Increasingly, commercial building owners across the world are becoming more preoccupied with cutting down operational costs and reducing their environmental footprint. As a result, interest in LEED (The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification continues to grow, as it provides buildings owners and operators with the tools they need to obtain an immediate and measurable impact on their establishment’s performance.
LEED recognizes performance in five essential areas of human and environmental health:
- Sustainable site development
- Energy efficiency
- Water savings
- Materials selection
- Indoor environmental quality
Of these five key areas, two – sustainable site development and indoor environmental quality – are directly influenced by your indoor and outdoor pest control efforts, and implementing an effective IPM program can speed up your way towards valuable LEED points
How Does IPM Fit in with LEED Certification?
Defined in accordance with LEED guidelines, an IPM program is an environmentally responsible pest management approach that integrates preventative methods and non-chemical solutions to effectively and proactively manage pest problems and minimize the hazards to people, the premises, and the environment. In contrast to traditional pest control approaches that focus only on the application of chemicals to remove existing populations, an IPM approach
emphasizes proactive solutions such as ongoing sanitation and facility maintenance to eliminate not only existing infestations, but also the conditions (water, food, and shelter) that have led pests inside in the first place.
Specifically, the elements of an effective IPM program that can obtain a building LEED certification must:
- Protect the building’s occupants and bring environmental benefits beyond the minimum required by using least-toxic pesticides. According to the U.S. Environmental Agency, these include: boric acid, silica gels, nonvolatile insect and rodent baits, diatomaceous earth, microbe-based insecticides, and biological control methods.
- Incorporate integrated pest management methods to identify, eliminate, and prevent pest harborage inside the food facility. Chemicals should be used in targeted locations sparingly and with great precision for targeted species only.
- Carry out trend analyses and routine inspections to monitor pest populations and identify areas in the IPM program that need improvement.
- Define the circumstances in which an emergency application of pesticides is needed and the manner in which it will be conducted. Notify tenants at least 72 hours in advance in normal circumstances and 24 hours in advance in emergencies before applying pesticides that aren’t included in the “least-toxic” category.
What Are the Benefits of Obtaining LEED Certification?
Becoming LEED-certified has tremendous benefits
, not only for the environment, but also for commercial businesses’ bottom line. Specifically, green buildings are able to:
- Decrease operational costs
- Improve air and water quality
- Increase employee productivity and retention rates
- Improve employee health and quality of life
- Conserve natural resources and decrease the impact on the environment
Pest management is a relatively straightforward way for any commercial property to obtain LEED certification, but it’s crucial to have on your side a pest management provider
who has extensive experience in IPM and a deep understanding of green pest management.
By working with a professional pest management provider familiarized with LEED IPM standards (which are more complex than standard IPM), you will be able to reduce the need for toxic pesticides inside your facility, improve your establishment’s environmental performance, and also enhance your reputation as a green building. To find out more about the role of pest management in LEED certification, contact your local commercial pest control professional
and request a free consultation.
About the Author
Daniel Mackie, co-owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert well-known as an industry go-to guy, an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions, and is a regular guest on HGTV. Mackie, along with business partner Sandy Costa, were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.