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Is LEED Certification Right For Your Business?

Is LEED Certification Right For Your Business?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is a comprehensive and holistic certification created by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to help promote more energy efficient buildings and fight climate change while helping improve profitability. However, Canada has played a significant role in the rise of LEED’s popularity. Canada Green Building Council has pushed for green buildings on a national level, due to the fact that 35% of the earth’s greenhouse gases produced are from buildings.

LEED uses a scorecard method that hands out points based on an extremely thorough set of criteria. Based on the number of points the building has will signify the level of LEED certification awarded: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum. Are you wondering whether LEED is really worth investing in, and is right for you? Before you make a decision, you will want to understand the benefits of LEED to see if it could be the right fit for you.

Attract More Business

The increase for demand by consumers for eco-friendly companies is clear and recent studies show 88% of Canadians want action on Climate Change, which has had massive implications on the private sector. Cornell University found extremely high benefits for the hospitality sector. Comparing LEED certified hotels, versus non-certified, hotels with the certifications saw “substantial increases in average rates and revenue”. Best Western Kelowna has a LEED Silver certification and has lead the hotel industry and claimed status as the Okanagan’s Green Hotel!

Green Offices Increase Productivity

A research team out of Notre Dame University did academic research on a number of financial institutions and found that LEED certified institutions had “increases in employee productivity and engagement”.

Carbon Neutrality

LEED v4 is helping businesses reach carbon neutral status with a new point system for scope 1 and scope 2 emissions. Along with LEED certification, the LEED program is helping businesses also meet standards to be carbon neutral without the expense of carbon offsets, like Aldo Leopold Foundation Headquarters that was the world’s first LEED Platinum Carbon Neutral Building.

Cut Operating Costs

LEED Certifications lower both energy consumption and water consumption for your business. USGBC analyzed District of Columbia’s Private Building Benchmarking Disclosure and found that LEED Certified office buildings lowered average-operating costs significantly. The findings show average electricity use lowered by 11% and water consumption lowered by 16%, and average operating costs being reduced by $80,000!

Build with Efficiency in Mind

Vancouver has become a world-renowned leader around the world for its eco-friendly practices by having all government buildings either Gold or Platinum LEED Certification, help placing it as one of the greenest cities on earth. LEED has led governments and businesses to building Canada’s most efficient buildings, and UBC is leading by having all buildings LEED Gold.

Increase Market Value

LEED certifications can increase real estate value by a substantial amount. A study from Institute of Building Efficiency shows, in the US buildings with LEED Certifications compared to rental rates for LEED certified property could be up to 17% higher and the resale value could differentiate by an outstanding 35%!

Quick Return on Investment

Although LEED certifications will cost your business money up front the payback is reliable and faster than most think. An international study found that of the buildings studied, 50% had a return on investment in five years or less from energy and water savings. If you include health and productivity that number skyrockets to 90%.

 

Matt Hussey Ecobase Certified

 

By Matt Hussey

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