During a recent typical LEED meeting we reviewed the available LEED credits and the cost associated for each credit. The cost was added so the credit could be removed later during cost management meetings. It was soon realized because there was no clear sustainable direction from the owner, that sustainability here is a piecemeal approach that adds another layer of responsibility for middle managers.
In contrast, during a schematic design meeting an owner took an enterprise approach to the project and developed a facility and program that made sense with the site. A green approach was used in the whole site design. As a result, clusters of LEED credits were obtained and the construction cost of the site was reduced. With this integrated enterprise approach it is very hard to remove individual sustainable credits; the procedure is integrated with the middle managers’ current tasks and is not an added layer.
The earth’s biosphere has evolved into a complex thriving sustainable system. In contrast, organizations are an unsustainable force that threatens the earth. In response to this trend, some sustainable-minded organizations are now developing policies to take them in a new direction. In this journey they realize that while the earth may have been created in six days, instilling good sustainability policy takes much longer.