What Does Green Really Mean?
Sustainability. Climate mitigation and preparedness. Green jobs. Energy efficiency. Green design. Resource conservation. LEED. What do these terms really mean? And what can funders do to make sure that “green” is more than a trendy buzzword–that green strategies actually reduce the carbon footprints and energy costs of buildings and transportation networks, enhance the health and vitality of neighborhoods, and improve the lives of people?
Background & Activities
The GREEN! funder working group was created in 2005 by funders interested in better understanding the promise that green strategies hold for improving outcomes for people and place. Its first efforts focused on green design practices and land use decisions (for example, does a green building fulfill its promise if it is located in a greenfield, isolated from public transportation and services ?). Today, GREEN! facilitates funder learning and strategic initiatives and collaborations that advance sustainable, equitable, and prosperous regions and communities by increasing resource efficiency and sustainable infrastructure, protecting public and environmental health, expanding urban sustainability practices, and enhancing the affordable green housing field. The working group meets annually each fall and hosts Learning Network calls and webinars throughout the year to help funders learn more about green strategies and innovative practices. It also manages a funder listserv on topical green issues, and hosts a breakfast meeting at the TFN annual conference.
GREEN! supports work in three areas:
- Connecting Funders – linking funders to support their information exchange and joint learning
- Aligning Funders – linking funders to create and share a set of ideas, goals, and strategies
- Producing – linking funders to support strategic collaborations, joint projects, special initiatives, and other projects
Our learning agenda centers on three issue areas:
- Climate Mitigation/Adaptation in Urban and Metro Regions
- Equitable and Sustainable Neighborhoods
- Partnerships for Sustainability, working with the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, Partners for Places grant program, STAR Communities, and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network.