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The Green Building Matters Podcast with Charlie Cichetti

Mar 10, 2021

Matt St. Clair, who has led UC’s system-wide sustainability program for nearly 17 years, was recently named a 2020 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Fellow. This prestigious distinction awarded by Green Business Certification Inc. — an international green business industry leader — is awarded to just 25 professionals around the world who demonstrate “exceptional work in advancing green building practices” and “10 years’ worth of exceptional impact on LEED.”

“The green building industry plays a critical role as we look toward rebuilding our economy and our communities in the months and years ahead,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of GBCI and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in an article published by Green Business Certification, Inc. “Our LEED Fellows are on the frontlines of that work helping to ensure our buildings and spaces are healthy, resilient and sustainable places for us all to enjoy. LEED Fellows have made substantial contributions to the green building community and their commitment to LEED will continue to help us shape a better living standard for all.”

Matt’s work has made an indelible impact upon UC, from growing UC’s green building portfolio from one LEED certification in 2004 to over 350 LEED certifications today, to his partnerships with former UC President Janet Napolitano in forming UC’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative and University Climate Change Coalition.

In addition to his work within UC, Matt was a founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s board of directors. He has also worked to empower students to be current and future climate action leaders through several educational initiatives, including the Bonnie Reiss UC Carbon Neutrality Student Fellowship Program, Environmental and Climate Change Literacy Project, California Student Sustainability Coalition and Climate Corps.

Show Highlights

  1. Activism and energy expertise created Matt’s dream job. 
  2. How UC has expanded green building and clean energy policy into comprehensive sustainable practice policy?
  3. UC’s system-wide sustainability program is like turning the Titanic. 
  4. Questions you need to ask to adapt to the biggest trends in the industry.
  5. Climate resilience work centered on diversity equity and inclusion, anti-racism, environmental justice and climate justice.
    1. over 350 LEED certifications.
    2. requiring all new buildings are all electric.
    3. all new buildings are carbon neutral or will be within the next four years. 
    4. the only university campus in the country or the world where every single building and residence all is LEED certified.
    5. their 2025 goal for all of UC Campuses to be carbon neutral and climate section zero waste.  How one campus has already achieved that goal?
    6. the most renewable energy of any university in the country.
  6. UC’s leading the way with...


“It really sort of radicalized me or opened my eyes to the fact that my heroes like Gandhi and MLK were considered radical in their time and over time became mainstreamed. It really empowered me to pursue a career in activism. I've pursued a career that's ended up as an activist on the inside. I became a changemaker within a large public organization.” 

-Matt St Clair


Matt St Clair Transcript


Matt St. Clair’s Show Resource and Information


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