Finally, a green certification which takes the Human Element being into account
Green Building certifications
There are many green or sustainability-related certifications available to certify your project is as green as you say it is. Certification for buildings include Leadership in Energy and Environment (LEED), Living Building Challenge, and Green Globes. Businesses can be certified, along with products and the raw materials used to create products. For example, wood can be certified as being produced sustainability thanks to the Forest Sustainability Council.
The human element
None of these certifications are something that, in all honesty, could have come to my attention before now. I am referring to the human element of sustainability. When I reviewed the SITES certification, there was an entire section dedicated to Human and Well-Being. I was surprised someone had not thought to include this topic before.
The more important topics included where you could receive credit are: protecting historic places, supporting social connection among people, promoting equitable site use, and supporting the local economy. I am a huge believer that being green must connect on a human level before the change in mindset occurs that will result in changing behavior.
Who sustainability is about
Climate change is often communicated by data. As a trained engineer, I understand why this method is used to make a case to act. But through my time as a speaker, I have come to the realization that climate change is clearly a people story and should be communicated as such. Similarly, any certification should keep in mind the people who are affected by everything we do—especially being more sustainable. Whose planet is it, after all?