Over one billion square feet of building space across America have received LEED certification since the program was launched. LEED certification recognizes that a building was “designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts,” according to the U.S. Green Building Council website.
So once LEED certification is received, does it mean your job is over? No, because LEED does not equal sustainability, says GreenBiz.com. To reach full sustainability, there are steps to do beyond LEED and GreenBiz.com tells you just what those are here:
1. Establish a long-term plan for environmental management. That means constantly evaluating and adding sustainability plans such as Energy Star programs and carbon footprint reporting.
2. Measure your energy savings to see if they meet or exceed LEED’s predictions! Use metrics to see if your environmental performance is on track.
3. Educate your tenants. By empowering a building’s occupants with vital, real-time information, everyone becomes involved in energy conservation efforts. Most building automation systems have the ability to display their database information. This information tells tenants in graphical terms the building’s efficiency and suggests ways to conserve energy such as switching off lights and computers. Displaying valuable information can help you save more energy. Advanced Control Corporation is a company that designs, installs and services building automation and energy management systems and can assist you in using these systems to educate your tenants.
4. Conduct management review. The only way for sustainability to be fully incorporated into your company strategy is to account for it in your budget, corporate reputation and other decisions.
Following these steps should take you beyond LEED to long-term sustainability.