To LEED or Be Left Behind

By Wayne D. DeFeo, LEED AP, Executive Director, USGBC NJ - Article from New Jersey Business & Industry Association Magazine

If you think that LEED (the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building certification and sustainability are some sort of green hogwash, then you are ignoring the economics of the Triple Bottom Line (Economic Prosperity, Environmental Stewardship and Social Responsibility). In other words, you are risking having your business left behind.

Leed Building

Many business people have told me they cannot afford to build or renovate to a LEED Certified building. However, the data on LEED buildings clearly demonstrates that businesses really can’t afford to avoid building new or retrofitting older buildings as LEED Certified.

Look at the facts. An analysis of 60 plus research studies (Stok, BD&C Magazine, November 2018) found that high performance buildings (and LEED buildings are a form of high-performance building) produce an increase of $23,584 per employee in total net present value over 10 years.

A three-year study by Saint-Gobain of its double LEED Platinum headquarters gives us an indication as to why (USGBC+ magazine, Fall, 2018) 53.7 percent of employees report improvements in health and well-being.

Approximately 91.6 percent report feeling better due to indoor air quality improvements, and 56.4 percent reported improved visual comfort due to natural lighting.

Additionally, a study by Conlon & Glavers in 2012, titled “The Relationship Between Corporate Sustainability and Firm Financial Performance” found that those PNC Bank branches that were LEED Certified yielded $461,300 more per employee than non-LEED Certified branches.

It just makes good sense and dollars to be a “leeder.” For more information go to www.USGBCNJ.org

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