The Importance of a LEED Certification

Energy efficiency and ecological sustainability are two very important facts of life which have been rolled into what has come to be known as the “Green Movement”of environmental responsibility. The idea of “being green” and fulfilling obligations to the environment has been incorporated into all facets of life from politics to education, and from household life to business.

Adopting a green philosophy in the business world involves applying various concepts, including adhering to the principles set forth by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) initiative. LEED is a method of measuring the environmental impact and sustainability of buildings and business organizations. There are many key areas measured by LEED, starting with the site selection and construction of building structures. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) sets these standards, which include the burgeoning practice of green housekeeping.

Commercial cleaners and building maintenance professionals in the past failed to pay attention to the carbon footprint or environmental impact of the products used, and methods performed, to keep buildings clean. As a result, the term “industrial strength” was applied to describe products used by commercial cleaners and janitorial staff. The term has negative connotation, since it refers to products that while efficient, are potential hazardous to human health and the environments. The LEED principles of green housekeeping shun the use of such “industrial strength” cleaning products in favor of ecologically-friendly products which are not harmful to humans, animals or their habitat.

LEED certifications are being adopted by state-run organizations, and are also being pursued by commercial building owners and managers. Buildings which do not adhere to green housekeeping practices are not likely to earn this certification, something that could prove detrimental in terms of lease value. Future business tenants are likely to begin asking their landlords about the status of their LEED certifications; something which could influence their decision to renew or enter into a lease contract.