October 2017 HR Magazine 31
companies attract and retain employees who want a healthy, sus-
tainable, ergonomically designed workplace, while also reducing
many office and health care costs.
It’s no surprise that USGBC, which has 262 employees, has
earned its own platinum LEED certification for its headquarters,
a leased space in Washington, D.C. In addition to maximizing
daylight and air quality—which is particularly important for those
with allergies and compromised immune systems—the organiza-
tion’s design plan uses energy efficiently and leverages sustainable
construction and cleaning products.
USGBC monitors its LEED performance, showcasing the
results on a digital display in its main lobby. The system collects
data and establishes a score based on strategies in five areas: energy,
water, waste, transportation and human experience.
Steps to Sustainability
Workplace Dimension Small Steps Middle-of-the-Road
• Provide reusable cutlery
and dishes sized for healthy
• Devote indoor and outdoor
space to dining.
• Encourage people to dine
• Add lots of plants to interior
and exterior environments.
• Use natural images in art and
• Integrate sustainable,
• Offer powered exercise
• Provide or promote use of
• Give smoking-cessation,
weight-control and other
• Use and provide green cleaning supplies.
• Set up paper, plastic and
office supply recycling stations with posters educating
employees on correct
• Find local healthy caterers.
• Provide shared foods,
including a top coffee station,
herb gardens inside and
communal gardens outside.
• Adopt flexible seating
• Incorporate flexible furniture
(pods that enable easier meetings),
glass-walled offices and meeting
• Embed mics/cameras in meeting
rooms for remote workers.
• Purchase ergonomic furniture.
• Offer the option of standing or
treadmill desks, cycling desks, ball
• Encourage biking to work with
covered racks and storage.
• Provide advanced waste
• Integrate sensors to manage
lighting, heating and cooling,
depending on who is at work.
• Upgrade plumbing in restrooms
and kitchens to low-flow water.
• Provide composting and healthy
• Retain a kitchen staffer to
encourage and maintain green
efforts, cleanliness and waste
• Expand office windows to bring
light throughout the workplace.
• Add shading and temperature
controls based on sunlight.
• Offer outdoor or rooftop meeting
• Provide an onsite fitness center
with a workout advisor.
• Offer onsite yoga and cardio
• Give subsidies for outside fitness
or exercise programs.
• Create an outdoor walking path.
• Revise hours so that cleaning staff work during the day and
become part of the team, which
also ensures that energy isn’t
wasted after hours by lighting
mostly empty buildings.