How to find a green building for your business

How to find a green building for your business

Do you want to help the environment? Look for LEED® certification and set up shop in a green building.

In Canada, buildings are responsible for 30-35% of greenhouse gas emissions. They consume 1/3 of total energy used, 2/3 of electricity and 1/8 of water resources.

If you long to reduce your business’s ecological footprint, there is a certification recognized globally as a mark of excellence for sustainable buildings: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED) certification.

When a building has LEED® certification, you can rest assured knowing the contractor and construction professionals have made efforts to reduce their ecological footprint during and after its design.

Less energy is required to construct such a building. Choice of materials is judiciously considered in the spirit of reusing materials or at least choosing renewable materials.

During the design stage, players involved are also conscious of consuming fewer energy resources (electricity, water, heating) afterwards, thus reducing operating costs.

Advantages of renting a building with LEED® certification

There is a quick return on investment, even though it is true a building project with LEED® certification costs an estimated 2% more than a traditional building.

There are many pros for a tenant to pick a green building:

  • Energy consumption decreases 25%
  • Water consumption falls 11%, mainly by reusing rainwater
  • Maintenance costs drop 19%

Impacts are also felt in terms of the wellbeing of building occupants. Their level of satisfaction increases 27% when they live in an LEED®-certified building.

Businesses also note an increase in productivity. A study by the World Green Building Council found improved employee retention and a lower absenteeism rate.

Finally, it may be easier to obtain bank financing. Indeed, the resale value of a LEED®-certified building is 60% higher than the market average. This is a stat that perks up a banker’s ears… and the fact it is a long-term investment that pays off in the end.

LEED® certification credit categories

The LEED® certification process is rigorous!

From the first shovel in the ground, this coveted certification is based on an eight-category evaluation. Points can be earned in each category:

  • Location and transportation (priority given to public transit or carpooling instead of single drivers)
  • Sustainable site development
  • Efficient water management
  • Energy use
  • Material selection
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Innovation
  • Regional priority

LEED® certification levels

A building may receive one of four LEED® certification levels, depending on the number of points earned during its performance evaluation.

Certification levels

Number of points obtained

Certified

40-49 points

Silver

50-59 points

Gold

60-79 points

Platinum

80-110 points

Platinum LEED® certification is therefore the ultimate rating to guarantee a building was constructed or renovated with the utmost care for the environment.

Sustainable development

If the commercial space you picked is in a LEED®-certified building, it makes sense to develop the space in an eco-friendly way.

Zero VOC paints, using eco-friendly cleaning products, recycling and choosing materials with a reduced ecological footprint, implementing a recycling and composting program, these are all choices you can make and introduce at your company.

And at SSQ Insurance…

Not only is our logo green… our sustainable development vision is too!

The proof: three of our buildings have obtained LEED® certification:

Contact one of our experts to discover the ideal green space for your business.