Go Green or Go Home

GoGreenWhen was the last time you left your lights on in your bathroom? If you are anything like me, it was just this morning. Honestly, it happens more than I’d like to admit. Saving energy is not something I often think about, but since its Earth Week, I find myself being more concerned about the matter.  Not only does it cost money, but it contributes to the looming threat of climate change and everything that comes along with that.

If what one person does really makes a difference, think about the difference that is made when an entire industry is on board. Buildings play a critical role in reducing climate change, so in the property management industry, it is of the utmost importance to take every step possible in order to make buildings more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

According to the GRESB 2015 Global Report, the real estate sector is on the right track, integrating environmental, social, and governance considerations into policies and strategies, which include energy and water efficiency programs. The report found that organizational policies have changed in the following ways:

  • Increased environmental policies addressing climate/climate change: 54% from 48%
  • Increased environmental policies addressing resilience: 35%
  • Climate change risk assessments for standing investments: 46% from 35%

The report also found many efforts being made to reduce energy consumption, water conservation, and waste management. Companies have been doing the following:

  • Installation of high-efficiency equipment
  • Building energy management
  • Systems commissioning
  • Installation of high-efficiency fixtures
  • Re-use of grey-water
  • New construction measures to improve water efficiency

In addition to the advantages environmentally, the benefits to the property owner are not to be overlooked. By going green in your business, you can significantly lower your operating costs. LEED recommends doing the following for cutting costs in your buildings and facilities:

  1. Measure and analyze your building’s energy use
  2. Measure your capital avoidance/life-cycle costs
  3. Revise your maintenance methods

It is also worth mentioning that it is becoming more and more important to the consumer to live or work in a green building. We’ve seen the demand for new trends like smart homes, luxury homes, etc., but for the growing number of environmentally savvy buyers/renters, eco-friendly buildings offer features that won’t go out of style.

For more information about being more energy efficient and environmentally friendly, head over to http://www.leed.net/ or http://www.usgbc.org/home.

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