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Let's communicate environment conservation tips to airplane passengers as an in-flight featured presentation.

Let's communicate environment conservation tips to airplane passengers as an in-flight featured presentation.

Photo of Jaime Gusching

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Jaime commented on Green Leaf Rating

Hello Melbourne,

I dig the idea! I hope I can illuminate some of the challenges LEED faces, so that you have a head's up!

Just so we're on the same page---and I'm learning with you---the LEED system is based on builders first meeting certain requirements (“prerequisites”) and then earning points from a menu of optional building components or performance achievements (“credits”). Depending on the number of credits achieved, a qualified applicant may earn a rating and certification at one of four levels (certified, silver, gold, or platinum).

Sounds pretty straightforward.

But, here's what they've found to be gaps:

1. How high should you set your standards?
There is a theory that home builder-applicants will be more likely to adopt green measures if they perceive them to be within their reach. Set your standards too high, they won’t even bother. There is a tension between wanting to meaningfully impact the environment and getting enough users.

2. A second challenge---for LEED and for you--- is your business model.
If your revenue comes from your users, to keep the system going you are incentivized to keep your standards low. If your standards are too high or the process of application is too complicated, fewer people will be willing to pay the costs of documentation and formal review.

3. How might you keep people from gaming the system? How do you ensure you're achieving actual environmental performance, and that people are not taking shortcuts to achieve the highest rating possible? You don't want your users to just go after low-hanging fruit to rack up a good score, even if the underlying measure doesn’t result in a significant environmental impact.

Ok those are just what I've gleaned from my mini-research. Here's an article. Hope it helps!

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/as_good_and_important_as_it_is.html

Hello Titis!

Have you heard of the Acterra Award for Business Environmental Awards? I am impressed with the rigor of their criteria and strength of their judges panel. Perhaps they could even back Giving Back!

Their Business Environmental Award seems to hold sway in the Silicon Valley on the basis of community recognition, positive publicity, and the opportunity for the award recipients to publish their best practices.

Let me know if you're interested and I can connect you to a 2014 Acterra award recipient.

http://www.acterra.org/programs/bea/index.html

Agreed, Natalie!

I currently work on a university campus and the Center for Sustainability is a hub of green activity!

If there is to be a competition amongst universities, here's a proposed list of criteria on which a campus could compete.

1. Reach Climate Neutrality

Reduce the university’s use of electricity and natural gas. Reduce single-occupancy vehicles on campus.
Example metrics: annual greenhouse gas emissions inventory, local offset initiatives

2. Practice responsible consumerism.
Improve the University's impacts on the local and global community associated with procurement (extraction, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal.
Example metrics: local/ organic/ sustainable food procurement rates, sustainable purchasing policies, and water diversion rates.

3. Develop a culture of sustainability among all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors.

Expand the campus community's ability and desire to partake in sustainable behaviors as well as their understanding of how they can contribute to developing a sustainable world.

Example metrics: number of individuals involved in sustainability-related co-curricular and employee programs, assessments of the campus community's perceived value and intrinsic motivations for sustainable behaviors.

4. Use the campus as a living laboratory for developing global solutions.
Support solutions-based coursework and research to solve local and global problems using the campus as a demonstration test-bed.

Example metrics: number of sustainability-related and focused courses, number of students and faculty engaged in sustainability-related research, number of students engaged with community members at BUG sites.