Wednesday, April 30, 2008

LEED Restaurant

Public consciousness of environmental issues seems to have increased substantially in recent years. An article from the Associated Press describes one entrepreneur in Minneapolis whose restaurant received LEED certification. Many would then ask, what does LEED stand for and how can a business receive this type of certification?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental design or LEED is related to sustainability of the environment through the way that businesses and restaurants are run. Behind this certification businesses have to change the way they might ordinarily do things. Restaurateur Kim Bartmann took steps to make her restaurant more environmentally friendly from the day they started building to they day she opened the doors for business.

It was designed and built to use about half the gas and electricity and 30 percent of the water of a typical restaurant its size. In addition, major elements of its interior were made from existing materials. Tables came from doors that were discarded from a nearby condo project, and the bar is made of Italian marble salvaged from a local hotel.

Not only did the construction of the restaurant take a sustainability approach, but the way that Bartmann continues to run the business follows the model of sustainability. Bartmann gets much of the food supplied in the restaurant from local vendors who are within a close proximity to the restaurant which seems to be a key element in sustainability. By getting the food locally and close to where it is produced, Bartmann will keep not just costs down, but also the restaurant’s impact on the environment surrounding it.

Could this type of restaurant become the new standard for growth and fro new businesses? It certainly seems possible if it can be supported by a market of eager entrepreneurs. If the bottom line is affected positively by running a business in this manner, then more people will do it.


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