Greenwatch Latin America: How ecotourism is changing Costa Rica’s hospitality sector

2016 was the strongest year on record for LEED-certified hotels in Latin America, with 60 percent more projects compared with 2015, and nearly double those of 2014. Today, there are 38 LEED-certified spaces in the region, and over three times as many pursuing LEED. Costa Rica is leading this trend in Latin America, with 20 percent of all certified LEED projects, and nearly four times as many projects in the pipeline.


Paul Scialla

After 18 years on Wall Street, including 10 at Goldman Sachs as a Partner, Paul Scialla’s interest in altruistic capitalism and sustainability led him to establish the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), which administers the WELL Building Standard® globally to improve human health and wellbeing through the built environment. Since IWBI’s inception, Paul has become a leading voice in the sustainability movement, serving as a keynote speaker at prominent green building, real estate, and technology forums and conferences around the world.

Gail Vittori

Gail Vittori, LEED Fellow, Co-director of Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, works at the intersection of green building and human health. She is 2015 Board Chair of Green Building Certification Institute. Ms. Vittori is co-author of Sustainable Healthcare Architecture, is on the Health Production Declaration Collaborative Board, and was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

Harry T. Gordon

Harry T. Gordon, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, is Vice Chair of the GBCI Board and Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee. He was a founding board member of the USGBC. As a practicing architect for over 40 years, he has used LEED in the design of over three million square feet of building projects. He is a founding principal of G2 | Gordon + Gordon Architecture, LLC and practices in the area of High Performance Green Buildings and Communities.

Don Anderson

Don Anderson is an Executive Director and Chief Sustainability Officer in the Private Equity Group, based in New York. He is responsible for evolving sustainability initiatives that deliver cost effective quantitative and qualitative results across Blackstone’s Capital Partners and Real Estate portfolio companies. Before Joining Blackstone in 2011, Mr. Anderson was Vice President of Global Strategy and Business Development at ICF International, where he sold and managed energy efficiency and sustainability projects in the BRIC countries and Europe.

Mahesh Ramanujam

Mahesh Ramanujam is proving that building a more sustainable world is no longer a dream, but a global evolution. As president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI), he leads a community of 13 million people that’s growing every day.

A graduate from India’s Annamalai University with a degree in Computer Engineering, Ramanujam couples a strong background in technology and innovation with his goal of building healthier communities and democratizing sustainable living.

Sarah Alexander

As senior vice president of Credentialing and Certification at Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the premier organization for independently recognizing excellence in sustainability performance and practice globally, Sarah is responsible for the professional credential and certification activities for GBCI’s suite of green business and sustainability products worldwide. Under her leadership, GBCI administers credentials and certifications for the U.S.

Taryn Holowka

A skilled communicator, storyteller and multi-market brand strategist, Taryn Holowka brings 16 years of experience in building multinational brands. As Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Advocacy at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), Taryn heads up all global marketing, communications and public affairs efforts for USGBC, its popular LEED green building program and GBCI initiaitves including SITES, GRESB, PEER and Parksmart.