Content and speakers listed are subject to change. Please check back regularly for updates.

Program

1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Tutorial

Using Building Data to Achieve Enterprise Sustainability Goals

Many enterprise organizations struggle to make sense of the building data they are collecting. At the same time, they continue to set aggressive sustainability goals that require sophisticated approaches to data management and target measurements.  This interactive workshop is designed for executives challenged with driving energy reductions, operational efficiencies and sustainability achievements across their entire building portfolio. It will feature a panel of industry experts and breakout discussions aimed at identifying practical approaches to effectively using building data to achieve enterprise sustainability goals.

Presented by Siemens Building Technologies.

A workshop with:
Tutorial

Climate Wargaming

This workshop is designed for executives, sustainability and risk professionals, as well as managers with responsibility for aspects of the corporate value chain vulnerable to climate change impacts (i.e. supply chain, operations, facilities etc.) Its objective is to equip participants with tools and techniques to engage their organization on the issue of climate change as a business risk and opportunity.

Through the use of wargaming and role play, participants identify risks and opportunities related to climate change and develop a strategy to communicate critical issues to key stakeholders – executive leadership, peers, and operational staff — and identify how to tie climate adaptation efforts to KPIs.

Presented by Four Twenty Seven.

Breakout

Beyond Buildings, More than LEED: Tools to Transform Communities

If you think USGBC begins with LEED and ends with Greenbuild, think again. USGBC is adding tools and technologies, partners and platforms. LEED Dynamic Plaque, EDGE, WELL, SITES, PEER and GRESB provide a new, global platform to achieve our long-standing mission of green buildings and communities for everyone within this generation. This session looks at what it takes to apply systems thinking at scale and connect it to the future we want. 

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

Breakout

Product Transparency - Supply Chain Exposed!

A rare inside look at how one company’s commitment to ingredient transparency forced a change in its supply chain. Mohawk, the world’s largest flooring manufacturer whose portfolio includes a diverse array of products including soft surface (carpet) and resilient flooring products (wood, laminate, LVT, stone and ceramic),  has been transforming its business and the building marketplace by developing products that contribute to a healthy indoor environment. This session will delve into the process of doing this — the business model, economics, and challenges encountered, and how they were overcome. The session includes a leading consultant and a key corporate customer, offering a broad perspective of what it takes to transform a supply chain in the service of developing sustainable product.

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Breakout

Getting Zero-Net-Energy Buildings to Scale Through Technology

With almost five million commercial buildings in the U.S., the path to zero energy buildings and communities must include approaches that scale across common ownership, physical areas and prototypes. A distinguished panel of experts will address how emerging technologies can be leveraged in districts, building portfolios, and prototypes to get to zero net energy at scale.

Breakout

Beyond Purple Pipes: Innovative Solutions in Water Reuse and Recycling

Modern water systems use clean water both to drink and flush toilets and water plants. But new technologies are enabling the use lower-quality water for non-potable uses, saving potable water for human consumption and bathing. Learn about the water reuse and recycling technologies and programs that are being implemented at scale across communities and the built environment.

Breakout

Scaling Renewables from Both Small & Large Developers

In 2014, companies signed long-term contracts for more than 1 gigawatt of renewable energy, more than the previous five years combined, and 2015 is set to surpass 2014 by a significant margin. But the size of these transactions vary significantly, sometimes by an order of magnitude. This workshop, featuring large corporate buyers, will consider the pros and cons of buying renewable power from small and large projects. Featured speakers include execs from Yahoo!, Facebook and Wal-Mart.

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Breakout

New Research Findings: How Corporations Are Tackling Climate Change

As a lead up to the climate talks in Paris, Ingersoll Rand commissioned GreenBiz Group to conduct research to understand corporate approaches to climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction initiatives. During this session, research results will be presented with commentary from senior leaders at Ingersoll Rand, Microsoft and Belk.
Breakout

Harnessing Data to Foster Climate-Smart Cities

Cities are tapping data, GIS decision support tools, and other resources to create green infrastructure strategies that reduce carbon emissions and increase resilience. This facilitated table discussions will share ideas about best practices and key gaps for spatial analysis.

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

Breakout

Scaling Corporate Water Solutions

How can businesses scale their water-reduction strategies cost effectively when water is still so inexpensive? This panel features insights from corporate owners working to address water-intensive processes and operations across various industries about the strategies and technologies that are working. Featured speakers include leaders from Google, Dow and Genentech.

Breakout

Put Your Buildings to Work: Taking a Smart Approach to Better Facilities and Business Results

Is your building composed of four walls, concrete and rebar, with a debit in the ledger? Or is it a means to boost your employees’ productivity, enhance travelers’ experiences or improve patients’ outcomes? Facilities can be much more than “dead” or depreciating assets. And a recent study pinpoints ways to bring these resources to life, putting them to work to serve business and organizational missions. Along with an overview of the research and trends it signals, a cross section of industry leaders will discuss the evolution, prospects and value of smart buildings.

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Breakout

Global Panel: Bridging Cross-Border Divides to Scale Cleantech Solutions

Implementing sustainable technologies and business models across borders requires bridging multiple divides —social, cultural, and political. In this session, participants will share war stories from cross-border partnerships and identify how to reduce the barriers to collaboration. Featured speakers include execs from MNL Partners, Energy Innovation and Autodesk.

Breakout

Owner's Panel: Designing Building Portfolios to Drive Smarter Business Outcomes

How can you scale the design of a "smart building" across a portfolio and come out ahead for your business? From corporate real estate to retail, different owners have different approaches in making their buildings "smarter" at scale. Engage in a lively discussion about the various ways to select and install building technologies (addressing energy, water, waste, comfort), design and construction approaches, operations and maintenance strategies, economic impacts, etc. Featured speakers include execs from Starbucks, BOMA International and Genentech.

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Breakout

Innovating from the Inside of an Entrenched Industry

Industries, like construction and forestry, have long been synonymous with slow change. And yet globalization and economic pressures require all companies in all industries to continuously innovate. The future of these industries depend on more rapid identification and implementation of new ideas. Increasingly, internal change agents — intrapreneurs — are making waves, and making change. Hear from thought leaders and industry practitioners who recognize the need to embrace this new kind of worker within their organizations.

Breakout

Open Data, Collaborative Action: The Scalable Approach for Designing Healthier Buildings

Learn about a brand new enterprise powered by four very different organizations (a non-profit, a for-profit, a tech startup and a tech giant), who together are tackling building materials transparency with a truly interdisciplinary approach. Their mission is to characterize the most common building products by their composition, health and environmental impacts, and share their findings to promote awareness and inspire action. Making their debut at VERGE, these companies will unveil their open data approach and discuss opportunities for building owners, designers, builders, public officials -- and everyone in between -- to use this data to help make smarter decisions, improve the healthfulness of buildings, and drive market transformation towards less toxic and lower-impact materials. Featured speakers include senior leaders from Flux, thinkstep, HBN and Google.
Breakout

Traversing the Valley of Death: New Models for Scaling Innovation

How can clean technologies leap across the commercialization "valley of death" in a single creative collaboration? This discussion focuses on innovation models that are working to enable commercial players to deploy a variety of financial instruments and techniques to accelerate the development and market uptake new technologies in the built environment.

Breakout

The Future of Building Management

The commercial building industry is changing, shifting the business models of how buildings are run, the intelligent systems that operate them, and the standards for efficiency, health and amenity. There is an unprecedented opportunity to use new tools and models to operate buildings in a fundamentally better way. What will this future look like? How can we harness data, new technologies and new operational practices elegantly? This panel, featuring portfolio owners, managers and disruptors, will give a vision for this future, as well as examples of how these practices are being utilized by cutting-edge companies today.
Breakout

Global Panel: How Will the Internet of Things Transform the Base-of-the-Pyramid?

How will the technologies and solutions showcased at VERGE address the needs of those at the base of the economic pyramid? What can we learn from community forestry projects in Kenya that use the cloud and handheld devices to make microfinance payments to off-grid smallholders? Why do Guatemalan highland households with mobile phones outnumber those with access to clean water and clean cook-stoves? This session shows how communities are leapfrogging challenges developed countries have yet to solve. 

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Breakout

Harnessing Data for Smarter Buildings and Cities

Obtaining accurate building energy use data is a prerequisite to improving performance, but various barriers limit access. Market participants and policy experts will present new technological and system advancements in data access and explore how it is changing our processes and opening new opportunities for improvement. Featured speakers include leaders from the IMT, City of LA, Mission:Data and Kilroy Realty.
Breakout

Putting Microgrids to Work to Create Resilient Communities

The market for microgrids is evolving on a regional basis in the U.S. — the East Coast is a hotbed for regulatory reforms to enable microgrids in a deregulated policy environment, California is focused on long-term planning for a rich variety of distributed energy resources, and the heartland is aligning microgrids with utility smart grid innovation. What have been the impacts and lessons so far? 

Breakout

Unlocking Assets through Optimized Solar Applications

With more than half of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. now coming from solar, it is clear that the solar market has reached new heights. However, integrated solar solutions remain niche in areas requiring energy optimization, like the building and the greenhouse markets in particular. How will a solar technology like BIPV overcome a reputation of being too expensive and inefficient? This session explores this question and how leading companies in their respective value-chains are now able to unlock energy generating assets and provide high value, end-to-end, bankable and warrantied solutions.

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Breakout

Customer-Sited Energy Storage: Inside the New Business Models

Energy storage can come in many forms and serve many purposes. A growing area in this sector is customer-sited storage, and storage technologies are being deployed in various forms in multiple markets. This panel will look at the latest existing and commercially viable applications. It will also highlight the growing opportunities for commercial and industrial customers in the visible future. Featured speakers include execs from Tesla, Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) and others.

Breakout

The Carbon re-Balancing Act: Positive Solutions for Negative Emissions

Businesses across a number of industries hold vast potential to not just reduce carbon emissions, but to "reverse climate change” by removing carbon from the atmosphere. This session will explore some of the solutions available today to sequester carbon from the air through both biological practices like regenerative agriculture and forestry and chemical approaches like direct air capture and reactive minerals. In particular, the panel will explore how industry and policy support can enable businesses to turn carbon dioxide emissions into valuable materials that lock carbon in the ground or the built environment with many co-benefits. 

Breakout

Managing Risk and Maximizing Value from Building Performance Upgrades

This session looks at the BOMA Energy Performance Contracting (BEPC) model, designed to manage performance risk, and deliver predictable returns on capital projects that enhance your building’s performance and ultimately improve your building’s competitiveness. It will also feature two organizations using the model: an innovative utility-funded program that helps property owners develop and execute comprehensive building performance upgrades, and a project to retrofit the iconic AT&T Center in downtown Los Angeles.