Founded originally in 2001 as the Sonoma County Green Building Alliance, then named the Redwood Empire Green Building Council, it wasn’t until after attending the first USGBC National Conference in late 2003 that the entity now called USGBC Redwood Empire acquired its current moniker.
The road to becoming a USGBC community was filled with state and federal applications to obtain nonprofit status and creating a strategic plan. At the same time, the group continued hosting biweekly meetings, holding green building expos at Sonoma State University, presenting green building films and assisting the city of Cotati on its path to greater sustainability.
In November 2003 at Greenbuild, the group was officially recognized as the USGBC Redwood Empire Chapter Organizing Group. Offerings that year included a 12-session certification course, Green Building Design and Construction, at Sonoma State University, along with bimonthly workshops and the second annual Green Building Expo.
The following year was a year of many programs for USGBC Redwood Empire. For the first four months, USGBC Redwood Empire hosted a film or a speaker every two weeks. One of the first celebratory events was the dedication of the Cotati Policy Facility, which was the first LEED-certified building in Sonoma County. The year finished with monthly presentations and a LEED workshop. Membership was on the rise, and the group was self-nominated for the USGBC Chapter Award for Education. USGBC Redwood Empire won the award and was recognized at the national event for USGBC at Greenbuild.
Today, USGBC Redwood Empire continues the legacy by offering membership meetings and educational programs designed for novices and experts alike. It’s truly an environment where you make a difference.