The global marketplace, our world’s unfathomably vast network of goods and services, cash and currency, has always been about much, much more than money alone.
From the earliest days of bartering to our present-day e-commerce economy, the products we sell and the purchases we make are a reflection of core human values: quality, integrity, honesty. That’s why centuries-old retailers take so much pride in their craftsmanship and tradition, and that’s why new small businesses and start-ups are such a vibrant part of our culture—the global economy offers retailers new and old a world of promise and opportunity.
As retailers and business owners, we’re faced with choices about how to honor and celebrate our customers; how to operate our companies with integrity; and how to optimize our business operations to benefit the bottom line and the community.
And on the opposite side of the counter: all of us are consumers. With every purchase we make, we make a choice. Every dollar we spend either advances a cause or system that we believe in or perpetuates one that we do not. While it’s impossible to make all of our buying decisions with the level of scrutiny they deserve, we can do a world of good with the conscious purchases that we do make.
LEED for Retail enables retailers to make sustainable business decisions and empowers consumers to make choices they feel good about. It’s a celebration of people, planet and profit. And we feel particularly strong about the people aspect of LEED for Retail: whether you’re managing the floor or browsing the aisles, you should be able to breathe easy, and feel healthy and comfortable.
LEED’s retail offerings are used by Big Box retailers and mom and pop shops alike, from end-to-end across the global economy. In the pages that follow, you’ll hear from some of the industry’s top retailers, from Starbucks to Wells Fargo to Nike, in regards to how they have used LEED certification to honor and deliver on their sustainability goals. There’s no question that you’re in phenomenal company if you’re a LEED for Retail user.
Looking at data from the largest retail users of LEED, USGBC estimates that up to 1.2 million people experience one of these LEED-certified retail locations each day. So, next time you’re grabbing your morning latte, depositing a check or picking up a prescription, take a look around to see if you’re in a LEED-certified coffee shop, bank or drug store. That plaque on the wall has effects that reach far beyond the building footprint.
LEED in Motion: Retail Panel at Greenbuild 2014
Mahesh Ramanujam, COO of the U.S. Green Building Council, introduces a panel discussion on the use of LEED for retail spaces. Gina Clem, Director of Sustainable Construction at Starbucks and Sara Kurovski, Manager of Sustainability at Kum & Go, speak about utilizing the LEED rating system to help them each achieve organizational sustainability goals. Starbucks and Kum & Go were each highlighted in the latest LEED in Motion: Retail report.