Becoming A “Green” Company
Why does a company want to become “green”? There are several reasons but the top three that come to mind are financial gains in the form of government subsidies and energy savings, in addition to attracting top talent.
A recent study found that the millenial workforce wants to work for companies with a purpose and not just profit. Becoming a green company by introducing a paperless system or recycling program, creates a caring culture. Your employees are engaged in their job and feel accomplished in contributing to a common, company-wide solution. Working in a LEED certified building is also satisfying. Knowing that the office in which you spend the majority of your time has been designed with the environment in mind can make coming to work a bit more pleasant.
The financial gains from going green or becoming LEED certified depend on your geographic location and number of LEED points gained in your program. For example, using salvaged, refurbished or used furniture and furnishings for 30% of the total furniture, provides 1 LEED point. In addition, using remanufactured cubicles, like ReCube by ROSI, in your office redesign will cost 30% to 50% less than new cubicles. ReCube cubicles in Houston, for example, may contribute to tax incentives of 1% to 10% of construction costs, depending on certification. There are four levels of LEED certifications. They are:
Another financial gain is in the form of energy savings. The USGBC has been tracking the performance of LEED buildings that are reporting their energy and water use data. Consistent with these findings, these LEED projects demonstrate Source Energy Use Intensitythat is on average 47% lower than the national average (as reported through EPA Portfolio Manager). Under the current version of the LEED program, USGBC requires building owners to submit energy and water use to help projects understand and improve building performance.
Don’t fall into the trap that you must go big with LEED certification. Creating a green office starts with just one initiative. Begin with a recycling program or using remanufactured cubicles on your next Houston cubicles project. Ask your employees for input and watch their enthusiasm spread while building a strong company culture with more substance and meaning.