The US Green Building Council ED Shares What’s On Her Desk


While Earth Day can still conjure up a certain niche look and approach, suffice to say that Orange County native Dominique Hargreaves, the Executive Director of the U.S. Green Building Council-L.A. chapter (USGBC-LA), represents today’s sustainability leadership, who work with everyone and anyone passionate about learning more and making an impact toward a sustainable built environment–from major developers to janitors, non-profits to single homeowners. Dominique’s background, as a matter of fact, is realty, having managed all aspects of the sales side for South Group LLP & Pulte Homes–and winning significant awards along the way.  An early downtown L.A. booster, she even appeared on the Fine Living Channel’s “Real Estate Confidential” as a guest realtor discussing the burgeoning area.

Now based downtown, she’s worked for USGBC-LA since 2008 and is in her second year as director, having doubled its membership, cemented its leadership role, and advanced key programs—some of which are being replicated in other cities.  One such program is the hugely successful Green Janitor Education Program, which certifies janitors in sustainable knowledge and practices, empowering them to understand not only what to do but why.  In doing so, they help their buildings and its users recycle, be healthier and save both energy and money.  Companies certifying their janitors include SONY Picture Studios, DreamWorks, LADWP, CBRE, JMB Realty and more.  Other key programs include Building Resilience-L.A., the Legacy Project, Green Apple Day of Service, and of course, the founding core of the USGBC, green building education and support.

This October, Dominique will lead the L.A. chapter as it hosts, for the first time, Greenbuild International Conference & Expo.  Held in a different city each year, Greenbuild attracts over 30,000 global attendees and includes the world’s largest green building expo, education sessions, workshops and speakers, local tours, art installations, and adjacent events.In her spare time, she gets her fix for fashion either through the special occasion website Rent the Runway (“I have a sweet spot for Badgley Mischka gowns; and the site is a great way to save green and be green!”), or each new box of clothes and shoes from StitchFix.  And then there’s her and her husband’s passion for wine; right now…Oregon Pinots.  Why wine?  “It’s constantly changing and it is alive.”

Here, this green guru shares a peek at where she finds eco-inspiration with Haute Living. 

Hard Hat from my first job at Pulte Homes

This is practical as well as a keepsake.  It’s always good to be prepared with your own safety equipment when you visit job sites.  Our members are working on a variety of high-rise projects in Downtown LA so I’ve been lucky to get a lot of use out of my hard hat lately while visiting the Wilshire Grand, Metropolis, and Expo Line facilities.

Designing Culture: People, Purpose, Profit (journal from the founders of Zappos)

Culture at work doesn’t happen by accident and it is critical to fostering happier employees, engaging members, and supporting meaningful lives.  The exercises in this journal help define your values and leadership principles and align them to the mission of the organization.  For me, these values are building a culture to foster: Ambition, Competence, Collaboration, Empathy, and Mindfulness.

2016 Iconic Green Save the Date Cards

In six months, we will welcome the International Greenbuild Conference & Expo to Los Angeles for the first time!  These cards bring back vibrant memories of speakers and tours from past cities that have hosted:  Washington DC, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, to name a few.  Hosting Greenbuild 2016 has defined our work this year and truly energized our entire sustainability community.  The card’s colors remind me of how beautiful our sunsets are.  The Iconic building on the front is LA’s City Hall.

Green Building Professionals Skills Training Workbooks for Electricians, Plumbers, Building Operators, and Construction Managers

I know, only the coolest books on my desk!  Offering sustainability training for tradespeople can have a huge impact on the health and energy use—among other things—of the spaces in which we live and work.  We’ve had great success with our Green Janitor Education Program and we’d like to offer training for Plumbers, Electricians, Construction Managers, and HVAC contractors next!  They are the ones who truly turn the bolts and build projects.  Let’s support them with a program that creates green jobs and builds the green economy.

Photobooth Pictures from the Pre-Oscar Party

My husband and I—we eloped at Aria in Las Vegas last year!–stepped into the photo booth to snap a few fun pictures at the star-studded evening held at Mr. Chow’s in Beverly Hills to celebrate sustainability.