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Sara Gutterman

Sara is the Co-Founder and CEO of Green Builder Media. An experienced entrepreneur, investor, and sustainability consultant, Sara specializes in developing companies that are simultaneously sustainable and profitable. Sara is a former venture capitalist and has participated in a portion of the life cycle (from funding to exit) of over 20 companies. Sara graduated Cum Laude from Dartmouth College and holds an MBA in entrepreneurship and finance from the University of Colorado.
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Recent Posts

Live from CES 2017: An Ocean of Innovation

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Jan 5, 2017 9:50:59 AM

This week, I’m reporting live from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where today’s smartest, zaniest, and most innovative minds have converged to showcase ingenious technologies.

If you’ve never been to CES, allow me to paint a picture for you—imagine Disneyland for tech geeks filled with endless gidgets and gadgets that do almost anything you can think of, drones filling the skies, robots roaming the hallways that would make even Rosie from the Jetsons jealous, connected electric vehicles that run on solar power, Artificial Intelligence powered products that make your home smarter than you are, wearables that track your every biorhythm, and TVs, oh those illustrious high –def TVs, everywhere (literally, everywhere!) in a wall-to-wall jam-packed, high-energy sea of human invention. 

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White House Report Uncovers Resiliency Risks and Opportunities

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Dec 28, 2016 8:29:54 AM

Last week, the White House released a report that reveals threats posed by a changing climate and opportunities to make our homes and buildings safer and more resilient.

Resiliency has become one of the most important and urgent issues of our time, given the daunting fact that we now spend more on disaster recovery from super storms, floods, and wildfires, than we do on education. 

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Building Codes: The Right Tool for Achieving our Climate Goals?

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Dec 22, 2016 9:18:01 AM

In a recent webinar, Building Codes Assistant Project (BCAP) President Maureen Guttman questioned whether building codes are effective when it comes to successfully reaching our energy efficiency and climate goals.

Building codes are a unique and complex animal, and their development is driven by a diverse spectrum of vested interests.  The recent 2018 code hearings exemplified how motley agendas could at least temporarily align to craft a middle-ground solution for a tough issue (namely, building envelope performance tradeoffs for onsite power production), setting an important precedent for cooperation, but certainly not realizing the gains that many sustainability professionals were hoping for.

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Sustainability: Transcending Politics

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Dec 15, 2016 12:18:26 PM

In preparing for our upcoming Sustainability Symposium 2017: Ready for Anything, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with a wide spectrum of professionals in the sustainability, energy efficiency, renewable energy, smart tech, and green building sectors from both sides of the aisle. Their overriding message: progress will continue.

One of the most exciting aspects of planning a big event is the opportunity to speak ahead of time with presenters and participants about the issues that are top of mind.  In planning for the Sustainability Symposium 2017: Ready for Anything, taking place on January 9 at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts in Orlando, I’ve had the good fortune to speak with some of today’s visionary leaders and most passionate professionals in the sustainability sector.

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Trump’s Pick for EPA Head Deals Crippling Blow to the Environment

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Dec 8, 2016 10:45:44 AM

Sustainability professionals held out hope that the Trump administration wouldn’t be as bad for the planet as the campaign rhetoric promised. Unfortunately, the President-elect’s selection of Scott Pruitt, renowned climate change denier, for EPA head points to a grim and dirty future.

The verdict was still out about the Trump administration’s stance on climate change and environmental protection.  Trump told the New York Times in a recent interview that he was keeping an “open mind” to the Paris Agreement. He affirmed his belief that clean air and water are essential to maintaining our quality of life.  He even met with Al Gore earlier this week to discuss the topic of climate action.

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Is Trump Taking a Step Toward Climate Action?

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Nov 23, 2016 8:01:16 AM

The President-elect seems to be shifting away from some of his hardest hitting campaign promises, including his threat to cancel the U.S.’s participation in the Paris Agreement, much to the delight of climate advocates. While the verdict about Trump’s sustainability polities is still out, mounting pressure from citizens, businesses, Mayors, and global leaders may be forcing Trump’s hand when it comes to the environment.

The President-elect seems to be shifting away from some of his hardest hitting campaign promises, including his threat to cancel the U.S.’s participation in the Paris Agreement, much to the delight of climate advocates.  While the verdict about Trump’s sustainability polities is still out, mounting pressure from citizens, businesses, Mayors, and global leaders may be forcing Trump’s hand when it comes to the environment.

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Green Building in a Trump Administration

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Nov 17, 2016 11:51:25 AM

As with every President-Elect, the verdict is out about whether President Trump’s campaign rhetoric will translate into action and result in policy. Green building professionals on both sides of the isle are asking the same question: will Trump negate the progress that has been made over the past decade when it comes to energy efficient, healthy, durable, and resilient structures?

Over the past decade, green building has transformed from fringe to mainstream, and it is now an intelligent and cost-effective building strategy.  Innovations in building science practices, advanced products and technologies, and business models (for example, in the solar financing space) have revolutionized the built environment. 

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A Choice of Progress

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Nov 10, 2016 11:38:01 AM

Given the results of the election, our sustainability work has become more important than ever. Now is the time for us to step up and fulfil our duty as a group of tireless change-makers that do not shy away from any kind of challenge—regardless of how daunting that task may seem at the moment.

The team at Green Builder Media, in partnership with friends and colleagues around the world, have worked assiduously for over a decade to affect positive change within and beyond the building industry.  With the Presidential election results, the urgency and significance of our work has increased exponentially.

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Tesla: Solving the Energy Conundrum

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Nov 3, 2016 8:28:06 AM

Last Friday, Tesla announced the next step in its plan for achieving an integrated energy future with the unveiling of its latest innovative technology: solar roof tiles.

The national news media has been awash with reports of Tesla’s breaking announcement last Friday, unveiling the next step in the company’s goal of achieving an integrated energy future.  

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Sustainability Symposium 2017: Ready for Anything

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Oct 27, 2016 9:00:13 AM

If you care about the environment, if you question the suitability of current development models, if you want to take an active part in the transition to a sustainable future—don’t miss the opportunity to join with other thought leaders at the Sustainability Symposium 2017: Ready for Anything.

Every once in a while, an occasion arises that allows us to meaningfully shape the course of the future.  A watershed moment that sets a new direction for an industry, a society, a nation. 

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Climate News: A Trifecta of Global Agreements

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Oct 20, 2016 10:28:58 AM

It has been a good month for the climate, as countries from around the globe have signed three watershed climate change agreements.

Over the past few weeks, major steps have been taken to protect the environment and mitigate the effects of our changing climate.

Much to the relief of climate advocates around the world, the Paris Agreement has now been ratified by nearly 100 countries, representing almost 65% of global emissions, bringing the agreement into full legal force.  Through the agreement, 190 countries have pledged to limit global warming, reduce carbon emissions, adopt clean technologies, and assist poor countries that have been impacted by climate change. 

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Arc House and The Changing Consumer Zeitgeist

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Oct 14, 2016 11:22:05 AM

While the warm reception of the Arc House—a net-zero, smart + solar, resilient, healthy, tiny home—at this year’s Greenbuild conference in Los Angeles was hardly a surprise, it certainly reaffirmed that homebuyer’s tastes, preferences, purchasing patterns, and priorities are changing.

We have now taken the Arc House, a 432 square foot example of next generation sustainable living designed by specialty builder Shelter Dynamics, to three conferences: PCBC, Solar Power International, and Greenbuild.  On our west coast tour, thousands of people had the opportunity to experience this hand-crafted, small footprint home. 

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Everything You Need to Know About the Energy Code

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Oct 13, 2016 10:23:58 AM

Energy Codes are becoming increasingly more complex as alternative compliance paths are developed, higher performance products are introduced into the market, and advanced testing and data collection practices are implemented. How do building professionals navigate the evolving code landscape, and how do homeowners even know what questions to ask to ensure that their homes are efficient, resilient, safe, and healthy?

There is a growing awareness about the importance of codes—particularly energy codes—as climate change shifts from a theory to a harsh reality.  Codes have the ability not only to substantially decrease the amount of natural resources that our buildings consume, but also to enhance the resiliency, efficiency, durability, and safety of said structures.

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