestigious WorldGBC Chair’s Awards
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London, UK – In recognition of their commitment and innovation towards a sustainable built environment, a pioneering embodied carbon calculator and a trailblazing climate leader receive a World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) Chair’s Award. Each year, WorldGBC presents two major awards recognising the contributions of individuals and organisations to the global green building movement: the WorldGBC Chair’s Award and the Chair's Award on Global Green Building Entrepreneurship.

WorldGBC Chair’s Award 2019-2020 

The Chair's Award is given to those who have added outstanding value to the development of sustainability in the built environment. This year WorldGBC’s Chair, Lisa Bate, presented the Chair’s Award to Elizabeth Wangeci Chege in honour of her impressive achievements spanning nearly two decades.

Elizabeth receives the award in recognition of her many years of service and dedication to the sustainable built environment. Her accomplishments include co-founding WEB Limited, her position as Chairperson of the Kenya Green Building Council, and for the past 19 years making it her mission to be part of the solution to the climate crisis, living by the motto, “What we build today will form the Africa of tomorrow.”

“I am greatly humbled and honoured by this Global recognition of local action by the World Green Building Council. As an African woman juggling family and vocation, the conscious path to do for buildings and the built environment what the Nobel Peace Prize winner, the late Prof Wangari Maathai, did for trees and forests was challenging but not impossible. I thank all those who have been part of this journey. Kenya and largely Africa, has the greatest opportunities now and with the solidarity shown during COVID-19 pandemic it means we can act on the climate crisis in building a low carbon climate resilient Africa,” said Elizabeth Wangeci Chege.

WorldGBC Chair’s Award on Global Green Building Entrepreneurship 2019-2020 

The Chair’s Award on Global Green Building Entrepreneurship is given to individuals or entities whose contribution to global sustainable buildings has proven to be unique, innovative and entrepreneurial. This year the WorldGBC Chair’s Award on Global Green Building Entrepreneurship was awarded to the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) and accepted by the inventor of the tool, Stacy Smedly – Executive Director of Building Transparency, Director of Sustainability, Skanska USA.

Stacy created the idea for EC3 whilst working at Skanska. She applied for an internal innovation grant to fund getting EC3 to proof of concept, Skanska then continued to support her innovation and ideas into something tangible. EC3 is an open-source database of over 16,000 materials, searchable by performance requirements, design specifications, project location, and global warming potential – all based on environmental product declaration data.

Tools such as EC3 are vital in tackling embodied carbon emissions, allowing users to calculate and identify key areas where they can focus mitigation efforts to have the most impact at no user cost.

“It is an honour to have the EC3 tool's mission and vision for positive environmental impact recognised by this award. Already, we are seeing how an easily accessible, free, immediately actionable tool can empower collective impact and industry collaboration. With over 50 industry sponsors, and 6,000 current users, EC3 continues to grow its materials database globally, and inform building industry specifications and procurement of low carbon materials, through both private owner commitments and public policy integration. We are excited about the market transformation we are already seeing in adoption of Environmental Product Declarations for verified and transparent disclosure of environmental impacts of materials, and we are committed to scaling the tool to more markets and material categories, to spur further innovation in our industry,” said Stacy Smedley.

The award presentation was held virtually as part of the online MENA Green Building Congress 2020. Lisa Bate, Chair of WorldGBC said: “This year’s winners have played truly outstanding roles in championing green buildings around the world. Elizabeth Wangeci Chege has shown years of tireless commitment to the cause through her technical leadership, sustainable consultancy work and striving for Kenya and Africa as a whole to build resilience to climate change in sustainable development. The EC3 tool has demonstrated pioneering leadership in sustainable advocacy, allowing architects, engineers and policy makers to easily compare potential building materials and choose the lower carbon option. I congratulate both winners and wish them every success for the future as they continue on our collective journey to deliver green buildings for everyone, everywhere.”