Learn about tools that can help building professionals address environmental justice and social equity in building projects.
The health and well-being impacts of buildings, building products and communities are not limited to human occupants. These can also positively or negatively affect environmental health.
Sustainable buildings and communities seek to positively impact the health of both occupants and the environment. Architects, designers and contractors can help achieve this by carefully studying the environmental impacts of a building’s footprint, considering supply chain and end-of-life impacts of materials, and myriad other approaches.
One tool to assist building, design and construction professionals are sustainable and healthy building certification programs. Several sustainable and healthy building programs are also are addressing environmental justice and social equity in their certification systems. For example:
The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED certification program includes a host of credits to incorporate social equity strategies, lessen supply chain and manufacturing impacts, and reduce end of life issues through circular strategies.
USGBC also develops and operates the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES™), a comprehensive rating system for sustainable and resilient land development projects.
The International WELL Building Institute’s (IWBI) WELL Building Standard incorporates concepts that support building a culture of health that accommodates diverse population needs and establishes an inclusive occupant community.
ACC’s Responsible Care® environmental, health, safety and security performance initiative, which all ACC members are required to implement, includes a community engagement component. ACC member company facility managers engage regularly with community members and local officials. Many companies participate in Community Advisory Panels, a forum in which community members and local officials meet on a regular basis with facility representatives to ask questions and raise concerns.