2019 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award recipient: Thomas Mueller

Meet Thomas Mueller

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Thomas Mueller
Thomas Mueller, President & CEO, Canada Green Building Council (MA 1992, Planning)

Thomas Mueller is a founding director of the Canada Green Building Council (CaCBC) of which he became President and CEO of in 2005. In his capacity as chief executive he leads the Council’s national green building strategy, programs and standards. In 2018, he was appointed CEO of Green Business Certification Inc. Canada, a venture that delivers advanced performance standards to the industry. In the early 2000s, Thomas chaired the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) BC steering committee which was responsible for the first adaptation of the LEED building rating system outside the US.

For his dedication to green-building work, Thomas received the 2000 and 2002 Innovation Award from the Architectural Institute of British Columbia and the 2005 FCM-CH2MHill Sustainable Community Award. Most recently, he became a recipient of Canada’s 2015 Clean50 award and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. Thomas’ contribution to his field has garnered support from industry and mobilized collaborative action towards the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in particular SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. “Canada is overall doing a very good job of investing in our cities…The shift away from coal-fired electricity generation has vastly improved air quality and reduced carbon emissions in urban regions like Greater Toronto. However, Canada is still relying heavily on cheap energy to fuel transportation, buildings and industry, which hinders progress on efficiency and performance improvements. The know-how and skills, products and technologies exist today to construct buildings and homes to use half of the energy and produce much less carbon with small, if any, additional costs. Green building is a key strategy to improve the environmental quality and livability of Canada’s cities during a period of sustained growth.”

Canada ranks second for LEED-certified projects internationally. Since 2005, the 4,000+ certified LEED buildings in Canada have supported climate action efforts by reducing 3.24 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, 16.7 million eMWh of energy and 30 billion litres of water. With 2.5 billion square feet certified globally, LEED is, without a doubt, the leading green certification system in the world.

Thomas is also a proud Waterloo alumnus, holding a master's in Regional Planning & Resource Development. He has served as an advisor to the Dean of Environment for over 10 years, garnering support from industry and providing counsel on the development and growth of the Faculty’s programs. “My connection with Dean’s Advisory Board allows me to tap into wider perspectives and insights on pressing environmental issues that trigger academic research.  At the same, I have the opportunity to provide constructive insight and feedback from the building sector industry on their priorities to stay abreast on sustainability issues that are shaping their business.

Thomas continues to advocate for the Faculty and the University through his advisory capacity and engagement with key initiatives including the Imaging Canada’s Future Cities event series and the Future Cities initiative.

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