Want to learn more about integrating LEED into a sustainability report? We're bringing our GRI certified sustainability reporting course to Las Vegas and including a special section on LEED. This course is hosted by ARIA- MGM Resorts International and will be complemented with information on LEED requirements, Energy Efficiency, and a tour of the Aria's efficiency measures! For more info or to sign up, click here.
Leadership in Energy and Efficient Design (LEED), the certification standard set by the U.S. Green Building Council, is transforming how many buildings are constructed, remodeled, maintained and operated. The program utilizes numerous categories: sustainable site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, indoor environmental quality, and materials and resources. Is the building close to public transportation? Does it use locally-sourced building materials? These are all important questions when seeking LEED certification.
Achieving LEED certification is a powerful tool for for companies undertaking Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sustainability reporting, which measures an organization's economic, social and environmental impacts and communicates them to a diverse group of stakeholders. GRI reports identify ways to improve in these three areas, and the built environment significantly impacts all three. So, pursuing LEED certification can be an avenue for achieving goals established from GRI reporting.
Indoor environmental quality, for example, impacts employee well being by providing high indoor air quality and ample natural daylighting. This can boost the bottom line by improving productivity, reducing absenteeism and lowering operating costs. If higher indoor air quality is achieved through the use of nontoxic finishes and less electricity is used to light the facility, then this also reduces the environmental impact of the facility.
With these things in mind, use these seven strategies if you want to achieve LEED certification and meet your GRI goals.
For example, if your organization wishes to boost energy efficiency, then you may want to maximize passive solar gains, use zoned HVAC controls for different areas of the building, and install daylight-responsive controls. This is an opportunity to optimize your organization's built environment as it relates to social, environmental and financial performance.
A design charrette is a great opportunity to bring various stakeholders together, including colleagues working on GRI goals and tracking, to ensure a seamless integration of this project with larger organizational goals impacting the triple bottom line.
Image credit: Flickr/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District
Sarah Lozanova is an environmental journalist and copywriter and has worked as a consultant to help large corporations become more sustainable. She is the author of Humane Home: Easy Steps for Sustainable & Green Living, and her renewable energy experience includes residential and commercial solar energy installations. She teaches green business classes to graduate students at Unity College and holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School.