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International thought leader addressing environmental issues

Rob Watson

travels from USA

The founding father of LEED and thought leader on green buildings, energy efficiency technology and sustainable tourism

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Speaker Rob Watson is an expert on green buildings, sustainable tourism, energy efficiency technology and more. Rob helped to pioneer LEED, the most commonly used standard by which green buildings are measured around the world. What’s more, speaker Rob Watson is president of a tech startup and chairs the Green Schools Alliance.

Best known as the “Founding Father of LEED”

Rob is an international leader in market transformation in solid waste, green buildings and sustainable tourism. Under his direction, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) became the most commonly used international standard by which green buildings are measured.

Author Thomas Friedman called Rob “one of the best environmental minds in America”.


Technical innovation in solid waste management.

Watson is Chief Science Officer of EcoHub Inc., an innovative developer of environmentally friendly waste separation and processing complexes.  

As part of his market transformation approach to solid waste, in 2016 Mr. Watson launched SWEEP, the Solid Waste Environmental Excellence Protocol. This is a comprehensive environmental performance standard for municipal solid waste programs and private companies in the solid waste industry.

In 2016 and 2017, Rob was recognized as an international Be Waste Wise Pioneer.


Green building and energy efficiency technology

Rob serves as Chairman and President for PrimaFilm LLC, a technology startup that is developing thermally insulating window film that will reduce energy losses through windows by over 50%. Watson also advises Dynamic Air Quality Solutions, which provides up to 60% energy savings compared with conventional high performance filters.

Previously, Rob launched ECON Group and EcoTech International (ETI) to implement cutting edge LEED projects in the US and China. ETI & ECON’s unique “Turnkey Lifecycle Sustainability” model combines the best of integrated green design, cleantech products and operations management to ensure a building’s optimal performance throughout its life.

Founded in 2007, ETI integrated sustainable design and high performance building operational best practices. Mr. Watson, through ETI and NRDC provided LEED certification services to over 30 million square feet of development and has helped certify four Platinum, including the first Platinum EBOM, CS and CI projects in China, five Gold, including the first LEED certified project in China, one Silver and one Certified project.

Watson also was a Senior Scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) for 21 years directing the International Energy and Green Building programs, spending 10 years promoting energy efficiency and utility energy saving programs in Russia and the Former Soviet Union and another 10 years in China on green buildings.

In addition, Rob Chairs the Green Schools Alliance. This is a huge network of 10,000 schools in 90 countries serving 7 million students, that engages and empowers students, teachers, administrators and the whole school community to bring sustainability actions to schools, districts and communities.



Speaker Rob Watson was the first foreigner to receive an energy innovation award from the Ministry of Housing and Urban and Rural Development for his work. He worked on China’s first green building and made contributions to China’s energy efficiency building codes for residential and commercial buildings, the Three-Star green building rating system and the green building policy for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Watson received the first lifetime achievement award from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2002. He also was the 2013 recipient of the International Conservation Award from the Botanical Research Institute of Texas and was honored as a LEED Fellow.

Among numerous international awards for his work, speaker Rob Watson received commendation from Gosstroi (the Russian State Construction Ministry) for his work on the Sochi Olympics.


Keynote speaker Rob Watson‘s experience and insights make him a popular speaker on a wide range of environmental, business and futurist topics. His presentations are not only informative but also dynamic and engaging!

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    Speaker Rob Watson Keynote Topics

    • Sustainable Solid Waste/Materials Management & Recycling

    The audience will learn about modern waste management practices and the trends toward a zero-waste society, as well as the answer to burning questions such as “paper, or plastic”?


    • Market Transformation

    Transforming markets to sustainability is choice not fate. Audiences will learn the proven system of successfully transforming any market developed during the creation of the trillion dollar global green building market, which used a combination of regulatory-push and market-pull mechanisms.


    • Green Buildings

    Winston Churchill once said that “First we shape our buildings, then our buildings shape us,” and it is now understood that the construction and operation of buildings is the most damaging human activity. Learn how focusing on sustainability results in more profitable and healthier buildings and the policies and programs that can promote this global movement.


    • Sustainable Tourism

    For much of the world, tourism is the lifeblood of the economy, but if not done properly, it can have profoundly negative social, environmental and economic impacts. Discover through case studies and lessons learned how many of the world’s best tourist destinations are using sustainable practices to enhance visitor experience and improving the local economy.


    • Sustainable Transportation

    More roads…buses…rail lines are the answer! But what was the question? This presentation looks at the evolution of mobility in society and discusses how “access” is becoming the more dominant framework for evaluating the transportation network and what it means for how people will get from one place to another in the future.


    • Climate Change/Global Warming

    Because of its profound impact on society and our current economic system, climate change is one of the most polarizing topics in science and politics. Does an adequate response to the potential effects of a warming planet represent a threat to “our way of life”, or are human systems and ingenuity up to the task of a “soft landing”?


    • Student Empowerment

    How can today’s youth maintain optimism in the face of the significant environmental, social and economic challenges that blare from the headlines? These inspirational sessions focus on the advice of the Dalai Lama to invoke “radical confidence” in the future and gives kids practical tools for confronting personal and society’s challenges.


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Keynote topics with Rob Watson