Phipps Observatory Center for Sustainable Landscapes, courtesy of the Sustainable Sites Initiative
Engaging in LEED, Living Building Challenge and meeting the rigorous standards of today’s environmental regulations can go a long way toward qualifying your development or campus project for Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) certification.
If your project is already making substantial commitments toward environmentally and socially responsible development, should you take the next step and secure the expanded recognition that comes with SITES certification?
SITES and Corporate Sustainability Goals:
SITES is analogous to LEED, but is focused on the outdoor environment. SITES certification rewards site development decisions that integrate projects with local and regional ecosystems, preserve biodiversity, restore ecosystem elements and address climate change and resiliency.
SITES goes even further by giving credits for promoting equitable site use, supporting social connections and the local economy. SITES is not prescriptive and encourages innovation. It encourages owners and project teams to be flexible and creative in their approach to meeting sustainability goals.
What are the benefits?
Registered projects can opt to be listed on the Sustainable Sites Initiative website, which announces that the project owner/developer has committed to ecologically and socially sustainable development principles, and that their commitments will be certified by a third party.
Committing to the SITES certification process tells agencies, municipalities and members of the community that you are serious about responsible development that addresses environmental, social, and economic goals.
A preliminary assessment by a SITES Accredited Professional (AP) is recommended before fully committing to the SITES process. This is best done early in the development process, although it is also possible to dovetail a project with SITES at later stages.
A holistic sustainability approach that integrates green buildings and the outdoor environment achieves the most benefits without adding superfluous costs. Consider adding the SITES framework and certification to your corporate sustainability metrics.
Contact Studioverde to discuss your project specific questions.