Who really pays for LEED certification?

Obtaining LEED certification costs a lot of time and money.  The resources required are not limitless and are generally diverted from other uses, though that seems impolite to discuss when pursuing sustainability.

But LEED certification does not, of course, add to a property’s sustainability.  Rather it confirms, or certifies, that objective sustainable criteria have been met.   If anything, the high costs of LEED certification divert funds that may be otherwise be spent on sustainable materials or systems.

In the end, the high cost of LEED ultimately comes from somewhere….or someone. 

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How do you like them Apples?

Apple recently announced it will not certify its products with EPEAT. EPEAT is a non-profit organization that certifies “environmentally preferable products”. It is also a program that is backed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

EPEAT would affect Apple’s sales to some governments and educational institutions which require EPEAT certification as a prerequisite for purchase. But how does this affect Apple? According to the blog Apple and EPEAT: What it means the sale of Apple computers to government and educational institutions is a tiny fraction of Apple’s total sales. The real market lies in the consumer market which demands products like their ultra-thin MacBook Pro. According to a Wall Street Journal blog Apple Removes Green Electronics Certification From Products, this laptop design requires the battery to be glued to the case, making disassembly and recycling difficult. This causes the computer to fall behind EPACTS stringent recycling requirements.

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My kind of (green) town…

Given the warm reception SERF has received and our growing operations here, it comes as no surprise to us that Chicago recently won the Siemens and U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Sustainability Large Community award.  Leaders from business, real estate and, not least, the City government are clearly unified in making Chicago a global leader in sustainability.

There’s a beautiful symmetry in Chicago’s leadership in sustainable buildings given its preeminent role in the creation of an American architectural style and its endless contributions to the world’s built environment ever since.

How fitting, then, that Chicago’s Soldier Field is now the first NFL stadium to have attained LEED status.  Now that’s putting your money where your mouth is.