Rio+20: Initiative highlights North American innovation in green building and sustainable cities

The US BCSD's national By-Product Synergy network and Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing model were highlighted by The Guardian for their role in spearheading the transition to low-energy, cost-saving, resource-efficient buildings and operations in well-planned, sustainable cities.

"Many cities in the US and Canada are already seizing opportunities and channelling traditional North American resourcefulness and creativity into re-making buildings and cities in the image of a society where everyone can live well within planetary boundaries. Here are a few examples of private and public innovators that are already spearheading such transitions:

The US Business Council for Sustainable Development - a regional partner of the WBCSD - has active by-product synergy projects in six municipalities across the country. By-product synergy is the matching of under-valued waste or by-product streams from one facility with potential users at another facility to create new revenues or savings with potential social and environmental benefits. These collaborative networks create new revenues, cost savings, energy conservation, reductions in the need for virgin-source materials, and reductions in waste and pollution, including climate-changing emissions.

To help finance viable material reuse as well as energy and renewable retrofit projects, the US Business Council for Sustainable Development has teamed up with Barclays Capital and Ygrene Energy Fund to offer innovative private sector financing arrangements. This effort allows companies to upgrade their facilities with more efficient equipment and processes, cities to stimulate economic development and job creation, and the financial partners to receive solid returns on secure investments – all with zero government funding. Repayment is secured by a tax lien on the property, amortised over the life of the improvements. Efficiency improvements lower energy bills and free up money to cover the tax payments. (The Guardian)

For more information on By-Product Synergy and the PACE financing model, please visit, our website dedicated to BPS and our growing network of projects.