Tutu to open green building expo

Archbishop Desmond Tutu will help to inspire a green building revolution when he delivers a speech to leading figures in the environmental construction industry later this year.

The Nobel Peace Laureate will deliver the opening keynote speech at the 2008 Greenbuild Conference and Expo, in November, organised by the US Green Building Council (USGBC).

Promoting the green agenda will be just one of many causes that Archbishop Tutu is actively involved in, including stopping global aids and - just this month - trying to resolve the conflict in Kenya following the country's controversial elections.

Conference organisers said Archbishop Tutu, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his role in healing the divisions of apartheid in South Africa, is revered as a "moral voice" and would lend a powerful emphasis to the conference's message about the need for eco-friendly building.

Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman of the Washington-based USGBC, said: "Archbishop Tutu's life, work and message demonstrate the power of transformational change.

"His role in ending Apartheid in South Africa and bringing reconciliation to its people will inspire us towards the transformation of our buildings to a sustainable future and will give us an extraordinary example of social justice in action."

USGBC's annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo brings together innovators, the latest building products and systems, and thousands of industry professionals to share insights and information.

Last year more than 23,000 people attended, and more than 25,000 are expected this year.

This year's three-day event, to be held in Boston, will concentrate on the theme Revolutionary Green: Innovations for Global Sustainability and more speakers are set to be announced later this year.

Kate Martin



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