One of the 10 green women in the world is Turkish

One of the 10 green women in the world is Turkish

When speaking about the environment and the fight against climate change, an important issue surrounding this topic is “green buildings.”

These buildings are environment friendly; they use energy and water resources efficiently and are constructed with materials that do not harm human health.

Green buildings are designed on a basis of a series of criteria, such as the careful selection of the field and the use of renewable energy.

The one to introduce the concept of green buildings to Turkey was Dr. Duygu Erten, a construction and environment engineer.

Returning to Turkey 10 years ago after working in the U.S. for many years, Erten took the initiative to cofound the Turkish Green Building Council (ÇEDBİK).

Erten is currently the council’s vice president of board in charge of international relations. In the past, she was the council’s president.

Besides, she is the president of the Green Schools Committee and a member of the Consultative Committee of the World Green Building Council.

TURKECO, a sustainability consulting firm she founded in 2010, is the first Turkish company selected to join the Directorate of the U.S. Green Building Council.

Accreditation champion

Erten gives lessons on sustainability, management of nongovernmental organizations and ethics at many universities, including Sabancı and Boğaziçi universities. She is the only person who owns all of the green building accreditations such as the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).

She continues to give lessons abroad in order to add more to her knowledge on green buildings and to diversify her credentials. Learning and teaching are always in her life.

Erten received the “Leadership Award,” given to those who contribute globally to sustainability by the World Green Building Council, in 2012. Recently, she was in Boston to receive another award.

She received the U.S. Green Building Council’s “Women Leaders in Sustainability” award in a ceremony where former U.S. President Bill Clinton had also attended.

The award organized since 2014, given in the past to Hillary Clinton too, is one of the most prestigious awards of the world in the fields of architecture and environment.

Every year it is given to 10 women - either a leader of a nongovernmental organization, politician or a businesswoman - who undertake protecting the environment as a duty and work for a more green, clean and livable word.

This year, we are proud to see Erten from Turkey being awarded as one of the 10 “Green Women” in the world.

What does it mean for us to be selected to UNESCO’s executive board?

Turkey is among the founding members of UNESCO, and last week it was selected to UNESCO’s executive board membership.

This institution has 184 members and 58 countries on its executive board.

As far as I learnt from permanent representative in UNESCO Ahmet Altay Cengizer, Turkey was selected to the executive board with 134 votes.

“It is very important that we were selected to the executive board. From now on, we can make ourselves heard much better. UNESCO will pay more attention to our approach in their decisions,” he said.

Our four-year executive board membership corresponds with the new reform process, which will be kicked off by the institution’s new president, Audrey Azoulay, who was once France’s culture minister.

“Our contribution to global culture will be more visible with our historical wealth, which stretches to Göbeklitepe,” he said, referring to the oldest known settlement in the world located in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa.

I hope that being selected to the executive board of an institution with such a high brand value as UNESCO is heard by local managers, who most of the time mistreat our historical and cultural heritages, and encourages them to uphold these values more responsibly.

gila benmayor, hdn, Opinion