Andy To has joined USGBC and GBCI as Managing Director, North Asia since January 2018. He leads the business operation of the two organizations, with an aim to facilitate the growth of LEED green building certification (developed and owned by USGBC) and GBCI’s other sustainability programs in the region. Prior to this role, Andy was the Managing Director for CBRE Asset Services in Greater China, a leading global commercial real estate consultancy and investment company.
Why did you decide to move into promoting green environment and sustainability upon your successful career in real estate development and investment?
First of all, I always believe in working for a purpose. Supporting the green building movement is a very meaningful work and reducing carbon emission from buildings is critical in addressing climate emergencies. Second, it is important to do the right thing and do it right. I am always thinking about the best way that NGOs and Social Enterprises could be functioned in an efficient and effective manner. Joining USGBC allows me to change from “complainant”, “talker”…. to a “doer”, rolling up the sleeves to support stakeholders in the green building journey.
How have your prior roles and experiences in real estate development helped you in your work at the USGBC?
Promoting sustainable and green building requires in-depth knowledge in business, technical and operational decisions throughout the life cycle of buildings, ranging from site selection, design, construction, operation & maintenance, retrofit to demolition. All of the above decision will impact the carbon emissions. My commercial experience in real estate may assist decision-makers, based on business cases, in various stages of the building life cycle, making the right choices that are good to the Planet, People and Profit, i.e. Triple Bottom Lines.
My experience also allows me the better understand the best practices of the leading developers, owners, asset/property managers… the ways they embed sustainability and the UN’s SDGs into their core business strategies so that I could share with other stakeholders.
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