Finland Continues to Take the Lead in Sustainability – Embassy in D.C. Awarded Platinum LEED Again!
The uniquely designed embassy building in Washington D.C. has been awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED® Platinum certification for the second time. In 2015, the Embassy of Finland was the first embassy in the U.S. to receive the prestigious Platinum level certificate from the United States Green Building Council.
Press release, 14th of August 2019
”I am very proud of my staff who show year after year personal and professional commitment to sustainable values. Climate change is the biggest worry in the minds of Finnish citizens, and this re-certification shows that small, daily solutions can have a concrete and long-lasting impact,” Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi says.
Finns have a deep connection to nature. Over 70 percent of Finland is covered by forest, which is more than in any other European country. The connection is also visible in the D.C. embassy building, designed by Finnish architects Mikko Heikkinen and Markku Komonen. They used local materials in the construction process, and utilized a lot of natural light, which provides an eye-catching backdrop for all the embassy events.
The Embassy building was inaugurated in 1994, when LEED certification didn't exist. For over 10 years, the embassy staff has worked hard to convert the building operations into what it is today – a green building of highest standards.
Green thinking affects all day-to-day actions of the embassy. In order to achieve the LEED Platinum certification, the embassy has continually maintained and upgraded its rigorous green practices, such as green purchasing and cleaning policy, environmental public outreach and upholding best-practices in sustainable maintenance.
Embassy of Finland Continues to Be a Pioneer in Sustainability
The Embassy was awarded the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star for superior energy efficiency in 2008. It was the first diplomatic mission in Washington D.C. to gain a gold-level LEED certification in 2010. In 2015, the embassy got the first Platinum in the U.S with 89 points.
This year, the embassy gained whopping 92 points in the second re-certification. It is rare that existing buildings receive this many points in a re-certification process. Only two buildings in the United States have earned more than 92 points in their Existing Building certifications.
• The U.S. Green Building Council created LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a green certification program for building design, construction, operations and maintenance
• LEED buildings save energy, water, resources, generate less waste and support human health
• LEED is based on prerequisites and credits that a project meets to achieve a certification level: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum
Striving for More Sustainable World, Leading by Example
Our journey to “double-platinum” reflects Finland’s strong commitment to environmental sustainability. The new Finnish Government aims to transform Finland into a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable society by 2030. Finland has set a target to become carbon neutral by 2035, and carbon-negative soon after that. We will do that by accelerating emissions reduction measures, and by strengthening carbon sinks.
Finland will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union until the end of this year. A key priority is to strengthen the EU´s position as a global leader in climate action. We need to see progress towards a strong EU long-term climate strategy, especially agreement on the 2050 net-zero emissions target.
Finland will continue to play an active role in international climate cooperation and will increase international climate financing.
More detailed information about LEED actions: Embassy of Finland LEED Fact sheet 2019
Official website of the certification: LEED
Press inquires: Satu Järveläinen, Communications and LEED Coordinator
satu.jarvelainen ( at ) formin.fi / +1 202 298 5821
The LEED® certification trademark is owned by the U.S. Green Building Council® and is used with permission.