Have you just opened or are planning a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) building? No doubt you and your planning team just can’t wait to see it all come together…and no doubt that executive leadership has high expectations for the return on their LEED investment. You can do that by influencing occupant sustainability behaviors.

With the disruption of the move to the new workplace, you can imagine things like recycling a coffee cup, details of the gray water system and conserving energy won’t exactly be top-of-mind for occupants…that is unless you do something about it!

Occupant actions could have a significant impact on LEED results

Did you know that the behaviors of occupants can influence the sustainable results achieved by 30% or more? What’s your plan convince the building occupants to appreciate and actually take advantage of the sustainable features?

Consider these four ways you can spark sustainable participation of building occupants in order to maximize your LEED investment:

1. Discovering details on the building design and sustainability features. Most people are naturally drawn to conservation, so tell them so they can be proud to be a part of it.
2. Getting jazzed about working in a sustainable environment. The more they know about the automated thermal systems, special acoustics, low energy lighting, green purchasing, and personal controls, the more they’ll be prone to own it.
3. Learning the impact that simple daily actions will have in achieving energy and water conservation, recycling and waste management, and setting sustainable commuting goals. Go out of your way to demonstrate the systems in the first few days to prime their sustainable actions to make them permanent habits.
4. Emphasize the contribution each occupant can make in sustainability through workplace stewardship by encouraging life-cycle decision making, following policies for retiring equipment, selecting service providers, and other key actions important to system success.

There’s little doubt about the value of driving the sustainable behaviors of building occupants and visitors. To do that, you’ll need to make sustainable behaviors a bigger part of everyone’s daily routine. With a bit of education, simple guidance, incentivized encouragement and peer recognition, the behaviors of your LEED building occupants and visitors could result in a substantial return on your sustainability program investment.


See the Evolving Workplace e-Learning Series: Technology-enabled workplace change can only be successful if the people change too. The e-work.com Evolving Workplace e-Learning Series modules accelerate workplace change through a deliberate mindshift in individuals, teams and the enterprise to work together in new ways. course outline.

Register to see the Practicing Sustainable Behaviors in a LEED Building course outline.