By Danielle Wilmot, EIT, WELL AP, LEED Green Associate
Manager of Implementation
Blue Ocean Sustainability
In late August 2020 – firmly in the grips of the COVID-19 lockdown and feeling a little restless – I was more than halfway through my Zoom call with Kristina Bach, VP of Innovation at Sustainable Investment Group, before I realized the call was actually a job interview.
I had known Nick, SIG’s engineering team lead at the time (now President of SIG), for years because of his work on the ENERGY STAR program for commercial buildings (I used to lead their review team), and he had suggested I take a call with Kristina to chat about what we were each working on. Maybe this is universal code for, “Hey, we might want to hire you,” and I’d just been in the dark until that point, but the lesson that I chose to take away from this is that it’s still 100% possible to get a job offer when you interview from your couch in what are essentially your pajamas.
The job that Kristina and SIG CEO Charlie Cichetti offered me was an interesting one: Manager of Special Programs on SIG’s new Innovation Team. SIG has been an industry leader for years in engineering and consulting work (one of the reasons I was interested in working with them was because of their stellar record and reputation among the ENERGY STAR staff and review team), and Charlie has also been leading the green building education charge with Green Building Education Services (GBES) for a long time (it was earlier today, in fact, that I passed my WELL AP exam after using GBES exam prep resources to study). Together, SIG and GBES make up Green Building Holdings (GBH). With those companies each succeeding in their respective sectors, Charlie was ready to move into new territory: software for the green and healthy built environment.
Kristina joined SIG in early 2020 with a background heavily weighted toward sustainable architecture and design. Charlie, of course, brought not only SIG’s green building engineering and consulting experience for new and existing buildings, but also his former experience with commercial property management. Between the two of them, it seemed like they had the full building life cycle covered, from design through operations. “But,” (they both asked themselves, I imagine), “what about the construction process itself?”
From there, the idea for TrueCarbon was born: A tool built specifically for tracking and reporting the sustainability of construction jobsites. (I could write paragraphs and pages on its benefits and features, but that would make this post too long – instead, go check it out at www.truecarbonscore.com. Sign up for the mailing list to get news and updates, and go to our FAQ page to watch a quick promo video and learn more.)
By the time I joined the team in October, TrueCarbon had gone through conceptual design and initial development (though had not yet been named – back then it was just the “construction carbon tracker”). Kristina put me to work immediately on the technical side of things – emissions factors, scoring algorithms, graphics, reporting, etc. – and as our small development team started to grow, so did the tool. TrueCarbon got its name and logo in November. December brought us new software developers. January brought us a new Manager of Technology. February brought early adopters. March brought more demos, more users, more development, and even more new features.
Now, as we kick off April, we’re excited for the tool’s upcoming live, full-scale launch. Early adopters will gain access to full site features, and new users will see it all for the first time. My team is hard at work delivering personal demos to contractors, designers, developers, and consultants, while simultaneously gaining tons of ideas from our early adopters on new features we want to implement next (it’s a long and exciting list!).
Which brings me to the other reason for this post: My team. What started as SIG’s Innovation team has grown and evolved into its own unique company. I’m very proud to join Charlie and Kristina in officially announcing Blue Ocean Sustainability, the latest addition to Green Building Holdings. With TrueCarbon as our flagship tool, Blue Ocean is excited for the year ahead. We’re thrilled to introduce new and existing clients to construction site tracking with TrueCarbon, and anxiously awaiting the day when we can start meeting each other in person once again.
Earn 1 CE hour with our free, recorded webinar from March 25: Learn about TrueCarbon, as well as key concepts of embodied carbon and scope 1/2/3 emissions.
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