Is LEED Really Worth It??

Posted on behalf of Strandedman

This week, we touched on two main topics, Labeling and LEED. Although I did not have an epiphany this week, I did learn about topics I was not familiar with. Social and Eco-Labeling of Textile and Clothing Goods as a Means of Communication and Production Differentiation was a difficult read but had a multitude of valid points. The purpose Malgorzata Koszewska’s reading was to make the public aware of the problems going on in regards to labeling and some of the benefits and weaknesses associated with labeling. Being an Interior Merchandise student, I wasn’t aware of the industry issues affiliated with labeling, such as child employment, forced and slave labor, long working hours and dangerous working condition. Some of the most useful information for me came when Mrs. Koszewska spoke about the benefits and weaknesses of labeling. Some of the weaknesses that caught my attention were that labels only covers a limited number of consumer goods and how big of a problem counterfeited labeling is. I was watching ESPN the other day and a commercial came on with a number of NFL players speaking about the problem of counterfeited jerseys and how they are not credible if not purchased legitimately. Being a huge sports and sports apparel fan, I personally take pride in my authentic jerseys and think counterfeited merchandise is degrading to sports teams in general.

In class on Thursday, we watched “The Greening of Southie.” This was by far my favorite video we have watched because it showed real outspoken individuals speak on a topic that is not widely understood and respected. I personally did not know much about LEED and after watching this movie, I got a whole new understanding of LEED certified. Throughout watching this movie, I found myself asking “is LEED certified really worth it?” Companies spend thousands to millions of dollars to be LEED certified but it kind of contradicts itself because yes, they may be using green/Eco-friendly materials but the transportation costs to obtain these green materials reverses their whole approach. An interesting fact was stated during the movie and that was, buildings waste more energy during transportation than during the life of the building. I do think construction and interior design companies need to find new methods of constructing and designing to sustain a sustainable environment but those methods should focus more on getting supplies and materials locally instead of points to be LEED certified. LEED has elevated itself to such high standards that it could be harming itself rather than helping our communities. Overall, this week has been very informative but at the cost of picking my brain.


About Dr. Joyner Armstrong

Associate Professor, Oklahoma State University
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1 Response to Is LEED Really Worth It??

  1. Hi,
    I think counterfeited goods are hurting the economy as a whole, not just one specific sector or industry. But in the specific topic you mentioned, NFL merchandise, I may say this is one of the most difficult industries to play in, I have ever seen. The licensing process, is designed to favor just a few. Competitors are excluded and cannot participate within the sector. Hence, more and more knock offs are being sold around there and combining price, both make a perfect product to consume.
    I am not sure if the labeling incentive would be enough to stop playing dirty, at least is an attempt to do the right, I guess. However, the lack of knowledge from the consumer perspective, is the biggest challenge to overcome. The Less people are aware and inform about sustainability issues; the vast majority, > 90 % of the world population, have no idea about it or are careless. I think, coming from a developing country and having several experiences in this particular issue, makes me understand why people don’t care about issues like labeling or counterfeited goods. Their main arguments, and I don’t blame them, is that they have a huge need to survive [anyway/anyhow]. Even if that means reproducing counterfeited goods, or understated labeling, or polluting. Visualizing Maslow’s hierarchy theory, these people have not even cover their basic needs, whereas minorities are now thinking on self-actualizing themselves.
    Hence, these minorities advocate for programs such as LEED which it seems is not helping that much to our environment, but yes the pockets of some. Again, we, consumers, are responsible to a large degree of these problems [lack of strong labeling program from companies and initiatives such a LEED] that are hurting the triple bottom line.

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