Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sustainability Opportunities for Minnesota Based on Swedish Communities

Last March, I spent five weeks in Sweden studying eco-communities.

A report that highlights opportunities in Minnesota for sustainable communities and green building has been written based on my one-month stay in Sweden. The report, "A Tale of Green Cities: Exploring Opportunities for Minnesota through the Natural Step Process and Sustainable Communities in Sweden", was sponsored by the Blandin Foundation and was released today by Dovetail Partners in their e-newsletter. Click here to download the report.

I'm really excited by the opportunities for Minnesota presented in the report. If you or your community has any interest or questions, or if you have any comments based on the report, I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Promoting a LEED building in the right way

I just received a very common and important question about how to promote a LEED building in the right way. Here are some helpful tips:

1. Logo use. The USGBC has specific guidelines on how their product can and cannot be used. Click here for their specific logo guidelines.

2. Promotional materials. Another common question is if there are specific guidelines to materials that are used for promotion. As far as I know, the USGBC does not have any requirements. However, this is always one way to stay in line with (and set yourself apart from) the competition. Using certified paper products, such as FSC or SFI, is growing more common. One note: a printing company needs to be chain-of-custody certified themselves in order to use the FSC logo properly. Click here to search a list of vendors that are chain-of-custody certified or sell certified wood products. If you find a company that carries certified forest products, chances are good that they'll also have soy ink, post-consumer recycled-content paper, and a myriad of other green paper options.

3. Language. There is a huge difference between a project that is registered and awaiting certification and one that has fully achieved certification. There are also some major points to be aware of when talking about environmental claims. The Real Life LEED blog covers these topics greatly in this post. Not only is it important to be aware of the differences for legal reasons, but also because consumers are more green-savvy than ever before.