4 FM quick reads on sustainability
1. Will The "Dynamic LEED Plaque" Become a Reality?
Today's tip of the day is about the Dynamic LEED Plaque, first introduced during Greenbuild in the fall of 2012.
Facility managers are already well-familiar with the idea of energy and sustainability dashboards as a way to display to occupants and upper managers how the building is operating from a sustainable stand point. The Dynamic LEED Plaque would take this idea to the nth degree.
Scot Horst, Senior Vice President, LEED, explains that the plaque will maintain a real-time LEED score in total, and in each of the LEED categories, based on how the building is operating. The Dynamic LEED Plaque will work in concert with what USGBC is calling the "LEED Box" — which is basically an electronic hub installed in each building that will give that building a "LEED Address," will allow two-way communication between USGBC and the building, and will provide the data for the LEED Dynamic Plaque.
In total, the goal is performance. Horst said, simply, the idea is to have a better way to bridge the gap between design and operations. Besides, as he said, when project teams and facility managers work together, and have the data, a majority of projects improve — not get worse. USGBC says they'll begin beta-testing a LEED recertification for LEED for New Construction projects — in addition to the recertification system that's already in place for LEED-EBOM.
The new Dynamic LEED Plaque isn't quite ready for prime time yet — Horst said perhaps by the end of 2013, the first prototypes will go into buildings. Ideally, by the time LEEDv4 is rolled out this fall, the new plaque will be reading for wider use.
2. Who Runs Sustainability In Your Organization?
Today's tip of the day is about the chief sustainability officer position, and how more and more companies are choosing a c-suite executive to run sustainability efforts.
Who run the sustainability efforts at your organization? Is it someone in the facilities department (you?)? Is it a health, safety and welfare person who reports to the Chief Operating Officer?
If you're a smaller organization, is it your CFO? How about maybe a bright-eyed, 20-something in marketing whose only real requirement is passion for sustainability?
All these scenarios are actually fairly common these days. But, increasingly, organizations are tasking the bull by the horns and hiring a single person to set the sustainability agenda for the entire organization.
These folks come from a variety of educations and backgrounds (much like facility managers!) - but their one commonality is that they usually are promoted from within the organization. The reason for this is simple: Success for a sustainability executive depends on knowing the organization inside and out; knowing what the organization's priorities are, and therefore knowing how to frame initiatives within the boundaries of those organizational goals and strategies.
The December, 2012 cover story of Building Operating Management magazine includes the stories of several sustainability executives from large organizations. They all agreed that one of their main tasks in working on sustainability projects — whether greenhouse gas emissions inventory or recycling — is building bridges between departments in the organization, often working on projects and with people for whom they don't have direct responsibility.
Thankfully, most people these days recognize the importance of sustainability — not just as a "feel good, do-the-right-thing" proposition, but as a business imperative. They recognize that efficiency - using fewer resources, and therefore saving money — benefits the organization at large. After all, everyone's on the same team — and a rising tide raises all ships!