Overview & Green Initiatives





A comprehensive commissioning of all major mechanical systems and equipment was a prerequisite for LEED certification. This process was completed to ensure all systems were installed as designed and performing per specification.


Other green practices continue to be carried out by building personnel after certification, including the following:

  • Operations and Maintenance- system performance and indoor environmental conditions continuously monitored. 
  • Preventive Maintenance- implementation of a “best practices” property management program for building systems and equipment.
  • Optimizing Energy Performance- efficient operation which has achieved an Energy Star performance rating of 87.
  • Green Site and Exterior Maintenance -
  • Green Roof Maintenance- inspection and maintenance of vegetation that covers the roof.
  • Water Use- water use reduction is tracked through meter data.
  • Recycling- waste stream audit conducted and occupant waste reduction program in effect to divert/recycle 52% of the building waste stream. Programs are in effect for occupant, battery and construction waste recycling.
  • Thermal Comfort- mechanical systems operated and monitored to ensure compliance with applicable standards.
  • Indoor Air Quality- IAQ management program implemented.
  • Green Cleaning- low environmental impact cleaning policy implemented.
  • Pest Control- a low impact pest management program is in effect.
  • Ongoing tracking- records are compiled, performance and costs are documented and impacts are assessed as part of the overall management process and for purposes of having the building recertified in the future.

Green Initiatives


Green Tips

At Emerald Plaza we are committed to protecting and preserving our environment. Along with the green initiatives we have taken in the Building, we have provided tips and links to great websites that will aid in continuing the initiative in daily life here and at home.

  • Optimize the energy settings on computers and other electronic devices and make sure to shut them down at the end of the day.
  • Unplug printers, scanners and copiers that are only used occasionally.
  • Turn off all lights and any audio/visual equipment that are not being used.
  • Keep things digital and minimize the use of materials whenever possible, do not use unnecessary amounts of paper.
  • Implement the use of recycled materials including recycled paper whenever possible.
  • Bring lunch and use reusable containers which will avoid unnecessary waste but save costs too. If you order take-out join co-workers in large orders to minimize waste of small individual packaging.
  • Bring in mugs/glasses/utensils to reduce the use of paper/plastic goods.


Click on the links below for more Green Information:


Green Operations: Bicycle Parking/Storage

Commuting by bicycle to work is a great way to reduce auto emissions and reduce your carbon footprint along with increasing daily physical activity. To support these initiatives at 567 West Lake Street, a bicycle parking room is provided at the Jefferson Street entrance. Access to the bicycle parking room is available at no charge and is available on a first come first served basis. Please ensure your bike is securely locked for we are not responsible for any damage or loss due to theft. Come to the Management Office on the 2nd floor to fill out a bicycle registration form and receive a numbered sticker to put on your bicycle.

Click Here for Safe Biking Tips


Green Operations: Green Roof


The Chicago Transit Authority Headquarters has a vegetated green roof area covering 29,630 square feet or 91% of the total area at the top of the building. The green roof is composed of a number of layers that are installed on top the conventional membrane which prevents water from entering the building. The layers include a barrier to separate the vegetation from the membrane, a layer to capture and retain water, soil or a growing medium and the plants or vegetation.

  1. A green roof provides several benefits including the following:
  2. Reduces the urban heat island effect.
  3. Increases the life span of the roof membrane.
  4. Reduces storm water runoff.
  5. Lowers heating and cooling costs.
  6. Filters CO2 and pollutants out of the air.
  7. Filters pollutants out of rainwater.

Chicago's City Hall had one of the first modern green roofs in the United States. Since it was installed as an experiment in 2001, it has recorded temperatures on a hot day that are 25 to 80 degrees lower than on traditionally roofed buildings nearby. The City now encourages green roofs to combat urban heat island effect and improve the livability of Chicago.
The roof on the CTA Headquarters is designed to be virtually self-sustaining; although, it does need a small amount of maintenance – annual weeding and application of an organic slow-release fertilizer. The minimal maintenance expense is offset by savings in heating and cooling costs. The CTA’s green roof has a variety of plants – grasses, sedums and herbs – many of which are seasonally in bloom. Low maintenance means that the roof does not need to be mowed. Access by building employees is prohibited, but a tour can be arranged occasionally by calling 312-681-2030.


Green Operations: Recycling
567 W. Lake provides recycling services for general office paper, cans, plastic bottles, toner cartridges and batteries. Please call the Building Management office 312-681-2030 with any questions on recycling.


General Office Paper Recycling
Each desk has been provided a blue desk-side recycling container and each printer/fax area has a large blue recycling container for paper. Place all paper in blue desk-side recycling container provided or in designated containers located on your floor. The desk side containers are to be used for recycling paper only. Recycling materials will be collected nightly. Continue to use your black waste container for all non-recyclable refuse.  See list of acceptable and unacceptable materials below.


Recyclable Materials

Non-Recyclable Materials

  • White Paper
  • Colored Paper
  • Glossy Paper
  • Junk Mail
  • Magazines
  • All Envelopes
  • Newspaper
  • Brochures
  • Post-It Notes
  • Blue Prints
  • Manila Folders
  • Cardboard
  • Plastic Bottles
  • Aluminum Cans
  • Food
  • Waste                             
  • Tissue
  • Napkins & Paper
  • Towels
  • Toner Cartridges
  • Ring Binders
  • Plastic Bottles
  • Aluminum Cans
  • Waxed Paper
  • Food Wrappers
  • Overhead
  • Transparencies
  • Photographs
  • VHS & Cassette
  • Tapes
  • Plastic Coated
  • Paper
  • Glass

Paperclips, staples, rubber

bands, and envelope windows do not need to be removed.



Cans and Plastic Bottle Recycling

Recycling containers for cans and plastic bottles are provided in the pantries on each floor of the building and in the 2nd floor Break Room. Trash cans for all non-recyclable items are located in each pantry next to the sinks.

Battery Recycling

Employees are encouraged to recycle their used batteries from cellular phones, pagers, flashlights, cameras and other personal devices. Battery recycling containers are located in the east copier / printer centers on all floors. The battery recycling containers will be emptied by the janitorial staff periodically.

Printer, Fax and Toner Recycling

Place all used toner cartridges from the common printers and fax machines in the large recycling bin in the first floor service elevator vestibule for recycling.

Personal Printer Toner Recycling

 Place all used toner cartridges from personal printers in the small recycling bin in the first floor service elevator vestibule.

Copier Toner Recycling
Please return all used toner cartridges from the copiers to the large recycling bin in the first floor service elevator vestibule.


Plastic Bag Recycling
A receptacle is located in the break room on the 2nd floor and in the main lobby near the stairwell for recycling plastic bags.