Why do I continue to harp on green building initiatives for retailers?

November 9th, 2009

Many retailers continue to grow their use of or sale of products that support the environment. However that may not be where they can get the biggest bang for their environmental buck!

According the United States Green Building Council or USGBC one of the largest potential impact areas on our environment is our buildings. In the United States buildings account for the following.

1. Seventy two percent (72%) of electricity consumption.
2. Thirty nine (39%) of energy usage.
3. Forty (40%) of raw material usage.
4. Thirty (30%) of waste output.
5. Fourteen (14%) of potable water consumption.

So the reason I continue to harp on green building initiatives is that if you only have enough resources to focus on one environmental area in your Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives (CSR), focus on green buildings. When you build new facilities whether they are stores, distribution centers warehouses or office buildings, build them to The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. When you buy products or services, buy them from suppliers that do the same thing. This is a very easy process to implement and to build score cards to support. Now ask yourself the question as to how many of your suppliers follow LEED guidelines. This can even apply if you or your suppliers rent all of their facilities. Do they rent from real estate management companies or individuals that going forward are applying LEED standards to all of their building projects. If the answers are no, find other suppliers that do.

Ask your procurement solution provider to provide you with a list of two or three suppliers for all of your categories that follow LEED guidelines. You’ll be helping to build a better tomorrow for our children and theirs.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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