This is Why Sustainability is Commercial Real Estate’s Top Opportunity

August 8, 2019 2 Minute Read

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As businesses seek out ways to reduce their carbon footprint and increase their resilience, they’re also finding ways to grow their bottom line by leveraging their commercial real estate.

As businesses move to address their contribution to climate change, they are becoming aware that commercial and industrial buildings account for a sobering 40% of the world’s energy consumption.

What is resilience?

It’s a stat the commercial real estate industry can’t ignore – but increasingly, there’s more than just a moral imperative to go green.

The business case for sustainable building construction and operation has never been stronger, as more investors, owners and tenants pursue environmentally-friendly strategies which lead to lower operating costs and stronger property values.

With over 78.0% of S&P 500 companies issuing a sustainability report in 2018, green requirements are here to stay. Whether you’re able to leverage them to increase your bottom line depends on how much information you have, and what you’re willing to do with it.

Sustainability rooftop garden

The Case for Going Green

Over the past decade, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification has become the international standard for environmentally-sound commercial buildings.

While the certification is a marker of environmental responsibility, there is plenty of money to be made when developers, owners and tenants prioritize green building standards.

Investors are attracted to the risk mitigation of a sustainable building, as the concept of resilient investment – property developed to resist the impacts of climate change – gains traction.

Owners benefit from the use of sustainable building features, such as smart HVAC systems and LED lights, which reduce costs and increase profit. Spaces with environmentally-friendly features attract high-quality tenants, increasing a building’s prestige and desirability.

Those same tenants can reduce their carbon footprint and build a greener brand, potentially positioning themselves on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, FTSE4Good and the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark.

Sustainability construction planning

Taking the First Step

Of course, knowing the importance of sustainability and putting it into practice are two different things.

Different solutions exist for different businesses. CBRE’s Global Workplace Solutions (GWS) works with innovative companies to create workplace strategies that save time and money, while prioritizing sustainable building operations.

For companies looking to improve their workplace performance while reducing their carbon footprint, CBRE’s Workplace Strategy services offers advice on how to increase office sustainability and efficiency at the same time.

Whatever your business, there are countless ways to incorporate sustainability into your real estate strategy – you just need the right partner to find the solution that’s right for you, the environment and your bottom line.

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