Jan 24 2013
Achieving success in our quest for LEED-EB Gold certification goes beyond physical upgrades to the headquarters building and grounds. A good percentage of points under the USGBC standard involves encouraging more sustainable habits and practices from the people who work in and service our facility.
Within the building, we’ve surveyed employees on their sustainable behaviors such as commuting habits and their sense of building comfort. We’ve encouraged more and proper recycling, in concert with the relabeling of waste and recycling bins. We’ve taken great steps in establishing and implementing a sustainable purchasing policy for everything from catered food to toilet paper. We’ll share details on that in an upcoming blog entry.
Of course, for this to work effectively as sustainable practice, everyone needs to be “on board.” A case in point was our recycling process. Although it appeared that employees were increasing their efforts to recycle, our recycling to trash ratio at the disposal end remained unchanged. We discovered that even though our recycling had gone up and trash disposal down, our hauler had not been instructed to change to a pickup schedule that matched our new recycling vs. trash output. At our urging they have refined their methods.
Sustainability is as much about interrelationships as it is about hardware changes. As we work toward achieving LEED certification, we are learning about both. We welcome any similar experiences, thoughts, or questions you have in the comments below.