Building a Sustainable Future

Examining smart and environmentally friendly technologies and methods, such as biodiesel, green buildings, natural power, energy efficient appliances and many others that take a minimal toll on the environment, in order to inform and help make our future a sustainable one.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sustainability & Big Business

Environment vs. Economic Gain. For many years, people have, to some degree, seen the two opposed. A general perception is that running a large business in an environmentally friendly way (or at least a sustainable design) is too expensive and a financial setback to big business.

But maybe more big business should sit up and take interest in green - and not just the cashola. Architect William McDonough has a bit to say on sustainable designs in the corporate and economic sectors. A recent press release announcing his tour stop at Vanderbilt university says of him:

McDonough’s credits include building the first solar-heated house in Ireland in 1977 and designing the first “green office” in the United States for the Environmental Defense Fund in 1985. He was named Time magazine’s “Hero for the Planet” in 1999, but as The Washington Post noted, his “pro-growth, capitalist optimism has made McDonough palatable to business.” Ford Motor Company, IBM, Gap Inc. and Wal-Mart have invested millions in his manufacturing and headquarters designs while recouping millions more in compliance costs, environmental cleanup and worker productivity.

Later, the article mentiones that McDonough has made a commitment in architecture to using USGBC designs. It's great to see more and more builders, especially those influential at a corporate level commit to using sustainable architecture and designs that will save both the environment and the bottom line of larger companies who employ this sustainable design.

This news just barely precedes information from Wal-mart yesterday about the "Greening up" of their store with new sustainable lighting and energy savings up to 30%, as well as other sustainable designs to be implemented, as well as mentioning its new commitment to sustainable seafood marketing. Does Wal-Mart's new commitment to green make up for lack of commitment to its workers? That's another topic altogether.

On a closing thought, maybe builders in New Zealand should take note, as there appears to be a lack of expertise and knowledge about sustainable designs, though new homeowners find sustainable designs to be desirable.

Categories: Architecture, Big-Business


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