U.S. Green Building Council - Illinois Chapter to Host Fifth Emerald Gala at One of the NFL's Greenest Venues, Soldier Field

CHICAGO, May 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) – Illinois Chapter will host the Fifth Emerald Gala at Soldier Field's United Club on Saturday, May 22, 2010. The Chapter's annual event is the preeminent celebration of green building in Illinois, attracting over 500 leaders from across the building community.

In celebration of the state's successes in green building and development, the Emerald Gala supports the USGBC - Illinois Chapter's mission to lead the regional transformation of the built environment to ecologically sustainable, profitable, healthy places through education, advocacy and collaboration.

Sustainability is at the heart of what we do and integrates into all of our work, explains Doug Widener, Executive Director of USGBC – Illinois Chapter. Greening of the Emerald Gala is an important part of our work to change the market. There is a whole new way of doing events sustainably that wasn't around even five years ago. I like to think that we have been and will continue to be a part of moving this industry towards sustainability just like our work related to green buildings and communities."

The "Greening of the Gala" initiative begins with hosting the event at Soldier Field, which is pursuing USGBC's certification, LEED for Existing Buildings. Soldier Field has a significant investment in energy efficiency and the site employs several innovative recycling activities to reduce the impact of all the events it hosts. Additionally, Soldier Field has over 89,000 square feet of green roof, dual flush toilets and signage to reduce water use, as well as parking for alternative fuel or hybrid vehicles and bike parking for staff. Our caterer for the Gala has sourced organically grown produce and meats from within 150 miles of Chicago for as many items as possible. Community Energy has donated the Renewable Energy Certificates to offset the electricity used for this event; these offsets are sourced from 100% wind energy in the USA. There are many additional Greening initiatives that have been integrated into the event to lessen the impact of the event on the environment.

The USGBC – Illinois Chapter will recognize the 2010 Natural Leaders Award recipients at the event. The Natural Leaders Awards honor local individuals and organizations that are major contributors to the region's sustainable movement, recognizing them for helping to position the region at the forefront of the green building industry.

For information on purchasing tickets, please go to the USGBC – Illinois Chapter website, www.usgbc-illinois.org or contact the Chapter office at 312-245-8300 x202.