My Action Plan for Building a Socially Sustainable Business

Submitted by: GauravMahajan

Roll no: 26

Social sustainability:Social sustainability is one aspect of sustainability or sustainable
development. Social sustainability encompasses human rights, labor rights, and corporate governance. In common with environmental sustainability, social sustainability is the idea that future generations should have the same or greater access to social resources as the current generation ("inter-generational equity"), while there should also be equal access to social resources within the current generation ("intragenerational equity"). Social resources include ideas as broad as other cultures and basic human rights. Also we can speak of Sustainable Human Development that can be seen as development that promotes the capabilities of present people without compromising capabilities of future generations. In the human development paradigm, environment and natural resources should constitute a means of achieving better standards of living just as income represents a means of increasing social expenditure and, in the end, well-being. The different aspects of social sustainability are often considered in socially responsible investing (SRI). Social sustainability criteria that are commonly used by SRI funds and indexes to rate publicly-traded companies include: community, diversity, employee relations, human rights, product safety, reporting, and governance structure.

Identification of social need with business plan:
The social benefits of sustainable design are related to improvements in the quality of life, health, and well-being. These benefits can be realized at different levels ± buildings, the community, and society in general. The built environment has a vast impact on the natural environment, human health, and the economy. By adopting green building strategies, we can maximize both economic and environmental performance. Green construction methods can be integrated into buildings at any stage, from design and construction, to renovation and deconstruction. However, the most significant benefits can be obtained if the design and construction team takes an integrated approach from the earliest stages of a building project. Potential benefits of green building can include:

the low operating costs and easy maintenance of green buildings make for lower vacancy rates and higher property values. Efficient buildings exert less demand on the local power grid and water supply. Money previously directed toward utility costs may be used for other purposes. and pose risks to human health. y y y y Energy and Water Savings. The resource efficiency provided by green design and technology leads to drastic reductions in operation costs that quickly recoup any additional project costs 5 and continue to offer dramatic long-term savings (see statistics). These conditions may be offset by conscientious building design and site selection. Storm water runoff can cause waterway erosion. y Decreased Infrastructure Strain. Environmental Protection Agency reports major reductions in health care costs and work losses resulting from commonly recommended improvements to indoor environments. and carry pollutants into water sources. Building deconstruction as an alternative to full-scale demolition results in massive decreases of waste production Economic Benefits: A common impression about green building is that the green premium is too expensive to be considered economically feasible. 3 Higher construction costs can generally be avoided by the inclusion of green design from the outset of the project. With energy costs on the rise. 4 Additionally. studies have shown that the costs of green buildings are not substantially higher than regular development projects. Green design emphasizes increased natural lighting and control of ventilation and temperature-attributes that improve employee health and prevent absences. and using green roofs can control and utilize overflow. Harvesting and redirecting storm water. However. stretching the capacity of local infrastructure.S. Construction and demolition generates a huge portion of solid waste in the United States. . Pollutants released by fossil fuel fired electricity contribute to global climate change. and facilitation of public transport increase energy efficiency and reduce harmful emissions. as well as planting trees to accompany new developments.Environmental Benefits: y Emissions Reduction. y Increased Property Values. cause air quality issues such as acid rain and smog. Storm water Management. Recycling rainwater and grey water for purposes like urinal flow and irrigation can preserve potable water and yield significant water savings. Waste Reduction. 1 Green building technique like solar powering. green buildings provide an assortment of economic advantages. building surfaces with permeable materials. Water Conservation. The heat retention properties of tall buildings and urban materials such as concrete and asphalt are the primary causes of urban heat island effect. y Improved Employee Attendance. The U. flooding. day lighting. y Temperature Moderation.

helping to foster a local talent pool: designers and builders experienced with green projects able to accommodate the growing market demand for sustainable development. such as bicycling and public transport. which eases local traffic while encouraging personal health and fitness. A variation of every design variable may affect the environment during all the building's relevant life-cycle stages. the field of building design and construction is moving toward sustainability as a permanent objective. headaches. Studies show better sales in stores that utilize natural light. y Design of Innovative Business Model and critical capital resources: Siting and structure design efficiency The foundation of any construction project is rooted in the concept and design stages. Employee productivity has been positively correlated to indoor environmental conditions. With increased attention being paid to global climate change and the need for renewable energy sources. and skin rashes. carpeting and furniture materials. the objective is to minimize the total environmental impact associated with all life-cycle stages of the building project. mold build up. Green building emphasizes ventilation and non-toxic. In designing environmentally optimal buildings. poor lighting. Poor indoor environmental quality (IEQ) resulting from insufficient air circulation. Building green in Bloomington is an investment in the local economy. Healthier Lifestyles and Recreation. buildings are much more complex products. is one of the major steps in a project life cycle. and high concentration of pollutants (typically 10 to 100 times higher than outdoors11) contribute widely to respiratory problems. composed of a multitude of materials and components each constituting various design variables to be decided at the design stage. toxic adhesives and paints. in fact. allergies.y Increased Employee Productivity. pesticides. In addition. building as a process is not as streamlined as an industrial process. As of July 2007. and shows improvements where green principles have been applied. A key element of sustainable design is the preservation of natural environments. temperature variances. low emitting materials that create healthier and more comfortable living and working environments. Social benefits: y Improved Health. Green buildings also seek to facilitate alternatives to driving. 23 states and more than 80 cities have legislated green standards for municipal buildings. never repeating itself identically. and varies from one building to the other. nausea. which afford a variety of recreation and exercise opportunities. as it has the largest impact on cost and performance. The concept stage. y Sales Improvements. Retailers are increasingly using daylighting in an effort to harvest the associated sales benefits. However. . y Development of Local Talent Pool.

such as coal combustion products. dimension stone. renewable. Power generation is generally the most expensive feature to add to a building. the demands on the supplying aquifer exceed its ability to replenish itself.) The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) also suggests using recycled industrial goods. lumber from forests certified to be sustainably managed. purified. The use of non-sewage and grey water for on-site use such as site-irrigation will minimize demands on the local aquifer. and other products that are non-toxic. or biomass can significantly reduce the environmental impact of the building. and reused on-site. Designers orient windows and walls and place awnings. calcium sand stone. panels made from paper flakes. reusable. facilities should increase their dependence on water that is collected. Linoleum. coconut. compressed earth block. wood fiber plates. roman self-healing concrete . (the barrier between conditioned and unconditioned space). flax linen. One critical issue of water consumption is that in many areas. cork. Waste-water may be minimized by utilizing water conserving fixtures such as ultra-low flush toilets and low-flow shower heads. Bidets help eliminate the use of toilet paper. ceilings. recycled metal. and trees [8] to shade windows and roofs during the summer while maximizing solar gain in the winter. Water efficiency Reducing water consumption and protecting water quality are key objectives in sustainable building. foundry sand. adobe. seagrass. sisal. Solar water heating further reduces energy loads. used. To the maximum extent feasible. and floors. and/or recyclable (e. Another strategy. porches. reducing sewer traffic and increasing possibilities of re-using water on-site.Energy efficiency Green buildings often include measures to reduce energy use. passive solar building design. they may use highefficiency windows and insulation in walls. is often implemented in low-energy homes. sheep wool. vermiculite. In addition. effective window placement (day lighting) can provide more natural light and lessen the need for electric lighting during the day. Onsite generation of renewable energy through solar power. clay. etc. wind power. concrete (high and ultra-high performance. expanded clay grains. Tress. Point of use water treatment and heating improves both water quality and energy efficiency while reducing the amount of water in circulation. To increase the efficiency of the building envelope. baked earth. Materials efficiency Building materials typically considered to be 'green' include (Expanded polystyrene) rapidly renewable plant materials like bamboo (because bamboo grows quickly) and straw.g. hydro power. rammed earth. insulated concrete forms. and demolition debris in construction projects Building materials should be extracted and manufactured locally to the building site to minimize the energy embedded in . recycled stone. The protection and conservation of water throughout the life of a building may be accomplished by designing for dual plumbing that recycles water in toilet flushing.

dry cleaners. high quality elements. Creating a high performance luminous environment through the careful integration of natural and artificial light sources will improve on the lighting quality of a structure. it is in the O&M phase that green practices such as recycling and air quality enhancement take place. Buildings rely on a properly designed HVAC system to provide adequate ventilation and air filtration as well as isolate operations (kitchens. maximizing recycling (because manufacture is in one location). or VOC's. Ensuring operations and maintenance (O&M) personnel are part of the project's planning and development process will help retain the green criteria designed at the onset of the project. it can only remain so if it is operated responsibly and maintained properly. Many building materials and cleaning/maintenance products emit toxic gases. well-being. Where possible.) from other occupancies. The LEED IEQ category addresses design and construction guidelines especially: indoor air quality (IAQ). to maximize benefits of off-site manufacture including minimizing waste. Avoiding these products will increase a building's IEQ. and productivity of occupants. Indoor Air Quality seeks to reduce volatile organic compounds. etc. Although the goal of waste reduction may be applied during the design. Personal temperature and airflow control over the HVAC system coupled with a properly designed building envelope will also aid in increasing a building's thermal quality. Indoor environmental quality enhancement The Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) category in LEED standards. better OHS management. Waste reduction Green architecture also seeks to reduce waste of energy. The addition of new green technologies also falls on the O&M staff.their transportation. less noise and dust. water and materials used during construction. These gases can have a detrimental impact on occupants' health and productivity as well. construction and demolition phases of a building's lifecycle. building elements should be manufactured off-site and delivered to site. was created to provide comfort. thermal quality. in California nearly 60% of the state's waste comes from commercial buildings During the construction phase. one goal should be to reduce the amount of material going to landfills. Operations and maintenance optimization No matter how sustainable a building may have been in its design and construction. and lighting quality. one of the five environmental categories. such as VOC's and formaldehyde. For example. During the design and construction process choosing construction materials and interior finish products with zero or low emissions will improve IAQ. and other air impurities such as microbial contaminants. Every aspect of green building is integrated into the O&M phase of a building's life. Well-designed .

several options exist.Depending upon project-specific goals. liquid fertilizer can be produced. Green materials are environmentally responsible because impacts are considered over the life of the product . to flush toilets and wash cars. components. y y . plentiful or renewable: Materials harvested from sustainably managed sources and preferably have an independent certification (e. An alternative to this process is converting waste and wastewater into fertilizer.g. an assessment of green materials may involve an evaluation of one or more of the criteria listed below. recyclable and or source reduced product packaging).. offsetting greenhouse gas emission. or if treated. minimizing waste (recycled. Locally available: Building materials. "Greywater". and systems found locally or regionally saving energy and resources in transportation to the project site. and reducing greenhouse gases. by providing on-site solutions such as compost bins to reduce matter going to landfills. Overall material/product selection criteria: y y y y y Resource efficiency Indoor air quality Energy efficiency Water conservation Affordability Resource Efficiency can be accomplished by utilizing materials that meet the following criteria: y y Recycled Content: Products with identifiable recycled content. Producing artificial fertilizer is also more costly in energy than this process.. Natural. Critical capital resource identification and mobilization plan Green building resources are composed of renewable. To reduce the impact on wells or water treatment plants. rather than nonrenewable resources. Rainwater collectors are used for similar purposes. certified wood) and are certified by an independent third party.buildings also help reduce the amount of waste generated by the occupants as well. By collecting human waste at the source and running it to a semi-centralized biogas plant with other biological waste. This concept was demonstrated by a settlement in Lubeck Germany in the late 1990s. including postindustrial content with a preference for postconsumer content. which avoids these costs and shows other benefits. for non-potable purposes. can be used for subsurface irrigation. wastewater from sources such as dishwashing or washing machines.g. Centralized wastewater treatment systems can be costly and use a lot of energy. e. Practices like these provide soil with organic nutrients and create carbon sinks that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Resource efficient manufacturing process: Products manufactured with resource-efficient processes including reducing energy consumption.

reproductive toxicants. Healthfully maintained: Materials. performance. components. Minimal chemical emissions: Products that have minimal emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Products that also maximize resource and energy efficiency while reducing chemical emissions. or low-VOC methods of cleaning. . and systems that require only simple. Moisture resistant: Products and systems that resist moisture or inhibit the growth of biological contaminants in buildings. or no-VOC mechanical attachment methods and minimal hazards. y y y y Energy Efficiency can be maximized by utilizing materials and systems that meet the following criteria: y Materials. or remanufactured: Includes saving a material from disposal and renovating. Reusable or recyclable: Select materials that can be easily dismantled and reused or recycled at the end of their useful life. or generally improving the appearance. Systems or equipment: Products that promote healthy IAQ by identifying indoor air pollutants or enhancing the air quality. quality.y Salvaged. Water Conservation can be obtained by utilizing materials and systems that meet the following criteria: y Products and systems that help reduce water consumption in buildings and conserve water in landscaped areas Affordability can be considered when building product life-cycle costs are comparable to conventional materials or as a whole. repairing. and systems that help reduce energy consumption in buildings and facilities. restoring. refurbished. non-toxic. Durable: Materials that are longer lasting or are comparable to conventional products with long life expectancies. functionality. are within a project-defined percentage of the overall budget. Low-VOC assembly: Materials installed with minimal VOC-producing compounds. components. y y y Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is enhanced by utilizing materials that meet the following criteria: y y Low or non-toxic: Materials that emit few or no carcinogens. Recycled or recyclable product packaging: Products enclosed in recycled content or recyclable packaging. or value of a product. or irritants as demonstrated by the manufacturer through appropriate testing.

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