While we’ve written before about LEED certification, businesses have another set of standards to use as a guideline for green office solutions. It’s called Green Globes and it offers an alternative for companies that want to be more environmentally friendly but can’t afford to seek LEED compliance.

This initiative, which applies to both American and Canadian companies, provides special support modules for three different areas: constructing and renovating sites, managing existing buildings and overseeing sustainable interiors. Although it was originally developed in the United Kingdom, it has since been redesigned to fit North American standards with an emphasis on self-assessment processes.
On the official website of Green Globes, office managers can compare its criteria with those used by LEED. Generally, Green Globes is more expansive: It covers 1,000 program points compared to LEED’s 110 and doesn’t require any pre-requisites. The Globes plan is also “more wood friendly,” according to the American Forest and Paper Association, and accepts forest certifications from more organizations than LEED.

In a Houston Business Journal article, Bob Zabcik of NCI Building Systems criticized LEED for overlooking certain types of buildings.

“Builders focused on light commercial, small retail, small institutional, industrial and warehouse occupancies are all but shut out of the LEED certification due to cost or simply that LEED does not effectively evaluate those types of buildings,” he said. “LEED totally neglects these buildings even though they represent a significant portion of construction.”

The Green Globes page emphasizes the program’s adaptability, since a variety of different buildings can use it easily. This doesn’t mean that LEED should be avoided, but it does demonstrate the choices companies have when considering the right approach to making their office greener.