LEED changes strategic sourcing for private and public sectors

The General Services Administration (GSA) announced it once again recommended government buildings follow the green building rating system determined by the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED program. Structures that earn LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, certification consume 25 percent less energy than the national average and reduced operation costs by 19 percent, according to The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

"LEED continues to set a global example for market transformation," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC, in a statement. "As the premier rating system in the world, LEED will continue to inspire people and set the bar for healthy, energy efficient and high-performing buildings."

Currently there are more than 4,000 LEED certified government projects with 8,000 more registered projects to be completed in the future. There are more than 55,000 commercial and institutional LEED projects in more than 140 countries and territories.

"At this point, it is unassailable, LEED works," said Roger Platt, senior vice president, global policy and law at USGBC. "It has played a significant role in GSA's achievement of its energy and sustainability goals. Any government agency that chooses to follow the private sector in using LEED certification does so because the result is better buildings and savings for the taxpayer."

Earlier, the National Academy of Sciences advised that the Department of Defense follow LEED's Silver standard when building its structures.

How businesses change with LEED

As the public and private sectors push for LEED certification to save on costs like electricity and raw materials, a business may need to re-evaluate it sources its energy and materials. Businesses may alter their approach to supply management while undergoing LEED sourcing, according to Green Biz.

Under LEED, manufacturers are required to report where materials were sourced and ensure suppliers are dedicated to responsible practices for 90 percent of a product's raw materials. This could encourage a more hands-on approach interacting with suppliers to ensure businesses earn their LEED certification.

Another way LEED changes strategic sourcing for businesses is how they avoid using potentially hazardous building product materials. While industries outside of food and cosmetics do not provide public data for the health consequences of common chemicals and ingredients, the Health Product Declaration - formed by NGOs and private organizations like Google and architecture firms - aims to change that.

As the public and private sectorspush toward more transparent disclosure of chemicals used in everyday products, LEED could change risk assessment for chemical usage for buildings.

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