Archive for April, 2010

Disclosure of Energy Performance in Australia

April 29, 2010

Posted by:
Anita Mitchell
Energy and Sustainability Services, Asia Pacific

A change is in the air in Australia after the introduction of the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Bill into Parliament on 18 March. The Bill aims to ensure that credible and meaningful energy efficiency information is given to prospective purchasers and lessees of large commercial office space.

The Bill requires owners and head lessees wishing to sell, lease or sublease commercial office space with a net lettable area of 2,000 sqm or more to disclose the following items prior to any transaction:

1. National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) Energy base building rating (similar to Energy Star in the US)
2. Tenancy lighting assessment
3. Energy efficiency guidance

This move by the Australian Government will add an unprecedented level of transparency to the commercial real estate market. Owners and occupiers will be able to see “at a glance” the energy performance of buildings. This adds even more incentive for owners to update building energy performance to maintain pace with the market.

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Helping Canadian Schools Get Greener!

April 28, 2010

Posted by
Simone Skopek
Energy and Sustainability Services, Canada

Jones Lang LaSalle is partnering with Canada’s largest school board to take a fresh approach to sustainability.

We want to cut carbon emissions of almost 600 Toronto schools by 40%. Faced with aging buildings, a limited budget and a large bureaucracy, this will be a 10-year challenge!

Unlike the typical approach, which is to develop a top-down high level strategy, we will instead do a holistic, integrated carbon reduction pilot project on eight to ten schools with the full engagement of head caretakers, principals, eco-school coordinators as well as facilities teams from the school board.

Carbon reduction strategies may include capital upgrades and solar energy for heating pools, but will largely focus on improving operations and a strengthening the current student “Ecoschool” program. As we work through each strategy in consultation with the stakeholders, many issues will bubble to the surface. Some of these may be technical; others may be financial or related to social challenges or organizational issues.  We will tackle them all.

The pilot projects will include numerous facilitated discussions with representatives at all levels of the organization. From our findings, we will extrapolate an overall strategy for the entire portfolio to meet the 40% reduction goal.

While there are bound to be many challenges, we are heartened by the enthusiasm we are already seeing for this bottom-up-meets-top-down approach to sustainability.

Who knows? Maybe other organizations will learn something from what the Toronto schools are doing.

The great sustainable printing controversy solved

April 26, 2010

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

If you printed out the sentence you are now reading, does it use more ink than it should? The answer is yes.

Several of our employees, in the true spirit of sustainable practices, suggested that we change our default printing font because they read that certain fonts save ink.  It sounds reasonable, so we started doing some research.  There is a lot of information on this subject, and a lot of it is contradictory.

So, we went to Xerox, who provides duplicating services for our corporate offices.  In 2009, they did a complete study on this issue.

Xerox tested 12-point Arial, Times Roman and EcoFont.  The results …Times Roman uses the least amount of ink.  This might seem surprising, but Xerox points out that different font print out in different lengths.  A sentence in Times Roman is 15% longer in Arial and 32% longer in EcoFont.

But, as Xerox also points out, font selection is just one factor in sustainable printing.  There are many things we can do to save ink and paper …

  • Print in “draft mode” whenever possible
  • Use two-sided printing
  • Do not use automatic banner pages
  • Use print preview to print only what you need to print
  • Use smaller font sizes wherever possible
  • Rely on electronic files and don’t print at all!

In the spirit of the last point, please don’t print this out at all. That saves the most ink and the most paper, and is the most sustainable solution of all.

Earth Day: Simple is Better

April 22, 2010

Dan Pufunt
Property Management

 

Today is Earth Day, and it’s a good time to think about the simple things that property managers can do or start thinking about to improve sustainability. Even the simpliest, smallest efforts add up and can create a healthier workplace, a healthier bottom line, and a healthier and more sustainable global community.

Here a ten ideas … some easy, all simple:

1.  Replace traditional base building light bulbs with high efficiency/low mercury lighting.
 2.  Install carbon dioxide detectors to ensure enough fresh air is circulating.
 3.  Don’t over-ventilate: It’s important to have enough fresh air, but outside air must be heated or cooled to inside temperatures, increasing energy use.
 4.  Follow a consistent schedule of checking and replacing filters.
 5.  Sub-meter equipment for better data on where energy is being used, so that when there is an unexpected rise in energy, the problem can be isolated more easily.
 6.  Use cleaning supplies and restroom paper products that meet EPA’s Environmentally Preferred Purchasing guidelines or are certified by organizations such as Green Seal  7.  Ensure that parking-lot lights are shielded to focus light on the ground instead into the sky or neighboring properties, avoiding light pollution.
 8.  Follow integrated pest management principles that pose the least risk to people and the environment at the most economical cost.
 9.  Utilize high-efficiency irrigation technologies.
 10. Work with municipalities to permit motion-sensitive lighting in emergency stairwells.

The key is to get started. Its never too late to be an environmentally responsible property manager!

“Why” Companies Should Care

April 22, 2010

Michael Jordan
Energy and Sustainability Services

The CoreNet Global Spring Summit, the biggest  corporate real estate gathering of the season,  just concluded. Many of the sessions explored typical CRE topics such as portfolio value creation, but in keeping with the Summit’s “Business Unusual” theme of innovation, many of the topics touched on—or at least reminded me of—sustainability.

Some sessions had sustainability baked in, such as the energy efficiency collaboration between Citi and the Clinton Climate Initiative, a discussion of to green your leases, and even leading-edge topics such as using biomimicry to inspire city development projects. The most enlightening session was Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” presentation, the gist of which was that clients and employees stay loyal to you when they connect with your “why,” as in, why you do business, why you exist. 

The single biggest area of innovation for corporate real estate departments is sustainability (including energy).  The corporate sector is driving incredible rates of innovation in this space and if CRE leaders can tap 25% of it, they can add much new value to their own story of company and customer support. We talk about the business case every day. But on Earth Day, let’s not forget that a sincere and consistent commitment to sustainability can also be a very powerful “why”.