Businesses are trying to implement more environmental office solutions, but there have been instances where these efforts fell flat — even though they looked good on paper.
For example, the Bank of America Tower in New York City had so many eco-friendly amenities that Al Gore, the former United States vice president who heavily advocates for more recycling initiatives, decided to be a tenant there. When the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) gave the Bank of America Tower a Platinum certification, backers for these types of structures had high hopes.
However, since the skyscraper was open for business, it ended up consuming more energy than the dated Empire State Building.
To reduce the likelihood of unequal assessments, the USGBC implemented another update to LEED standards, according to Tree Hugger.
Because the USGBC wants architects and businesses to consider environmentally conscious technologies, it decided to require a “life cycle assessment, environmental product declarations, and material ingredient reporting” during the early stages of construction, LEED’s website explains.
LEED v4 will consider energy use from data centers, air quality and runoff — energy consumption from Bank of America’s data center accounted for higher energy costs.
“This is one of the things that frustrates advocates,” Rob Watson, founder of LEED told Tree Hugger. “Data or the lack thereof is the biggest hindrance to sustainability.”
While there is value in becoming a LEED-certified building, it comes with a cost that newer businesses may not want to think about at this time; however, it is still possible to make a positive impact on the environment without taking such significant measures.
Used office furnishings specifically are a great way to reinforce support for a greener tomorrow without compromising value. These carefully selected commercial furniture pieces are available because they are still fit for daily use in any work setting and in many cases, are still of higher quality than new pieces in the same price range.