PURSUIT OF ENVIRO-FRIENDLINESS STARTS WITH THE BUILDING(S) YOU OCCUPY
Antoine Dubeauclard’s article in our fall, 2008 issue noted that “going green” starts at the uppermost levels of corporate philosophy and management. It goes beyond e-learning strategies and tactics to other means by which you can present a “green face” to the general public and conserve our rich natural environment at the same time.
Certainly, the building you choose to house your employees is of utmost importance. A facility, perhaps, that uses compact fluorescent lighting and advanced wall insulation to save energy. A facility, perhaps, that is LEED certified or has earned the Energy Star label. (LEED is short for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,” and certifications are given on the silver, gold and platinum levels. Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. EPA and the Department of Energy. See the Website www.energystar.gov.)
Your building’s enviro-friendliness certainly depends to a large degree on whether you purchased the building (you establish your own green policies) or rent (you are at the mercy of the landlord).
If you are considering the purchase of your own headquarters building, real estate experts tell me that LEED certification and an Energy Star rating initially will cost more than a building not so designated. But those same experts add that you can save more than the initial premium with lower energy bills and maintenance costs.
If you’re a tenant, look for clauses in your lease that indicate your landlord’s receptiveness to environmentally friendly strategies. You might ask if recycled carpet and paint containing lower VOCs (volatile organic compounds) have been used in its construction. Of course, in a multi-tenant building, the landlord has a difficult job, because each tenant has a different concept of “green.” For instance, it does no good to separate recyclable paper waste and aluminum cans if your building’s waste hauler (contracted by the landlord) dumps it all in the same bin.
Your “green face,” then, depends not only what you’re doing to conserve natural resources in your specific e-learning tactics, but also what you’re doing in your overall corporate strategy.