More and more business owners are building green, making positive changes for their businesses and the environment. By investing to attain green certification, those businesses can more easily communicate their values and commitment to the public. While many organizations offer certification programs, two of the most popular are LEED™ and ENERGY STAR®.
- LEED certification is awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council; LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The rating system covers a variety of criteria, such as sustainability, water efficiency, energy use and construction materials that help a building to conserve energy, operate at a lower cost and be healthier and safer for occupants and the environment. LEED-certified buildings qualify for incentives such as tax rebates and zoning allowances.
- ENERGY STAR certification is awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Buildings with this certification use an average of 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than typical buildings. These buildings perform in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide.
Businesses understand the benefits of cutting energy costs while increasing efficiency and reducing pollution. Cincinnati Insurance is one of many companies investing in this type of effort. Our headquarters building has requalified for ENERGY STAR certification for a second year. Our business continuity center is LEED certified, and we are pursuing LEED certification for two more buildings.
If your business has made the effort to go green, you will want to protect that investment. You may need special insurance coverage for your property to address your unique situation and pay for the increased costs for environmentally friendly repairs and practices.
After a loss due to fire, weather or other causes, green property coverage can help you rebuild with care for the environment in mind. You may want to consider green property coverage that can help you protect your investment in green technology and, in some instances, help you attain green certification after a loss.
Also, don’t overlook the possibility that you may need higher policy coverage limits to recycle debris, restore property to green standards and register and certify with a green building authority.
We applaud your efforts to take care of the planet, save energy expenses in the long term and create a better workplace for your employees.
Submitted by Greg Popelka