Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in her opening remarks at a meeting of the U.S. Green Building Council, said it's important that sustainability be a priority for the country moving forward, and that women can play an important role in that movement.
"Thank you for bringing to public awareness what it will take for us to be more energy efficient, to create the atmosphere both politically and economically that will give us sustainability," Clinton told the council, which promotes building energy efficient buildings and developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Certification.
Clinton said when she first heard about the group's message in 1993, it was "a simple, powerful idea: promoting sustainability in construction is good for business, as well as being good for the planet."
"It was an idea that was so profoundly true that I and others, when we first heard about it, just kind of looked up and said, 'Well of course, that is exactly what we need to be doing,'" Clinton said
But now, Clinton said, the green building movement is about more than just good business and a good environment – it's also focused on combating climate change, as well as boosting America's economic strength and energy security. But in order to make a significant impact, the United States needs to be in a position to urge other countries to do the same, she said.
Clinton spoke of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who during his term worked to make the White House more energy efficient by replacing windows, heaters and light bulbs, according to The Associated Press.
The Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Ark., was also built with sustainability in mind. The library received a Silver LEED Certification upon its completion, becoming the first LEED-certified building in the state.
Additionally, Clinton said more work needs to be done to promote women's participation in sustainability efforts throughout the world.
"[In] developed countries, we still have to keep knocking barriers down to women's full participation on boards of companies that make decisions about sustainability, in corporate suites where people make decisions about sustainability," she said, according to Politico.
"Now I'm not one who will say automatically that having women involved makes a difference just by the fact of the women being there, but there's growing evidence that corporations with women in leadership positions, as corporate executives, and in the board, are actually more focused on sustainability."