"Greenwashing" is one of those words I just love to use. It is all about those who try to make whatever they are selling seem more environmentally friendly.
We see it everywhere. Clothing companies are doing it. Laundry detergent makers are using it. Oil companies are selling it. And even automakers are touting what percentage of their vehicles is "recyclable," although it doesn't mean it will be (recycled)!
I mentioned in a recent column that I am getting into the subdivision building business here in Fayetteville, Ark. We have done redevelopment for years – something I always considered was green because we were saving something old instead of throwing it all away – but we never pursued any kind of LEED certification on it.
Thanks to the power of marketing, the upscale, highly educated buyer audience we serve wants to live in something they consider green. Therefore, our standard spec for our new houses is LEED Silver or better.
I noticed that if my site plans were prepared by a "registered professional," we got a point on our LEED checklist. My LEED consultants asked if my wife (who has a five-year landscape architecture degree) was registered and I said, "No, but the civil engineer who did the site plans and drainage is a licensed professional engineer." They had to check to see if that was OK.
I was shocked.
I told these guys that while I think the world of landscape architects, in my experience, civil engineers are who you want doing your grading and drainage plans. You are, after all, schooled in it!
When it comes to green, civil engineers know more about green than anyone else. It has to bode well for the future of the profession, as environmental consciousness is far more than just regulatory driven these days.
We hope you enjoy the June issue of CE News! It has been brought to you by – and features – some of the most passionate people you will find anywhere in any field, unified by a desire to improve the quality of life for all of us! Thanks for reading.
Mark C. Zweig