Green…or Greenwashing?

When I was a little kid, I was a tree-hugger. Literally. My mother recalls that at age four, I occasionally wrapped my small arms as far as they could go around my favorite tree in the backyard.

As the years went on, I became enamored with recycling in elementary school, energy efficiency in high school, and building reuse in my college architectural classes. Now, with “green” as the buzzword heard on every TV channel and seen in every store, you’d think I’d be in my glory.

But, while I appreciate that the consumer’s interest in sustainability is gaining momentum, I can’t help but to feel disillusioned by the plethora of claims by companies who say, through loud advertisements, that their product is somehow good for the environment. “Eco-friendly” bottles of water and “natural” disposable diapers? Most people recognize that many of the advertisements are simply “greenwashing” the products; companies are intentionally misleading the consumer so that people feel good about what they buy.

While this phenomenon is certainly happening in the stores you frequent, it is perhaps less recognizable in the building industry. As an architectural designer in the Brand Architecture group, I see advertisements for building products claiming to be environmentally-friendly on an almost daily basis, many of which fall short of being truly sustainable. Likewise, while many buildings are labeled by their designers or owners as “green”, there is often little evidence to substantiate their claims.

So how do you demonstrate that your company is truly sustainable and make your building really stand out in a sea of not-so-green competitors? It takes some experience, and LDG’s multi-disciplinary team has knowledgeable professionals who can help. Through our services, your brand can demonstrate a true, meaningful commitment to sustainability through building design. In addition, LDG offers services to help your building achieve a green building certification so that the world can see that you mean business. Contact me at for more information.

The best part? Buildings with true energy savings, water efficiency, and resource management don’t have to cost any more than the ones you already build. Really.

Makes you wonder why you’d put any effort towards faking it.

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