By: Alisa Ahmadian
Global Green held its 11th Annual Sustainable Design Awards Ceremony on the picturesque Hudson River at Pier 60 in New York City.
The event honored innovative leaders in bold environmental design that is transforming our international infrastructure for a greener future. Global Green is known for its pioneering policy and green building efforts in New Orleans post-Katrina.
The night began with an intimate cocktail reception where guests mingled, enjoyed organic spirits and perused displays ranging from green building supplies to exotic vacations. Aside from event honorees, other attendees included Entourage star and environmental activist Adrian Grenier and actor Edward Norton, who told us that he supported Global Green’s work because “no one has done more than Global Green to re-build New Orleans sustainably.” Heatherette designer Richie Rich also attended the event as well as former Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star Judith Light.
The evening moved on to the main event: a formal dinner, with tables beautifully decorated with potted plants and herbs and a delicious organic dinner.
Global Green CEO & President Matt Petersen served as the Master of Ceremonies for the night, introducing honorees including:
• eBay Inc., John Donahoe, President & CEO – Organizational Design Award
• Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Sue Cischke, Group Vice President, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering, Ford Motor Company – Product Design Award
• Sophia Bush and Austin Nichols– Entertainment Design Award
• Arianna Huffington, Co-founder & Editor-in-chief of Huffington Post – Media Design Award
• Wade Greene, Philanthropic Advisor to the Rockefeller Foundation- Policy Design Award
Speaking about the successful launch of Huffington Post Green [of which Greening Hollywood was one of the foundational contributing columns], Arianna Huffington underlined the urgency of the launch, saying that “green is more important now than ever. Washington is full of ‘flat-earthers’ that are waging a war on science, evolution, everything.” Sam Champion of Good Morning America broke up the night with jokes, saying that he was “here to support Global Green, but I’m leaving soon to go to bed!” due to his 5 AM call time.
One Tree Hill co-stars Sophia Bush and Austin Nichols re-hashed their eye-opening trip to Louisiana following the BP oil spill this spring, telling us about the anger they felt when visiting beaches “that were totally controlled by BP-we felt like BP completely took over, and we wanted to do something about it.” Other honorees voiced similar passion and inspiration to make change, including Wade Green, a longtime anti-arms political advocate. Wade said that “after thirty years, I am still committed to working for solutions for peace on local, state and federal levels.” John Donahoe of eBay echoed the sentiment, stating that he is “constantly amazed by the power of the global community.”
Rounding out the inspiring evening, Matt Petersen took the stage once again to announce that over $400,000 had been raised during the event to benefit Global Green’s widespread international campaigns.
To learn more about Global Green, please visit http://www.globalgreen.org
Alisa Ahmadian works for Cook + Fox in environmental building and architecture in New York City. All photos credited to Alisa Ahmadian