LEED: The Way To A Green Future With Sustainable Building Design:

Lately, it seems as if every company is doing something to be green. Manufacturers are reducing emissions from their factories, packagers are using more sustainable materials, and automakers are embracing alternative fuels. When it comes to the insurance industry, however, you may think there isn’t much it can do to reduce its environmental footprint, aside from maybe recycling. However, there are numerous ways businesses in the insurance sector can improve their sustainability — many of which have to do with the buildings they inhabit.

Businesses’ office spaces greatly contribute to their environmental footprints, especially for the insurance industry. The majority of the resources consumed by companies in the insurance sector and other office-based businesses goes to basics such as lighting the office, powering office equipment, and water for the restrooms. Reducing an office building’s dependence on these resources can help a business significantly decrease its environmental impact. Even if your insurance business doesn’t manufacture or process anything, it still can improve its sustainability by adopting green building design.

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LEED remains the standard for sustainable building design in the United States. The U.S. Green Building Council has standards in place for certifying buildings as sustainable. Any business interested in achieving LEED certification for its offices needs to understand how the LEED certification process works and what it can do to earn points toward its LEED score.  

The techniques businesses can implement to improve the LEED score of their offices include improving the energy efficiency of their lighting fixtures by installing more-efficient light sources, such as LED or CFL bulbs. Water-efficient plumbing fixtures such as low-flow toilets and motion-activated faucets also contribute to a building’s LEED score.  Additionally, the use of sustainable building materials such as perforated metal products or renewable bamboo instead of old-growth wood products can contribute to an office building being more ecologically friendly.

Although it may seem like there isn’t much the insurance industry can do to be more sustainable, that isn’t true.

The following guide from Hendrick Manufacturing covers many of the most important details you should know about LEED certification and how to achieve it in your office space. By making a few tweaks around their offices, insurance companies and other office-based businesses can reduce their environmental footprint significantly and become greener.

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Arnold Smith

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