Mexico joins the LEED Earth campaign with CÍVITA’s LEED v4.1 Platinum certification

Genesee Kortick
June 15, 2021

Located in Guadalajara, Mexico, the CÍVITA offices became the first project in the country to achieve LEED v4.1 Platinum certification, and the first in the world to achieve LEED v4.1 O+M: Interiors Platinum certification.

LEED Earth is a campaign that offers certification at no cost to the first project and first LEED v4 or v4.1 Platinum project to earn LEED in the countries where the rating system is still emerging. Through these projects’ leadership, they bring more sustainable and thoughtful construction in emerging markets.

And CÍVITA is no stranger to sustainability. The sustainability consulting firm, located in Guadalajara, Mexico, focuses mainly on sustainable development and works closely with LEED. In fact, they have assisted in over 70 LEED projects! Their mission is to help create healthy and environmentally responsible spaces. 

CÍVITA used their LEED expertise to become the first project in the world to achieve LEED v4.1 O+M: Interiors Platinum certification. Tracking their building data in the Arc performance platform, CÍVITA was able to fully grasp their building’s potential. With the knowledge gleaned from Arc, they began to pursue LEED certification through few improvements, many of which presented little or no cost to the company.

Improvements included efficiency advancements in cleaning, dishwashing, and waste management. They even started composting organic waste! They also made strides to improve indoor environmental quality by changing the layout of their office to maximize efficiency and employee comfort, installing glare control devices, and moving employees around based on preferences. For water usage monitoring, they installed a water submeter. Lastly, they implemented green purchasing and cleaning policies to ensure sustainability of practices. 

Office environment. Highlights natural light, communal atmosphere, and visible green space. 

CÍVITA’s success is also largely due to engaging their team. They firstly created an Operations and Maintenance Plan, giving each person a task to complete related to building sustainability. Further, through their educational program, they were able to show their team everything they had accomplished as a company. This helped generate excitement and hope that a difference can be made through our actions. 

To better understand specific feats that CÍVITA has achieved, we can explore the ways in which they have excelled in each of the LEED categories:

  • Transportation: The CÍVITA office is conveniently located near public transportation and has bike racks. With additional costs for parking cars, more environmentally friendly options are favored.
  • Water: In terms of water usage, installation of efficient flush and flow fixtures allowed CÍVITA to reduce their consumption of potable water by 53%. Additionally, they were able to reduce water consumption devoted to watering plants by 50%, as well.
  • Waste: 85% of their waste is kept from landfills and 91% of all organic waste is composted. A more detailed waste management and purchasing policy was also established to better address waste.
  • Energy: Because of the climate in Guadalajara, natural lighting and ventilation can be used in the place of energy. This means that emissions are reduced, and energy use is low. Also, recently installed solar panels are helping CÍVITA to achieve cleaner energy.
  • Indoor Environment: In terms of work environment, CÍVITA has considered employee preferences, as well as provided natural light and excellent indoor air quality.

Green Space located on the roof of CÍVITA’s Guadalajara Office.

Even with these impressive improvements, CÍVITA isn’t resting on its laurels. As of 2019, they had set goals to reduce water consumption and sustain the rate of waste diversion. Further, they hope to achieve net zero energy, installing a solar energy system to work towards this goal. CÍVITA’s goals and accomplishments can serve as an example for others, as they transition to a more sustainable future.

LEED Earth offers projects in countries where LEED is still emerging a chance to become that pioneer. As USGBC works towards bringing the environmental and human health benefits of green buildings to all, LEED Earth recipients put that into practice across the world by building spaces that raise the quality of life for their occupants. Check to see if your own nation is eligible to get started today.