With the goal of promoting healthier schools, the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute announced today that it will host a panel discussion-style news conference at Greenbuild 2010 alongside green building experts from the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council and the Green Charter Schools Network. 

With the goal of promoting healthier schools, the  GREENGUARD Environmental Institute announced today that it will host a panel discussion-style news conference at Greenbuild 2010 alongside green building experts from the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council and the Green Charter Schools Network.

The discussion, which will explore critical issues facing the greening of America’s schools, will be moderated by Holley Henderson, IIDA, LEED AP, founder of  H2Ecodesign, Inc., and will feature panelists Henning Bloech, LEED AP, executive director of the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute; Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC; and Jennifer Seydel, member of the board of directors for the Green Charter Schools Network. Topics to be explored include the environmental and human health impacts of green schools; the cost-savings and capital gains of sustainably built and operated schools; and the broader social, economic, and cultural consequences of the broad adoption of green building practices. A special emphasis will be placed on indoor environmental quality and its impact on student performance, attendance, comfort, and overall health.

“We are pleased to team up with the USGBC Center for Green Schools and the Green Charter Schools Network to help drive awareness about greener, healthier schools and their connection to healthier, more productive students,” Bloech said. “At a time when asthma rates are skyrocketing among children, resulting in 14 million missed school days each year in this country alone, it’s critical that school leaders, community leaders, government leaders, parents, and educators work together to ignite change. Healthier schools lead to healthier students.”

Seydel agreed, noting that the practice of building and maintaining green schools “is not just about protecting our environment or driving capital gains in real estate; it’s about protecting human capital-the students, teachers, and staff who shape tomorrow.”

In addition to improving student health and saving taxpayer dollars, greening America’s schools also affords communities the “opportunity to educate the new generation of leaders-sustainability natives-who are capable of driving global market transformation,” Gutter said. “I look forward to participating in what’s sure to be a lively, engaging, and informative discussion on the impact of green schools alongside the other distinguished panelists.”

The panel discussion news conference will take place Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 3:30 p.m. CST at the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute’s booth (number 1545). Members of the media will have the opportunity to ask questions to the panelists during a Q-and-A session. Media are encouraged to RSVP to rbelew@greenguard.org by Tuesday, Nov. 16.