This month, Symantec is celebrating Earth Day by exploring our commitment to environmental responsibility. Today we hear from Kelly Shea, Symantec's global sustainability program manager, on the successful LEED certification of our 20th office facility.
With buildings accounting for 40 percent of global energy use and over one third of global greenhouse gas emissions, we recognize our responsibility to play a role in decreasing these impacts.
We are therefore very proud to announce that we have just LEED-certified our 20th facility! This certification, for one of our Mountain View, CA buildings, is part of Symantec’s ongoing goal to obtain LEED and Energy Star certifications for all owned or long-leased facilities. This 20th certification brings our green building square footage to approximately 2.5 million square feet (79 percent of our owned real estate portfolio) and 59 percent of our owned or long-leased facilities.
LEED – an international program of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) – is the most widely recognized and widely used green building program in the world. The standard guides new construction and renovation, and addresses impacts across the entire lifecycle including energy efficiency, GHG emissions, operational waste, tenant health and safety, and more.
In comparison to the average commercial building, LEED certified buildings:
- Consume 26 percent less energy
- Have 13 percent lower maintenance costs
- Have 27 percent higher occupant satisfaction
- Emit 33 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions
Through our participation in LEED we join business leaders worldwide who recognize the need for and benefits of green building. Today LEED certification includes nearly 50,000 projects, comprising more than 8.9 billion square feet of construction space.
It is also an extremely valuable tool as it enables our team to use a common environmental language, creating consistency and providing a platform for effective measurement and continuous improvement. Certification is part of our goal to benefit our employees, the environment, and our bottom line:
- Employees: Environmentally healthy buildings and productive work environments with more natural light, fresh filtered outside air, fewer chemicals (due to sustainable materials), etc.
- Customers: Decreases our overall impacts, reducing our customer impacts and making us a more sustainable choice over competitors
- Bottom line: LEED facilities provide productive, healthy work environments for employees, which contributes to increased business sales. Additionally, more efficient operations reduces operational costs, directly impacting our bottom line.
LEED is a very challenging certification which takes strong leadership and teamwork. As sustainably manager, I oversee the green building strategy and processes while our facilities project team and local facilities managers implement these challenging projects. Karminder Singh, Senior Project Manager, led this particular certification and was central to its success.
We look forward to bringing you more news on our progress towards 100 percent LEED certification!
Kelly Shea is Symantec's Global Sustainability Program Manager.