Archive for March, 2010

Become a “fan” of A Cleaner Tomorrow

March 31, 2010

Michele DeLay
United States
Strategic Consulting

Many of our clients are implementing sustainability initiatives at their respective offices, which is fantastic. But the greatest program in the world will not be successful unless there is adoption by the intended audience – and many times for sustainability programs, the intended audience is the employee base at large.

So how can you connect with and engage the employees at your firm? One way is reaching out via a popular social network: Facebook. Jones Lang LaSalle is sponsoring a Facebook group, A Cleaner Tomorrow, which provides employees from both JLL and our clients to interact and share information in regard to sustainability.

This Facebook group is an open forum to post links, videos, and messages and generally offers you the opportunity to be a part of a group that is interested in sustainability both at work and at home. Posts to date have included conversations about LED lights, tips around consuming less water, a link to a David Letterman skit on composting, and pictures of “Gadgets we like”.

Although Facebook is an unconventional medium for communicating with our co-workers, because of its informality and because many employees already frequently use Facebook, it’s an easy way to disseminate information and engage employees in a non-threatening, inbox-saving way.

Click here to join, use your Facebook log-in and become a fan – it’s easy and it’s free.

Hope to see you online!

60 Ways To Help Save the Earth..in Only an Hour

March 25, 2010

Posted by:
Bob Best
Investor Services Lead
United States
Energy and Sustainability Services

Earth Hour, scheduled for 8:30 – 9:30 pm (local time) on Saturday, March 27, is more than a publicity stunt.  It’s a chance for all of us to take 60 short minutes to see what life would be like without electricity.  Around the  world people will turn off lights, radios, televisions and other appliances. 

Why?

For one hour, we can connect to people in every corner of our planet, showing how seriously we take sustainability.  

It’s also a great chance to live a little differently than we normally do.  What’s wrong with an hour that’s a little quieter, a little darker and a little less hectic?  Watch the stars.  Light a candle.  Relax.

Earth Hour is a good chance to disconnect from modern technology, and just appreciate one of our favorite planets.

Effective Data Center Strategy – Communication is Key

March 24, 2010

Posted By:
Lauralee Martin
LEED AP
Global Chief Financial Officer

In an earlier post, my colleague Tom Freeman, Managing Director, Mission Critical Solutions, set the stage for a recent executive exchange in Dallas titled, “Greening of IT and closing the communication gap between CFO’s and CIO’s,” that I participated in along with Kenneth Brill, founder of Uptime Institute and a panel of industry leaders in design and application of data center strategies. I’d like to share with you my key takeaways from that session.  

Demand for computer server space is greater than ever.  According to Kenneth Brill, the industry is adding a net 1M servers annually which equates to $12-$15 billion in construction value.  IT assets represent 50% of total fixed corporate assets and of that, data center facilities represent 50%.

Expenses are also higher than ever.  IT budgets are growing at 6% annually.  Facilities operating expense is 8% of the IT budget and growing at 20%.  Runaway data center costs will marginalize the IT operating expense availability for growth of the business and intensive data center users face meaningful reduced profitability.

What does this have to do with sustainability? Plenty. Energy is one of the primary areas where long-term costs can be controlled via location strategy, negotiation with local EDCs and even thoughtful design. And with C-level executives focused on costs, energy efficiency as a way to reduce costs while also meeting  carbon reduction goals which is becoming more important with the new SEC environmental reporting mandates. The connection between IT and sustainability is only growing stronger.

So how do we gain control and create a strategy for managing these assets and expenses?

CFOs need to pay attention to how data centers are being operated.  Due to the quick pace of change and complexity of issues, it is difficult at best to know where to begin.  We will never be experts, so we must learn to ask the right questions to change behaviors and get results.  Start the conversation with your CIO, data center managers and IT decision-makers by asking how data center strategy and overall IT sustainability programs affect costs, energy usage and how those numbers compare against industry benchmarks.

On the flip side, CIOs, data center managers and IT decision-makers must learn to communicate with CFOs in the language they understand.  Speak in terms of business performance, return on investment and provide trade-off alternatives.  Remember, the CFO is tasked with delivering growth to investors.  You must clearly outline the bottom line they need to make decisions appropriately.

Clear communication channels between key decision makers, opens the door for a successful data center strategy.

Did you know today is World Water Day?

March 22, 2010

Posted by:
Michael Jordan
United States
SVP of  Sustainability Strategy
Energy and Sustainability Services

Most of my clients have eco-efficiency goals in each of what I call “the big 3” – energy, waste, and water.  That said, the single issue that gets the most attention is energy, due to its obvious ties to carbon (climate change) and to cost savings.  Even when water has its own goal, many companies capture the energy saved from water conservation and go so far as to convert that to carbon and carbon footprint reduction.  Fully a third of California’s energy goes to moving water around the state.

Well today – World Water Day –  is a day where you can hold your head high for simply focusing on water.  World Water Day is about awareness of water quality supply and related health and economic issues.  In honor of this day, National Geographic has published a special issue on water with a series of wonderful photos showing the best that NatGeo has to offer.

In the corporate real estate ecosystem, water plays an important role in employee services, heating and cooling, landscaping.  Many of our clients who used to provide bottled water as part of food services in conference rooms and admin office have replaced that service with fountains and reusable containers.  (Note to employees – don’t take those reusable cups home!) Water-free or high-efficiency urinals can be very cost-effective solutions for your business.  Take a look at your water spigots in restrooms – are they using proper aerators? 

If you’re building a new building, you might consider on-site water treatment to save money on municipal services.  And don’t forget that run-off from parking lots is a direct impact on water quality.  Land conservation efforts that include retention ponds or other water-protective features make a difference for years to come.

Our suggestions for today include raising your own awareness of this important issue (check!), planning a water footprint exercise for your organization, and asking your facilities teams for their top water conservation suggestions.

Lessons Learned: Measuring our Carbon Footprint

March 17, 2010

Dan Probst - Jones Lang LaSallePosted by:
Dan Probst
Global Lead
United States
Energy and Sustainability Services

When we undertook calculating our carbon footprint last year, we faced the same challenges many companies face. For one, 100% of our portfolio is comprised of leased space in multi-tenant buildings making it difficult to access accurate energy consumption and utility data.  Secondly, we were seeking to measure energy use for our 258 corporate offices located around the globe.  This is challenging in part because of global variations in units of measurement and currencies.  So how did we tackle it?  Here are a few things we learned along the way:

–  Tapping a proven and recognized industry program like the GHG Protocol and the EPA’s Climate Leaders will help you easily define your scope and framework, add credibility and provide valuable benchmarking information. We used the EPA’s Climate Leaders’ guidelines for measuring emissions. The Climate Leaders’ guidelines do not account for the energy necessary to support our tenancy, but in an effort to be as accurate as possible, we chose to include an estimate for emissions from those buildings using the EPA’s ENERGY STAR’s national data. Not a perfect system, but a conscientious attempt to really understand our footprint. And as we move forward, we are exploring ways to make measurement even more accurate and to streamline the process.

– If majority of your portfolio is leased, the best possible set-up for measuring your emissions is to be directly billed by the utility.  However, this isn’t often an option Sub-metering certainly makes it easier.  Obviously, where we had sub-meters in place, we were able to better estimate our emissions. Another key is to have open communications with your landlord.  They should be able to provide at least the annual average of energy consumed per square foot for your building. While again not wholly accurate, this data is at least a decent estimate.  

– When trying to measure a global portfolio, having a portfolio management system which automatically converts different units of measure and currencies into a consistent framework is essential.  Fortunately, Jones Lang LaSalle’s Portfolio Energy & Environmental Reporting System (PEERS) does just this and was an invaluable tool in helping calculate our global impact. 

Aside from measuring and reducing our own footprint, we manage 1.4 billion square feet worldwide on behalf of our clients. Therefore, we know that the biggest impact we can have is actually helping our client’s reduce their emissions.  In 2008, our firm’s operations were responsible for about 44,000 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, and we helped clients reduce their carbon emissions by at least 438,000 metric tons. This 10-to-one ratio between those reductions and our total emissions as a company show that we’re on the right track. Even better, as we learn how to overcome the challenges of measuring our own carbon footprint, we enhance our ability to help clients measure theirs.