Environmental Organizations



Chicago Center for Green Technology

The Chicago Center for Green Technology helps building professionals, businesses and homeowners learn about green technology and its effectiveness. Furthermore, it is:

  1.  A model for the nation. Chicago Green Tech is only the third building in the United States to be designed according to the LEED rating system using the highest standards of green technology available. It is the only one of the three that is a renovation of an existing building and the only one accessible by public transportation.
  2. Home to organizations and businesses committed to the environment. Tenants who occupy Chicago Green Tech provide environmental products and services. Greencorps Chicago, the city’s community gardening and job training program and WRD Environmental, an urban landscape company, all have offices at Chicago Green Tech.
  3. A place to learn. Chicago Green Tech’s building and campus are open for visitors to explore and to learn how green buildings are people and good for the environment. Visitors leave knowing how to incorporate environmentally friendly, cost saving features into their home or business. 

CCGT also offers free seminars for the public 2-3 times per week. CCGT’s Green Building Resource Center also has a small library that includes green product samples. The library open to visitors whenever CCGT is open.

Chicago Climate Exchange

The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) is North America’s only, and the world’s first, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission registry, reduction and trading system for all six greenhouse gases (GHGs). CCX is a self-regulatory, rules based exchange designed and governed by CCX Members. Members make a voluntary but legally binding commitment to reduce GHG emissions.

By the end of Phase I (December, 2006) all Members will have reduced direct emissions 4% below a baseline period of 1998-2001. Phase II, which extends the CCX reduction program through 2010, will require all Members to reduce GHG emissions 6% below baseline.

The goals of CCX are:
  • To facilitate the transaction of greenhouse gas emissions allowance trading with price transparency, design excellence and environmental integrity
  • To build the skills and institutions needed to cost-effectively manage greenhouse gas emissions
  • To facilitate capacity-building in both public and private sector to facilitate greenhouse gas mitigation
  • To strengthen the intellectual framework required for cost effective and valid greenhouse gas reduction
  • To help inform the public debate on managing the risk of global climate change.


Earthwatch Institute

Earthwatch Institute is an international non-profit organization that engages people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. Founded in 1971, Earthwatch supports scientific field research by offering volunteers the opportunity to join research teams around the world. This unique model is creating a systematic change in how the public views science and its role in environmental sustainability.

Today, Earthwatch recruits close to 4,000 volunteers every year to collect field data in the areas of rainforest ecology, wildlife conservation, marine science, archaeology, and more. Through this process, we educate, inspire, and involve a diversity of people, who actively contribute to conserving our planet.

Currently raising approximately $15 million a year from institutions, individuals, governments and corporations, Earthwatch has a global reach. Earthwatch is supported by more than 150 staff, located in headquarters in Maynard, Massachusetts, as well as in offices in Oxford, England, Melbourne, Australia, and Tokyo, Japan.


IUCN – The World Conservation Union

The World Conservation Union is the world’s largest and most important conservation network. The Union brings together 82 States, 111 government agencies, more than 800 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and some 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries in a unique worldwide partnership.

The Union’s mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. The World Conservation Union is a multicultural, multilingual organization with 1000 staff located in 62 countries. Its headquarters are in Gland, Switzerland.

The World Conservation Union supports and develops cutting-edge conservation science; implements this research in field projects around the world; and then links both research and results to local, national, regional and global policy by convening dialogues between governments, civil society and the private sector.

The priority of the Union’s current Programme (2005–2008) is to build recognition of the many ways in which human lives and livelihoods, especially of the poor, depend on the sustainable management of natural resources.

In its projects, the Union applies sound ecosystem management to conserve biodiversity and builds sustainable livelihoods for those directly dependent on natural resources. The Union is actively engaged in managing and restoring ecosystems and improving people’s lives, economies and societies.


The U.S. Green Building Council

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a coalition of leaders from every sector of the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. Its more than 7,200 member organizations and network of more than 80 regional chapters are united to advance its mission of transforming the building industry to sustainability.

The USGBC’s core purpose is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.

USGBC developed LEED, a voluntary, consensus-based national rating system for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. LEED addresses all building types including new construction, commercial interiors, core and shell, operations and maintenance, homes, neighborhoods, and specific applications such as retail, multiple buildings/campuses, schools, healthcare, laboratories and lodging.

Based on well-founded scientific standards, LEED emphasizes state of the art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. LEED promotes expertise in green building through a comprehensive system offering project certification, professional accreditation, training and practical resources.


World Resources Institute (WRI)

The World Resources Institute (WRI) is an environmental think tank that goes beyond research to create practical ways to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives.

The World Resources Institute is an environmental think tank that goes beyond research to create practical ways to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. Our mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment for current and future generations.

Our program meets global challenges by using knowledge to catalyze public and private action:

  • To reverse damage to ecosystems. We protect the capacity of ecosystems to sustain life and prosperity.
  • To expand participation in environmental decisions. We collaborate with partners worldwide to increase people’s access to information and influence over decisions about natural resources.
  • To avert dangerous climate change. We promote public and private action to ensure a safe climate and sound world economy.
  • To increase prosperity while improving the environment. We challenge the private sector to grow by improving environmental and community well-being.

In all of our policy research and work with institutions, WRI tries to build bridges between ideas and actions, meshing the insights of scientific research, economic and institutional analyses, and practical experience with the need for open and participatory decision-making.

Former Vice President Al Gore is on the Board of Directors.