Sustainability practices taking hold in CRE

Author Chris Baker Read bio
Tags: sustainability
Date: November 13, 2020

Sustainability is primarily created for the protection of society, for the economy, and ultimately – the protection of our environment. It’s principles are informally used to create long-term profit and support the health of the tenants of our planet.

The rise in the importance of sustainability practices taken in commercial real estate is essential for a number of reasons. Firstly, real estate is a notable consumer of our planet’s largest resources, and the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, consuming a third of our water and generating more than 40% of waste.

Although sustainability is a big part of contemporary living, there is always space for improvements, especially when unexpected things happen, such as our current pandemic situation, and all of the sustainability practices we have been practicing come to light. 

Also, conducting sustainable practices to protect the planet, can also reduce costs for you as a landlord and benefit your brand image!

Green buildings in the right locations

Green-minded companies are today building a future for the next generations. As one of the tools to successfully incorporate green, eco friendly, and ultimately – sustainable features people started gravitating towards LEED-certified technicians, designers, architects, and real estate leaders.

Although LEED-certified buildings are a smart choice for long term health improvement and business, rental rates or buying a property may be slightly higher, due to increased demand for space and the usage of higher quality materials. On the other hand, tenants often see offsets in the form of dramatic reductions in utility costs

If you are looking to find a LEED-certified building with space available, choose newer buildings, as they tend to be more efficient. Companies that have the benefit of location flexibility typically require less energy to cool than to heat.

Green field and a building

Trusting a real estate broker for negotiating

Tracking down the greenest space possible may be time-consuming for someone that is not yet familiar with the sustainability practices taking hold in CRE. Considering the creation of a sustainability broker team to research and evaluate properties implies as one of the best ideas.

Enlisting the IPG Group as a  tenant rep broker team, you get a partner who understands that sustainability is a top priority for your company! Brokers are often able to get you spaces that you otherwise would never be able to discover or see on your own. Landlords cover the broker fees, so working with one won’t increase the costs for you.

Encouraging green behavior and making green improvements

Fostering environmental responsibility and getting your entire company on board with your green efforts is the greatest part of your role in the sustainability practice within real estate.

Brainstorming ideas to cut down on energy use, and making an effort to turn lights off when not in use or switch off their office lights on sunny days are initiatives that give a large portion of improvements after a short period of time. 

Consider incentives for employees with bikes or encourage the use of public transportation to come to work and shrink the size of your company’s eco-footprint. Paying to make such improvements can make your space more eco friendly.

Switching to LED fixtures, installing economical plumbing fixtures, and using energy-saving computers and office equipment have the potential to repay for themselves over time.

They should protect and restore the natural environmental values of their bio-regions and promote infrastructure, transport, and buildings that reduce their ecological footprint. The more the company collaborates with its employees to help and meet their sustainability goals, the efforts won’t be futile or ineffective.

Data tracking for long term success

Sometimes, it can be challenging to know how far and well your sustainability efforts have gone. Get your landlord to share energy data with you on a monthly (or quarterly) basis. This way you can keep track of the success of your projects and ultimately report them to your team.

Commercial real estate owners have begun to implement (and report) sustainability, collaborating with stakeholders such as tenants, investors, and even the government. However, we believe sustainability adoption tends to get narrowed (either in terms of energy, water, waste sustainability) or localized to specific properties in the portfolio

Creating sustainable communities is not possible without the leadership and strong governance that is transparent, accountable, and adaptable! This way you enable active partnerships to build capacity and achieve a vision and deliver benefit.