Recap of Hillary Clinton’s Keynote Address at the 2013 Greenbuild Conference

USGBC’s President & CEO, Rick Fedrizzi started the conversation with the success and potential the movement has seen in their Women in Green Breakfast meetings. Clinton responded by recognizing that most small farmers are women – noting that the Clinton Foundation has been working on providing the support these farmers need to maintain sustainable farming practices. She spoke of the unique relationship that women have to sustainable basics such as providing the wood for fuel and the water for food and health families. Because of this close relationship, women should be empowered to make these fundamental decisions about the future of our environment. From the farm to the boardroom, Clinton sees women playing larger and more strategic roles as we continue to focus in on sustainability as good for business and good for results.


Fedrizzi asked Clinton about the art of good governing and how necessary that is to changing the conversation and action around the implementation of sustainable practices in the world. Clinton addressed the difficulty involved in consensus building when partisan politics seem to take front stage despite coming from a small group of polemics. She recognizes that all of us have different values and ideas, but that as a collective unit we can get to the truth more easily. This truth is a result of compromise. Nowhere was this need to compromise more necessary than in the climate debates. Clinton expressed a concern for the equal attention given to climate deniers, who make up a tiny minority of the scientific community.
Clinton acknowledged that organizations like USGBC keep the movement going and link the economy to the green movement. She said that the 10,000 people in the room can take what they know and what they have done and present it to others in any forum that works, becoming a force for change. If the crowd can do that, take the next step, Clinton thinks that green building can become a part of all of our cities’ agendas.


By Ryan McEvoy, Principal, Gaia Development