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A commercial organization can outline a series of goals when vying for green building certification. But if tenants are not on board, those goals are much more difficult to achieve, if not unattainable altogether.
Without the support of tenants inside The Merchandise Mart, achieving LEED certification would have been more difficult for the world’s largest commercial building. But many tenants already have achieved or are seeking LEED for Commercial Interiors certification — a program designed for companies that are not in charge of whole building operations but rent space inside commercial facilities — and others have bought into the Mart’s move toward environmental responsibility.
The Mart is highlighting tenants’ green efforts by showcasing their products in a display called Green Spot, which contains everything from dish towels to office chairs, creating an awareness of sustainability for occupants and visitors.
To continue building tenant support for green initiatives, the Mart also participates in the Green Office Challenge, a City of Chicago Department of Environment program to encourage office tenants and property managers to become more sustainable.
“We were totally embracing the Green Office Challenge because here’s another mechanism to reward your tenants to try to participate,” says Mark Bettin, vice president of engineering for Merchandise Mart Properties Inc.
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