Actor and environmentalist will provide the opening keynote to the annual green building conference taking place in St. Paul May 5-6

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), creators of the LEED green building rating system, announced that registration is now open for IMPACT 2020. The conference will be held May 5-6, 2020 at the LEED Platinum RiverCentre in St. Paul, Minnesota, and features a keynote from actor, environmentalist and green building enthusiast Ed Begley, Jr. The IMPACT conference is the largest green building conference and expo in the Midwest and attracts building professionals, sustainability leaders and change makers from across the region.

“Living a sustainable lifestyle means not only being green, but maintaining a way of life that improves health and wellbeing in the long-run,” said Begley. “Its easier than people think to make the systems we use in our buildings coincide with our daily routine. We have the technology and know-how to make our buildings work with us, and I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences with the green building community.”

Begley has been considered an environmental leader in the Hollywood community for many years. He serves on the boards several nonprofits, and his environmental work has earned him a number of awards from some of the most prestigious environmental groups in the nation, including the California League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Coalition for Clean Air, Heal the Bay, Santa Monica Baykeeper, and the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation. He currently lives near Los Angeles in a self-sufficient, LEED Platinum home powered by solar energy. 

The Midwest region of the United States is a rapidly growing market for green building. In 2019, Minnesota ranked eighth in USGBC’s Top 10 States for LEED. Additionally, the RiverCentre, where IMPACT has taken place for the last several years, earned LEED Platinum, making it one of the largest projects in the country to earn the highest ranking possible for LEED certification.

“Xcel Energy and the River Centre have been long-time partners of USGBC, and we’re excited to bring the IMPACT conference back to the now LEED Platinum building that has been a fixture in the Twin Cities for years,” said Sheri Brezinka, regional director at USGBC. “We have so much potential in greening our existing building stock, and as we enter a new decade, it’s our chance to change how we use and interact with buildings.” 

In 2019, the IMPACT conference was collocated with the annual Green Schools Conference & Expo, and attracted nearly 1,000 professionals across the green building and education sectors. This year’s conference will build on that momentum with powerful speakers, can’t-miss education sessions covering the latest in LEED, green business programs, and new technology platforms like Arc, and provide unparalleled networking opportunities. Continuing education hours will be offered for attendees to help maintain their LEED professional credential. The conference full program is now available online.