Following the lead of other giant companies, consumer products powerhouse Procter & Gamble has pledged to construct and select all new sites according to the facility design principles espoused under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. FedEx Express, for example, made a similar proclamation about LEED in January.
The company's new Taicang plant in China will be the first manufacturing site built to LEED specifications, and there are several other locations in the process of working toward LEED recognition. The P&G mandate covers offices, innovation centers, distribution and manufacturing operations. It covers anything that is just starting or is in the early construction phases.
Says Keith Harrison, global product supply officer:
"Having all of our new sites LEED-certified will help us make progress toward our long-term sustainability vision, which includes powering our plants with 100 percent renewable energy and zero manufacturing waste-to-landfill."
In Taicang, the LEED application hinges on P&G focus on water conservation through rainwater harvesting and steam recovery; an outdoor lighting system that uses solar energy and high-efficiency lighting technology; and waste management practices focused on a zero-waste-to-landfill goal.
Yes, this is a great move, but I was just sitting here wondering how many new sites these big companies are building each year, especially since many of them are consolidating and getting leaner. Sure, there are new sites in emerging economies such as P&G's new China facility, but what about all the existing facilities burping carbon in developed nations. What would be a REALLY big commitment on the part of global enterprises would be to commit to these things for all EXISTING sites.
I would also love to see more commercial landlords step up to a higher level of commitment to green building standards. After all, many midsize companies don't necessarily own the buildings they occupy, a factor that sometimes gets held up as a lame excuse for inaction.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com