Industrial Marketing News from our Cincinnati Advertising Agency
Last week it was announced that Jerry Yudelson, a national leader in green building advocacy, is the next president of the Green Building Initiative (GBI). The Portland, Oregon based non-profit organization is best known for its Green Globes rating system, a front line competitor to the USGBC’s LEED program. (Thank you GreenTravelerGuide.com for use of this photo).
Jerry Yudelson has spent years of his life dedicated to green building. A leading consultant, he has published 13 books on the topic and was incremental in the development of Greenbuild, the nation’s largest annual green building conference. Yudelson has also achieved the high level ranking of LEED Fellow, which is a highly coveted title in the LEED industry, adding to his long list of green building credentials. Because of his longevity and prominence with LEED, switching to Green Globes seemed to come as a shock to those in the green building industry.
We here at Lohre and Associates are most educated with LEED building initiatives and are not too familiar with Green Globes. This is primarily because of LEED’s federal standing; all federal buildings must be built to LEED Sliver requirements, although Green Globes is also now in the running for such commendation. Because LEED is a federal requirement, federal tax incentives for building to LEED standards have increased LEED’s popularity.
Regardless of who is working where, money talks, and it is speaking to LEED builders. One important reason that LEED has been so popular in Cincinnati (Cincinnati is ranked 3rd in the nation for green building) is due to the city property tax abatements that are available here. Individuals building a LEED building are granted tax incentives and Green Globes cannot compete with that, at least not yet. From a marketing standpoint, the ability to save individuals and companies money, not only through energy efficiency and sustainable design, but through tax abatements provides primary real estate in green building.
Also the City of Cincinnati, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and Cincinnati Public Schools build all of their buildings to LEED Certification. These are also part of the reason for the expolsion of LEED projects in the region.
There have been arguments made that Green Globes green building process is cheaper than LEED, however, there has yet to be definitive information provided by either party to prove this. We know that the tax incentives here in Cincinnati only recognize the LEED building process. If a person were to use the Green Globes rating system for their green building, the state, county and sity tax abatements would not apply, therefore that person would miss out on years of tax savings.
If you enjoyed this blog post, you will also enjoy LEED Certification Documentation for Your Home or Office.
_______________________________________________________________________________For A no obligation free consultation on how to best market your green product, green service or green office please contact Chuck Lohre, LEED AP ID+C. He'll offer helpful marketing suggestions for understanding your buyer personas, creating content that speaks to your customers, finding the best places to advertise and managing prospect lists and email news. Article from the Cincinnati Business Courier.
The green industry is currently the fastest growing market sector and knowing how to properly market your company’s sustainable initiatives and green products has never before been more important. What many companies fail to realize is that there are some serious dos and don’ts associated with the marketing of this sector.
Educating people about a product or service is not new to the marketing industry, but how to use it to market effectively in the green industry is. Practicality speaks to businesses first and foremost, so educating them on why your product or service is practical and how it will benefit them should always come first in your marketing approach; the green attribute is the icing on the cake. What is great about sustainability and going green in general? Both are tied very closely to saving money. High efficiency, more productive, use less energy, these are all aspects of sustainable marketing that provide practical use: translating into spending less money. For a business this is huge. Green building is a great example: they provide companies with lower energy costs, healthier, more productive employees, lower health care costs, etc. These are green attributes that save money and again increase practicality of your product or service. Thank you to Sumter County, NC for the image.
Most businesses and individuals educate themselves using the Internet. This is why Search Engine Optimization is so important in today’s marketing industry. You want to be sure that you are a relevant search result when people and companies are searching for green products/services. You want to make sure your website uses proper keywords, words built around sustainability, you, and what you have to offer. A great way to do this is by incorporating a blog into your website. Creating content and showcasing your knowledge, not just on your product, but sustainability in your industry and in general is a great way to establish credibility and to build trust with potential clients. Every blog post written is just one more page added to your website to help increase traffic, grow an audience, and to gain credibility in your industry and with your clients. This is very important for marketing and helps showcase your knowledge on industry topics and sustainability.
One really important aspect of green marketing that is not discussed often enough is No Green Washing! Green washing occurs when companies label their products/services green, environmentally friendly, recycled, sustainable, etc. but they really aren’t. They are only using a PR ploy to grab attention and to try to gain trust. Businesses and people who are buying your product do not want the wool pulled over their eyes nor do they want to be outright lied to and given that we are living in the information age, if you aren't being honest, typically your clients will find out. This is why walking the walk and talking the talk is so important. You do not want to harm the credibility of your business by trying to be something you are not. Writing a blog, as mentioned before, is a great way to show that you are not a part of the green washing issue, so long that you are truthful in your words. Thanks to Print Eco Software for the image.
3rd Party Certifications
A great way to showcase your legitimacy and to prove that you are not a part of the green washing issue, is through third party certifications. Having an unbiased entity become part of your company shows potential clients that you are serious about going green and are honest in your assertions. There are several third party certifications and verifications for all different industries: Leaping Bunny for the cosmetic industry, Green-E for the renewable energy industry, Energy Star for appliances, LEED for green buildings, etc. For example, by utilizing LEED in the green building process and becoming certified, individuals and businesses alike are able to recognize the commitment a business has made to their sustainable initiatives. LEED is such an established entity that there is no question about a business’s commitment once their office has become certified. This makes for a great showcase for your commitment to sustainable initiatives and is great for marketing. Photo by Lohre & Associates.
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For a no obligation free consultation on how to best market your green product, green service or green office please contact Chuck Lohre, LEED AP ID+C. He'll offer helpful marketing suggestions for understanding your buyer personas, creating content that speaks to your customers, finding the best places to advertise and managing prospect lists and email news. Article from the Cincinnati Business Courier.
We all know that a vested interest in the future is what keeps businesses operating. What better way to showcase your investment than working in a green building? Not to mention, the employee perks associated with green building: cleaner indoor environmental quality, more natural lighting, green cleaning products, and more; all of these components contribute to the wellness, health, and productivity of your employees. Helping them stay happier and productive longer.
In addition to happier, more productive employees, as a business owner you get to be a part of the joyful process of LEED building. Learning the how, why and what of LEED gives individuals a peek into the green building industry and offers a green educational element to your building and to your business. There is something to be said when you take a building materials client through your office and show them all of the sustainable measures you have taken, especially when most of these measures include new technology resulting in a cleaner environment and happier employees.
One example of utilizing newer technology is having a net zero waste building. This means that all energy the building uses is derived from renewable resources and sometimes generated on location, with the use of geothermal, solar panels, or even a small wind turbine. In addition to energy, net zero waste also means no water waste. Collecting, treating and reusing all water within a building is quite a feat; requiring rain water collection and treatment of black water (sewer grade water) to potable or drinkable water. This typically requires utilizing newer technology, but will give the building owner, residents and/or employees a sense of leadership knowing they are not contributing to our already tapped clean water resources.
Having your building LEED certified is quite an undertaking and one that cannot be done alone. An entire team of individuals is necessary and a LEED Accredited Professional (AP) is recommended; there is even a point given to those projects who utilize a LEED AP. LEED AP's make the documentation process a little less difficult. They also bring a more sustainable mindset to your project, helping everyone stay on the 'green' track. Having a key individual to effectively communicate the importance of documenting each and every aspect of a project is the difference between having a smooth, fluid project or a large, shuddering headache.
Recently, there has been some green building scrutiny: they take longer to build, they are more expensive, etc. While there is an immense amount of time management that goes into a green building, having open communication and a dedicated team helps alleviate most of those issues; and yes, up front costs can be higher, but many businesses see larger ROI's within the first few years of operating in energy efficiency alone. This doesn't take into account longer employee retention, more productive employees, or the health care savings associated with green building. Overall, green building is a smart investment. Article from the Cincinnati Business Courier.
As an employee who works in a LEED Platinum building, I can attest to the cleaner, happier environment. It was important to me to find an environment that lined up with my core values and doing so makes working so much more enjoyable. It is exciting to be a part of something that is helping our environment, our city, and our corporate culture.
Lauren Campbell LEED GA, Internet Marketing at Lohre & Associates.
If you liked this blog post, you will also enjoy this one on "How Volkswagen 'Greened' its Chattanooga Assembly Plant."
At Lohre & Associates, we self documented our own offices to the LEED Platinum level for only $12 per square foot for the complete office makeover including application fees. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-governmental, non-profit agency founded in 1993. LEED has become the most widely accepted Green Building standard.
The office remodel included:
The U.S. Green Building Council publishes reference guides to the various types of Green Building Certifications: residential, commercial office, new construction, schools, retail spaces and existing buildings. The first thing you will want to do is purchase the appropriate guide for your project and learn what Green building products and features to include. The following examples are from the five different LEED Green Building categories: site, water use efficiency, energy use, materials, and indoor environment quality.
Site of the building, home or office
The best Green building will be the reuse of an existing structure. Orientation to the sun and dimensions of the building can reduce energy use by about 25%. Light-colored concrete parking lots and roofs are cooler than black asphalt. Shade from trees and gardens will also help cool the site. Access to public transportation and community services are important to limit automobile use.
Water savings and efficiency
City-water water use can be limited by capturing rain water. Interior water use can be limited by efficient-flush and flow fixtures. Limiting storm water runoff is also also an objective of a Green building. Rain gardens, green roofs, pervious parking lots and walking paths can help keep rain water where it falls.
Air leak sealing and insulation are the most important investment for a Green building. Sealing the air leaks in existing buildings with high-performance spray foam can deliver the benefits of both at the same time.
As you reduce the requirements of an HVAC system, you reduce the size, the expense and cost. Renewable energy systems such as generating electricity from solar panels or hydro-electric, and sawdust pellet stoves can also reduce the use of fossil fuels. Operating and maintaining your HVAC systems at their most efficient is an important feature of Green buildings.
Use reclaimed or salvaged building materials wherever possible. Materials with recycled and regional content help reduce the environmental impact of your building. Cork, linoleum, bamboo, agricultural waste plywood, and castor oil content in spray foam are materials that take less than 10 years to grow and reduce the use of hard wood and similar limited materials.
Indoor Environment Quality
Green buildings are very tight and don't have drafts from air leaking through the building. This makes it important that harmful chemicals contained in some paints, caulks, cleaning agents, furniture and floor coverings aren't allowed into the building. The gas appliances also have to operate without leaks. Green buildings have better views to the outside, thermal and lighting controls.
Once you have decided on the location and design of your building, you'll purchase the materials meeting Green building standards. Green building construction has minimal waste and a builder with experience working on a LEED project will help reduce waste. Once your project is done, you can gain Green building points by using it as an educational tool to teach others.
Green buildings are at least 20% more energy efficient and 30% more water efficient than code buildings. By Certifying your project LEED, occupancy rates and resale value will be higher. LEED Certification includes a commissioning agent who serves only the owner of the project. It is your third-party verification that your project was built and will operate to the highest standards. There is no other Certification like it available. If you build inside the city of Cincinnati you may qualify for tax abatements on the structure. There are also tax incentives for HVAC and energy-efficiency windows, insulation and other products and services.
How can we help?
Want to discuss a Green Building project? Review sustainable building materials? Learn how to save water? Have a presentation made to your organization? Lohre & Associates' Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy division can help with any of these requests. We did 100% of the work and documentation on our own LEED Platinum office and currently expecting LEED Platinum on a new construction project. We are also working on the LEED Certification of the Frank Lloyd Wright Boulter house in Cincinnati, Ohio.