Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI) says it is pursuing the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Existing Building (LEED-EB) certification for The Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

Further, the MMPI says it intends to enforce more comprehensive policies for those working under its roof in order to become an official green building. LEED certification is the nationally accepted benchmark for design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

LEED was developed to define and clarify the term “green building” by establishing a common standard of measurement, as well as recognize environmental leadership in the building industry while raising consumer awareness of the benefits of green building. LEED measures building performance in five key areas of environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

“The Mart as a building has always championed green initiatives because green means good business,” said Myron Maurer, senior vice president, MMPI. “Green buildings create a healthy workplace and ensure that generations to come will have the resources they need to thrive on this planet.”

Strategies and policies to be implemented at The Merchandise Mart include improved recycling programs, “green” product purchasing policy, IAQ management plan, car-sharing program, energy management plan, and more.

The Delta Institute is assisting MMPI as it aims for certification. The Delta Institute is a nonprofit organization formed in 1998 to develop and test fresh ideas for bringing about sustainable communities and integrating environmental protection with economic development.