BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 35

2
practices because there is a barrier: a lack
of diversity.
Sustainability planning needs to embrace
diversity in order to be successfully implemented.
By diversity, I am referring to people with certain
visible or invisible traits such as skin color, age,
gender, physical abilities, sexual orientation,
religion, culture, ethnicity, national origin, etc. To
effectively integrate diversity in sustainability
planning will require a conscious effort in
promoting inclusive leadership. According to a 2013
study by the Center for Talent Innovation, diverse
leadership directly correlates to the bottom-line
performance of a company. Furthermore, the
study suggests that homogeneity in a company's
leadership, along with the failure of management
and top executives to appreciate ideas from people
who are "unlike themselves" may hinder growth
of the organization. It is no different in the field
of sustainability.
A 2014 University of Michigan School of
Natural Resources & Environment study of nearly
300 environmental organizations shows that
over 70 percent of the presidents and chairs are
male. The study also reveals that the percentage
of minorities on the boards or general staff of
environmental organizations does not exceed
16 percent, despite the fact that ethnic minorities
and people of multi-racial backgrounds make up a
growing 38 percent of the U.S. population. In fact,
the study shows that once hired, ethnic minorities
are concentrated in the lower ranks, making up less
than 12 percent of the leadership positions in the
environmental organizations.
At an organizational level, inclusive diversity in
leadership increases the credibility and legitimacy of
the work of sustainability planning in the eyes of the
broad populace. Bringing professionals with various

backgrounds - be it age, sexual orientation, culture,
religion, nationality, physical abilities, etc. - into
the workforce enables different perspectives.
Encouraging perspectives to be voiced is a channel
to fostering new ideas. This kind of fresh thinking
will likely result in organizations that value new
and unique opinions, as well as an inclusive culture.
Hiring professionals from various backgrounds is
just one aspect of inclusive diversity. Recruiting will
be deemed successful when talent is retained and
developed into leadership.
In sum, the solution to demystifying sustainability
entails re-evaluating the definition of sustainability
and how organizations implement strategic
sustainability planning. By giving priority to inclusive
diversity, you can ensure that the message that is
created and communicated is credible and legitimate
and reaches a broad audience. Greater diversity of
leadership in environmental roles will provide new,
more appropriate tools to the public to participate in
the fight against climate change, green our economy
and promote sustainable development, no matter
where they are on the environmental spectrum.
Note: The opinions and ideas expressed in this
article are solely those of the author.

FIGURE 2: INCLUSIVE
DIVERSITY AS KEY
TO DEMYSTIFYING
SUSTAINABILITY.
PHOTO CREDIT:
HELIANA VERÓNICA HIGBIE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heliana Higbie has spearheaded the development
and implementation of sustainability programs
for nearly a decade. She has worked in New York,
and throughout North and South America. She
has experience working for the United Nations, City
Government, the MTA and Fortune 500 companies.
Most recently, she has also led the Mayor's Office
of Sustainability for Yonkers, the fourth largest
city in New York State, with the goal of reducing
the state's overall carbon footprint. Heliana
MEMBER
is multilingual.
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BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017

From the Executive Director: A strategic plan for emerging professionals.
From the Board Chair: Taking flight into new territory.
What is Strategic Electrification? Simply Put, It’s an Energy Transformation: A core pathway to deep carbon reduction.
Better Steam Heat: Generating steam system upgrades in New York City.
Going All the Way:What it will really take to achieve net zero energy in Burlington, VT.
Are You Forging the Weakest Link?: A deeper dive into how the quest for resilience alters the design process.
Air Quality in Your Bedroom: Nighttime Carbon Dioxide Levels in the Bedrooms of 22 Vermont Homes: Can occupants of leaky houses breathe easy in their sleep?
Inclusive Diversity Key to Sustainability: Opinion: Sustainability planning must embrace diversity.
BuildingEnergy Bottom Lines: An interview with Jonathan Orpin.
High Performance Walls: Discover an alternative to traditional insulation methods that can reach superior insulation performance with thinner walls.
SAF®– A Solar Faade to Stay?: A technical overview of the newest attachment systems in the low-energy construction market.
NESEA Green Pages: This premier resource for sustainability professionals in the Northeast and beyond is just a few pages away. To have your business listed in next year’s Green Pages and become a NESEA business member today, visit nesea.org/join.
Index to Advertisers
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - Intro
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - cover1
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - cover2
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 3
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 4
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 5
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - From the Executive Director: A strategic plan for emerging professionals.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 7
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - From the Board Chair: Taking flight into new territory.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 9
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - What is Strategic Electrification? Simply Put, It’s an Energy Transformation: A core pathway to deep carbon reduction.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 11
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 12
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 13
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 14
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 15
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - Better Steam Heat: Generating steam system upgrades in New York City.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 17
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 18
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 19
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - INSERT1
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - INSERT2
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - Going All the Way:What it will really take to achieve net zero energy in Burlington, VT.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 21
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 22
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 23
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - Are You Forging the Weakest Link?: A deeper dive into how the quest for resilience alters the design process.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 25
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 26
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 27
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 28
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 29
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - Air Quality in Your Bedroom: Nighttime Carbon Dioxide Levels in the Bedrooms of 22 Vermont Homes: Can occupants of leaky houses breathe easy in their sleep?
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 31
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 32
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 33
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - Inclusive Diversity Key to Sustainability: Opinion: Sustainability planning must embrace diversity.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 35
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - BuildingEnergy Bottom Lines: An interview with Jonathan Orpin.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 37
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - High Performance Walls: Discover an alternative to traditional insulation methods that can reach superior insulation performance with thinner walls.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 39
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 40
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 41
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - SAF®– A Solar Faade to Stay?: A technical overview of the newest attachment systems in the low-energy construction market.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 43
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 44
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 45
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 46
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 47
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - NESEA Green Pages: This premier resource for sustainability professionals in the Northeast and beyond is just a few pages away. To have your business listed in next year’s Green Pages and become a NESEA business member today, visit nesea.org/join.
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 49
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BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 76
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - Index to Advertisers
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - 78
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - cover3
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - cover4
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - outsert1
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - outsert2
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - outsert3
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - outsert4
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - outsert5
BUILDING ENERGY - Fall 2017 - outsert6
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