I passed my LEED Green Associate exam today. It’s really just the first step I took towards understanding sustainability a bit better. I started this whole journey with an interest in Six Sigma process improvement and its adoptability with technology development. From there, I sort of started an unhealthy obsession with changing the way we think about economics, human rights, and our environment. I had thought Six Sigma was the gold standard in reducing waste and improve efficiency, through a series of controlled steps. I apply the same to technology development, and the success of that project hangs in the balance.
Then I learned that LEED applies a similar integrated approach and uses a series of controlled steps as well. The maxims are the same with a different context and slightly different set of definitions. But the differences are entirely arbitrary and semantic. Beside, I couldn’t let pass another learning opportunity. I took an initiative to research LEED’s purpose and its rapid expansion. I loved what I learned and I wanted more. Right after my exams were over at the oppressing law school, I signed up for a LEED GA exam. But then I got side tracked on writing a paper competing for a spot on the law review; at the end of the day, I had a week to read all of the LEED materials, compose an outline, learn the critical stuff and understand how it works. I am ashamed to say, I passed the exam with a bare minimum understanding.
But that is okay. I know this is a right step for me and it’s intrinsically motivated. I will learn this stuff from the opportunities I will seek out to sharpen my skills. I think there are synergies between Six Sigma and LEED and I think my eventual law degree will prove helpful in looking to expand the opportunities of a holistic sustainability method that draws from both. I just hope I haven’t forgotten what I’ve learned as a philosophy student and I hope I know how to put the clock back together for us to make sense of our balance between consuming and conserving. At the moment, LEED does not address product designs or packaging. Six Sigma is wholly focused on industrial process improvement and the single bottom line. I hope to make a lego of process improvement for a triple bottom line.