Retailers Demonstrate Growing Commitment to LEED

Posted on November 3, 2014 by Bud Morris

Retailers Demonstrate Growing Commitment to LEED

Posted on November 3, 2014 by Bud Morris

Retailers’ involvement in green buildings is more extensive than ever according to a new report just released by the US Green Building Council.

LEEDAll told, nearly 8,000 retailers worldwide currently participate in LEED, the internationally recognized rating system governing the environmentally responsible design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings, home and neighbourhoods.

Extended to the sales floor, that translates into more than 1.2 million people a day who come into contact with a LEED-certified retail space’s “superior customer experience,” including circulating fresh air, a consistently comfortable ambient temperature and the pleasure of in-store daylight.

By the end of 2013, 38 percent of retail owners had committed to green building projects, more than double the count — 11 percent — that were involved at the end of 2011.
Among them, find Starbucks, which reached a milestone this year with its 500th certified store; Kohl’s, which says it’ll secure LEED certification in every new store; and Target, which has committed to pursuing LEED certification in all of its Canadian stores.

And retailers are demonstrating their commitment to environmentally conscientious initiatives with their wallets. All told, the retail sector spent $1 billion more last year on green building projects than it had the year before.

What’s more, says the “Leed in Motion: Retail report,” the number of retailers engaged in green activities is still on the climb. In the next two years, says the USGBC, 52 percent of retailers will have converted to green building and, by 2015, two-thirds of all retailers are expected to have green operations and maintenance systems in place.
And for those stores already meeting LEED’s sustainable site standard, the report shows that 100 percent of them reduced the pollution and land-development impact of their buildings.
In the report’s accompanying write-up, USGBC’s COO Mahesh Ramanujam points out that those retailers who are LEED participators have a “leg-up” over their competition, “as they actively address the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit every day.”