SoCalGas is hosting the 16th annual Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo: Road to Greenbuild, Water Resilience for Cities today from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Company's Energy Resource Center (ERC) in Downey.
The Expo is Southern California's longest-running and largest sustainability and green building event focusing on the unique needs and concerns of municipalities. It draws from 75 area cities and brings together thought leaders, local government agencies, policy makers, architects and building-industry professionals to further the development of a sustainable and energy-efficient future for Southern California. The event is free to the public and hosted by the Los Angeles and Orange County chapters of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and SoCalGas.
"SoCalGas is delighted to support Southern California municipalities, businesses and our customers as we work together to become more energy efficient and focus on improved water resource management," said Michael Schneider, vice president of operations support & chief environmental officer for SoCalGas. "Over two decades ago, SoCalGas made a commitment to being a leader in sustainability and clean energy solutions and our LEED Platinum certified Energy Resource Center is the ideal place to again convene this important forum and focus our knowledge and resources to address one of today's greatest challenges for cities."
Located at 9240 Firestone Blvd., the SoCalGas ERC is a showcase facility where business customers can learn about energy efficiency and environmentally-sensitive building technology, so they can make informed choices about energy consumption and conservation. The innovation in the ERC's design and construction earned it California's first "Energy Star Building" award when it was built in 1995. More recently, it earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification. LEED certification provides independent verification of a building's green features. LEED-certified buildings are resource efficient, use less water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
This year's Municipal Green Building Conference Expo includes over two dozen educational sessions featuring topics that include climate change and resilience, sustainable design, construction, operations practices, livability, wellness and the economy. Morning and afternoon keynote sessions will address water resilience and also look at the national, state and local perspectives in reviewing the last 15 years of green building trends.
Protecting the environment is part of SoCalGas' culture and the Company takes steps daily to protect the environment in its facilities and operations, and in planning and constructing new facilities. SoCalGas pursues LEED certification for all remodels and new construction greater than 10,000 square feet. SoCalGas has earned LEED certifications for nine facilities and honors for environmental stewardship, including U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awards for outstanding contributions to energy efficiency and environmental education including:
- Excellence in ENERGY STAR® Promotion Award
- ENERGY STAR Leadership in Housing Award
- Gold and Platinum LEED Certifications
- Industry Pioneer Award
- ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award
- Climate Action Leader Certification
As an advocate of energy conservation, SoCalGas is installing large photovoltaic (PV) systems at its facilities throughout the region. As of December 2014, SoCalGas has reduced electric use by nearly 10 percent compared to 2003.
In 2010, SoCalGas created the Sustainability Council, a volunteer group of employees to advocate for actions that reduce its impact on the environment. The Council's mission is to advance the company's green culture and environmental sustainability through educating, inspiring conservation, energy efficiency, recycling and waste reduction at work and at home.
More information on the ERC, SoCalGas sustainability and the Company's environmental awards is available at SoCalGas.com.