Interview published in The Times of India on Oct 7, 2011. Click here to see the online version.

THERE IS A NEED FOR ECO-FRIENDLY BUILDINGS

When a large facility is built, it must have minimum impact on its surrounding environment.
Sandeep Kejriwal
, Chief Financial Officer, India Center of Excellence, EMC, speaks on what it means, in this chat with Deepti Ganapathy.

Why is the LEED certification important?

The LEED certification has become the authority on building environmentally-responsible properties. Its standards pertaining to materials,ventilation and energy conservation
sandeep1establish that a construction project is safe and healthy for the occupants and for the environment.

Considering how the site on which a building sits affects its surroundings is one of the most important considerations in the certification. The idea is to minimise the facility’s impact on its surrounding environment.Some examples of strategies LEED asks facility executives to consider include implementing strategies to limit light pollution, conserve energy, create more green space with plants and trees to counteract the heat island effect, retaining water to lessen the strain on sewer systems, and providing access to public transit and alternative transportation, thereby reducing parking capacity needs.

A building built, remodeled, or managed according to the standards of LEED is a clear sign of a company’s commitment to the environment.

How does this fit into your sustainability vision?

We are on a journey of environmental sustainability and our priorities are energy and climate change, material use and waste, and water. Being a GOLD LEED Certified building helps us stay focused on our efforts towards environmental commitment.

India COE was accredited with LEED India for Core and Shell Gold certification due to our continued and strengthened focus on and investment over the years in minimizing the impact of our operations on the environment. The LEED certification reinforces how we continue to adhere to the highest standards of safe, efficient and healthy workplace conditions for our employees and visitors.

Also, having our facility LEED-certified will help us make progress towards our environmental commitment by strengthening the practices already put in place and helps observe other environmental sustainability initiatives as well.

Given the pressure on Bangalore’s infrastructure, is it imperative for organisations to become self-sufficient?

The dramatic change in the urban landscape of Bangalore in the past few years has resulted in an even more dramatic change in the environment. The air pollution has risen while the number of vehicles on the roads has gone up multifold, the green cover of the city has dwindled around the same time. Many soaring glass and steel towers that dot the city now are not eco-friendly as they use artificial light and air-conditioning throughout the day. As the city’s infrastructure goes from bad to worse, it gives a clear picture of poor and overcrowded public transport,jam-packed roads, inadequate water and sewage systems, and uncollected solid waste. And because of the economic boom, resulting in a significant increase in urbanization, this situation is even at risk of worsening.

The most affected by these infrastructure woes are people living in the city. It is therefore important for organisations to take the requisite steps in offering a clean, efficient and environment-friendly workplace to employees and ensure minimal impact of their facility on its surrounding environment.

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