Archive for July, 2010

Engaging Tenants in Recycling

July 29, 2010

Bob BestPosted by:
Bob Best
Energy and Sustainability Services

It seems like every couple of months another Jones Lang LaSalle property is recognized for market-leading sustainability efforts. Recently, Leigh-Ann McMahon Moody, the General Manager at The Clark Building in Bethesda, Maryland, received an award for Outstanding Achievement in Recycling for an Individual.

Montgomery County recognizes individuals and building management teams who develop strong recycling programs, including engaging tenants in the process through education and assistance. In 2009, the entire property team at The Clark Building won Outstanding Achievement in Recycling for a Business, so Leigh-Ann—a BOMA-designated Real Property Administrator and a LEED Green Associate—is now a two-time winner. She has been working with the County to increase recycling as a way to divert waste from the landfills.

Elements of the program include:

  • Twice-yearly lobby events, including a Montgomery County Recycling executive, to answer tenants’ questions about business and residential recycling and to provide tenants with recycled-material tote bags with the building logo.
  • Desk-side bins provided by the County reminding tenants to actively participate in recycling. 
  • Electronics recycling events for the tenants to dispose of discarded cell phones, tape recorders and other devices. One event diverted 5,077 lbs. of electronic waste from landfills.
  • A “community shred” event allowing tenants’ employees to safely dispose of old household bills, credit card receipts and other confidential or sensitive documents. 2,395 lbs. (1.2 tons) of personal paper was recycled at this event.

Leigh-Ann reports that the reduction in the waste stream at the building has not only earned recognition and enhanced the buildings appeal with tenants, but also helped her team save a little money on hauling costs. While small, that cost savings opportunity is passed through to tenants as well.

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White House Taps JLL on Retrofits

July 28, 2010

Posted by:
Kenyattah A. Robinson
Vice President, Public Institutions

As interest in U.S. energy policy has moved beyond climate change to include national security and job creation, the conversation surrounding building energy retrofits has attracted interest from the highest levels of the Obama Administration.

At a White House forum on clean energy and sustainable buildings last week, Herman Bulls, CEO of Public Institutions at Jones Lang LaSalle, explained how federal policy can continue to stimulate the retrofit market.

Attendees included Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA), Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, as well as GSA’s Commissioner of Public Buildings, the newly-created Chief Greening Officer and Director of the Office of High-Performance Federal Green Buildings.

Along with co-panelists that included President and CEO of Hannon Armstrong and the Executive Vice President of Hines (another founding member of the Greenprint Foundation), Herman discussed ways the Federal government could help jump-start the financing of public and private commercial energy retrofit projects. The event provided a unique opportunity for leading companies such as Jones Lang LaSalle to share innovative approaches and best practices.

Herman pointed to greater transparency through mandatory reporting and disclosure requirements; common regulatory standards for “green” buildings; and targeted economic incentives such as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs already implemented in 22 states and the District of Columbia, as ways that federal policy can drive the private sector to consider retrofits and provide some of the tools to do so.

As a member of the planning committee for GovEnergy, a group that leverages private-sector energy expertise when training federal employees, my attendance at Herman‘s White House appearance provided an opportunity to strengthen the integration between policy and practice. It was the second time I was able to visit the White House with Herman; in July 2009, I accompanied him on an exclusive meeting with Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama, to discuss the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

Watch the video from The White House Clean Energy Economy Forum on Federal Leadership and Sustainable Building.

BRIC countries’ approaches to building green

July 19, 2010

Dan Probst - Jones Lang LaSalle

Posted by:
Dan Probst
Energy and Sustainability Services

A recent article on green buildings in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), highlighted in our most recent Global Sustainability Perspectives poses some interesting mindsets of how other countries are embracing sustainability.

  • India’s total inventory of LEED certified buildings has grown from 20,000 square feet in 2004 to 23 million square feet in 2009, as is expect to reach 45 million square feet by 2012. India has pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 20 to 25 percent from 2005 to 2020.
  • Despite having some of the world’s largest deposits of oil and other fossil fuels, Russia has adopted an energy strategy aimed at increasing renewable energy sources such as solar, tidal and wind power to 38 percent of all it power needs by 2030; however, the same plan envisages no major action on renewable energy until 2022.
  • In Brazil, a high proportion of energy is generated through hydropower, so there isn’t pressure to reduce carbon emissions through energy efficiency measures, but land use, waste and other aspects of sustainability are important.

It seems every country has a unique approach to addressing climate change and other environmental issues.

Colleges pushing green to pull in students

July 12, 2010

Bob BestPosted by:
Bob Best
Energy and Sustainability Services

I was at a seminar recently where Dr. Mark Ratner talked about Northwestern University’s efforts to embrace sustainability throughout its operations.  One of the most interesting points he made was less about the “what” and more about the “why”. Northwestern has discovered that students are extremely interested in the University’s green activities and their sustainability program is designed, in part, to help attract students to the school.

In a USA Today article that I recently read, Trevor Hughes points out that the trend is stretching to other educational institutions throughout the country. “From tours of energy-efficient buildings to discussions about recycling rates and solar panels, universities and colleges across the country are increasingly putting on the green to attract students who are serious about environmental issues,” Hughes writes.

In fact, Hughes goes on to point out that the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s survey of sustainability activities showed that 69% of colleges are now including sustainability messages in their recruiting materials versus 27% in 2009.

It’s even more interesting to consider how this all affects the workplace, as these students graduate and look for employment.   It’s a good bet that this growing population of students are seeking for similar attributes in the companies that they join and the buildings in which they work.

Save energy by submetering commercial space

July 6, 2010

Posted by:
Jean Savitsky
Energy and Sustainability Services

An owner of apartment buildings in New York City reduced energy usage at five properties by 26 percent—a total of 8 million kilowatt-hours per year—simply by installing sub-meters in units and charging the cost directly to renters.

Click here to read the full article reported by Multi-Housing News.

This is just the latest evidence that submetering electricity and other utilities results in lower usage. That’s why submetering is part of the energy-reduction strategy being implemented at the Empire State Building, and why the New York City Council in 2009 approved legislation requiring commercial tenant spaces over 10,000 to be submetered by 2025.