Green Tips: Recycling

We are beyond excited to share our second installment of Green Tips! In this addition, we are sharing some great tips from LEED v4 for Building Operations Management. But specifically how implementing a recycling program can get your building closer to it’s LEED certification!

We all know the importance of recycling. But for those who aren’t green at heart, finding the time to properly recycle waste products can be tricky. A great option to help your employees recycle and keep our earth beautiful is to implement a recycling plan at your workplace! In helping reduce your carbon footprint, your efforts in establishing a recycling program puts your facility a few points closer to achieving LEED certification.

The purpose of LEED’s Ongoing Solid Waste Management Credit is to reduce the waste that is generated by building occupants and hauled to and disposed of in landfills and incinerators. Following these requirements will gain you two points toward your facility’s certification.

Performance

Maintain a waste reduction and recycling program that reuses, recycles, or composts the following:

  • at least 50% of the ongoing waste as specified in Materials and Resources Prerequisite: Ongoing Purchasing and Waste Policy (by weight or volume); and
  • at least 75% of the durable goods waste as specified in Materials and Resources Prerequisite: Ongoing Purchasing and Waste Policy (by weight, volume or replacement value).

In addition, safely dispose of the following:

  • all discarded batteries; and
  • all mercury-containing lamps.

There are many different ways to implement this type of system, most popularly being to install recycling bins in carefully and conveniently placed locations around your facility both internally and externally. Additionally, you can have “electronic waste days” where you set aside specific days to properly dispose of batteries, mercury-containing lamps, and any other electronic waste product.

How do you recycle in the workplace? We’d love to hear what works for you and your company. Comment below and let us know what you think!

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Green Tips: Promote Alternative Transportation

We at RSC know the importance and value of Environmental Sustainability. As such, we thought it important to begin a new series called: Green Tips! In it, we feature tools and insights on how to slowly transition your company to be more environmentally friendly and even earn some points toward being a LEED Certified Building.

The best way to promote alternative transportation is by installing bicycle parking. There are a variety of different forms including, but not limited to: bicycle racks, bicycle lockers, and bicycle shelters.  Additionally if you choose one of the choices outlined here, you will be taking a step toward achieving a LEED certification.

Not only does installing bicycle parking promote alternative transportation, but encourage a healthy lifestyle for your employees as well! And everyone knows that happy employees are more productive employees.


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All You Need to Know About Going Green: Pt.1

Interested in going green?  Not quite sure where to begin?  You’ve come to the right place! Today we’d like to share with you some key information and successful tips on going green with our very own Mario Sanchez-Palacios, a LEED Accredited Professional (AP).

It is no secret that going green is becoming more of a priority for everyone.  There are great environmental benefits as well as impacts on a company’s bottom line.  So why aren’t more companies taking that first step to go green?

Going green can be costly.  But it doesn’t have to be!  With a great IWMS, like ARCHIBUS and a hand to guide you, going green really can be simple.

What is LEED?

The United States Green Business Council developed LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, to help change the way buildings and communities are designed, built, and operated.  LEED is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. It is the most widely recognized and used green building program across the globe, certifying 1.5 million square feet of building space each day. Over 130 buildings satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. Prerequisites and credits differ for each rating system, and teams choose the best fit for their project.

A LEED AP is an accreditation that demonstrates that an individual understands the complicated LEED green building principles and concepts.  A LEED AP is capable of managing a LEED project and helping projects acquire the appropriate number of points to gain either certified, silver, gold, or platinum building levels.

Where to Begin

There are a few types of Rating Systems that apply to Corporate Real Estate:

  1. Building Design + Construction (BD+C)
  2. Interior Deisgn + Construction (ID+C)
  3. Building Operations + Maintenance (O+M)

Each rating system is made up of a combination of credit categories.  The number of points a project earns, determines the level of LEED certification (Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum).

Since not all companies are ready to build, rebuild, do a complete interior fit-out, or do major renovation, the LEED Rating System easiest to start with is Building Operations + Maintenance.  O+M “Applies to existing buildings that are undergoing improvement work or little to no construction; includes Existing Buildings, Schools, Retail, Hospitality, Data Centers, and Warehouse & Distribution Centers.”  1

A few of the applicable credits categories with their corresponding credits for O+M include:

  • Location & Transportation
    • Alternative Transportation
  • Sustainable Sites
    • Rainwater Management
    •  Light Pollution Reduction
    • Heat Island Reduction
  • Water Efficiency
    • Outdoor Water Use Reduction
    • Indoor Water Use Reduction
    • Water Metering
  • Energy & Atmosphere
    • Energy Metering
    •  Refrigerant Management
  •  Materials and Resources
    • Waste Management
    • Purchasing
  •  Indoor Environmental Quality
    • Green Cleaning
    • Indoor Air Quality Management
    • Interior Lighting
  • Innovation
    • LEED AP
  • Regional Priority
    • Specific Credits based on location

A company can earn points for many, many things like: How close the building is to public transportation (BART, Subway, Bus, etc.)?; Does your building have bicycle parking?; Do your windows have reflective blinds?; Is your building eligible to receive an ENERGY STAR rating?; Are 50% of the products and materials your company uses (pens, paper, etc.) or 75% of furniture made from recycled material, bio-based materials, wood, etc.?;  Do you maintain your HVAC systems?; Do you use green cleaning products, materials, and equipment?;  Do you recycle?; Do employees have the ability to control the lighting in their work space? Survey employees/building occupants on their typical transportation patterns once every 5 years; Shade 50% of paved areas; use pavers instead of cement; Install a vegetated roof; Perform waste reduction and recycling program; and many more!


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Thoughts? Questions? Comment below and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear your insights.