Green Buildings = Green Bucks

Here is a great example of environmentalism that I support – the kind that increases the bottom line at the same time.

Toyota Motor Sales USA likes green the way Henry Ford liked black. Not that Toyota is offering customers a Camry "in any color they choose, as long as it's green" — the division's new Torrance, California, headquarters is one of the largest environmentally friendly building complexes in the United States.

Christened in April 2004, Toyota's new South Campus complex — 624,000 square feet of office space in two large buildings on 40 acres — was designed and constructed according to guidelines established by the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization promoting facilities that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to do business. Toyota USA's efforts earned it gold-level certification from the council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, its standard for a green building.

Profits and the environment don't have to be mutually exclusive. But, solving the problems to create a win/win is sometimes tough, so we tend to legislate or ignore problems rather than come up with creative solutions.