Monday, October 5, 2009

Does being deep Green include Corporate Responsibility?

I wonder if being deep green can include believing in corporate responsibility and people, planet and profits together? I was listening to NPR driving home. They were discussing a recent Time article, "The Responsibility Revolution" published recently. I know living in Vermont this isn't necessarily breaking news. We know corporate responsibility efforts and green behavior have been tightly linked for over a generation with early adopters and maturing companies in the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility( sphere. It seems just like good business sense.
The more I practice archtecture the more I believe in the importance of respecting and sustaining natural systems revolving around energy, water and waste in the creating of buildings and places. The USGBC's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED program now maturing and gaining mainstream acceptance around the country, offers a framework for aligning the goals of respecting natural systems. Conversation involving sustainability should also include discussing social and cultural systems intertwined with the natural. Thus the corporate responsibility movement offers a wider promise, a deeper more inclusive platform gathering elements such as Green thinking and design together. Organizations, for example, such as Winning Workplaces examine the nexus of building positive workplace culture and operations. The idea of respect permeats both the natural as well as the workplace ecosystems, albeit in differing ways. I think it is interesting to bring this idea into the design of green workplace where natural systems and social and organizational systems collide with delightful oppourtunity for productive cultivation into a more sustainable whole.
It's not easy though...That is why it is so fun to be a green architect and design strategist. It's also like being a gardener where you never really have the "right" answer, but only ones which are relative to the soil you till and the weather and climate surrounding you.

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