A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of serving as a Judge for the AGC of DC’s Washington Contractor Awards. One of the awards passed out was for the most Sustainable Company. Until I reviewed the applications, I had no idea the extent of sustainability programs being undertaken by green building contractors.

A recent news item further highlights sustainable efforts being undertaken by contractors. Last week, Turner Construction announced that it has made a commitment to reduce the company’s carbon emissions by five percent over the next five years. In order to reduce carbon emissions, Turner plans on reducing electricity consumption in offices and reducing fuel consumption in company-owned and leased vehicles. In addition, Turner has an extensive resume as a green building contractor and sustainable company:

  • Completed 40 LEED certified projects and working on 65 LEED registered projects

  • Doubled number of LEED Accredited Professionals to 260 Implemented policy to divert construction waste on all projects

So why do I keep going on and on about Turner’s sustainability efforts? If you are a contractor diving into the green building industry, it is important that your company incorporate sustainable business practices as well. Otherwise, you could be accused of “greenwashing” and receive bad press:

"Greenwash is when somebody says that, ‘Oh, we have the greenest building in town,’ and they do not have the metrics to show that they’ve done something," he said. "We’ve coined it from ‘whitewash.’ " 

Turner Construction is a great example of a green building contractor that has also “walked the walk” and incorporated sustainable business practices. What are you doing to include sustainable business practices into your company?