Everyone has something to say on Earth Day, and that’s not all that bad.  We’re going to keep the noise to a minimum, but here’s the thing:  A good Earth Day experiment just might lead to greater commitment, so why not give this one day a shot?  The USGBC sent out an email with an Earth Day challenge that may pay dividends long after this day is over …

In today’s email, Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO, and founding chair of the USGBC, reminds us that existing residential and commercial buildings need renovating.  He says, “there are more than 120 million energy hogs out there that need to be retrofitted for high performance.  It could save more than $160 billion in energy costs, and it could put our industry and a lot of other people back to work.

All sorts of players (including the FBI and the William J. Clinton Presidential Center) are working on green renovations and energy-efficient retrofits — plus the government is shedding major dollars to encourage this kind of activity.

So Mr. Fedrizzi continues with the USGBC’s Earth Day Challenge:

I’d like to challenge each and every member of USGBC to identify an existing building within your own portfolio to green. Start with the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance checklist, identify the low-cost/no-cost improvements, and get on the path to greater gains. Adobe Systems Inc. is saving $1.2 million annually and getting a 121% ROI on their commitment to green operations and maintenance. How much can you put back in your bottom line?

There you have it.  With over 20,000 member organizations and over 100,000 LEED APs, this challenge has the potential to be huge.

Photo credit: Clinton Library by GroWild.