By developing and implementing eco-strategies into your corporate real estate lease, building owners and tenants have the power to improve their work environment while minimizing its environmental impact. There are so many benefits to going green - as numerous studies and case studies demonstrate - including greening your bottom line.
- Reduced Green House Gas Emissions. With building remodeling and ongoing day-to-day operations being the number one cause of global warming, green leasing can help building owners and tenants reduce their CO2 output. With over 75% of our existing building stock projected for remodeling in the next 40 years, the potential to drastically reduce our energy use is vast, and necessary.
- Reduced Environmental Impacts. From the raw material resources that come out of the ground, to the rich forests that we log, to the waterways that we dam, each and every building product and material that flows into our offices has an environmental impact. Couple the energy used to extract those resources, we then ship, process, treat, package, ship, unwrap, use and then throw away those precious resources. Green leasing can help us use less materials and resources in the first place and can help us select environmentally preferable options and verify that our waste is recycled, composted and kept out of landfill.
- Healthier for Occupants. Most, if not all, of the building materials and day-to-day products that surround us in our lives have a toxic burden. Whether through manufacturing of the product or continuous off-gassing, our products host toxins, many of which are known human carcinogens. Reducing our exposure to these toxins, or eliminating them all together is healthier for occupants and reduces sick building syndrome.
- Enhanced Productivity. Green spaces are also light filled, healthy and often bells-and-whistles types of workspaces. With a direct visual connection to the outdoors (biophilia), its no wonder that numerous studies show less sick days and higher test scores in green schools, higher sales numbers in green retail and higher retention rates in green offices. Even a 1% annual productivity gain can offset the first cost of green remodeling features when you factor in the greatest factor of doing successful business – happy, healthy, long term employees.
- Money in Your Pocket Every Month. Simple energy and water improvements and retrofits can save a lot of money over time, which equals financial performance for building owners and tenants alike. Whether it be as simple as adding a programmable thermostat (a one-time investment starting at $25) that turns the temperature down over night, to adding a low flow aerator (0.5 gallons per minute, versus the water hogging 2.5 gallons per minute conventional faucet) to the faucet for $4, thousands of kilowatt hours and gallons of water saved can translate into big bucks.
- Demonstrated Corporate Social Responsibility. Yes, I know, it’s the catch phrase of 2000. But, Corporate Social Responsibility is here to stay. And what better way to demonstrate your leadership than by walking your talk in green facilities. It’s no longer enough to be a good employer; companies need to be good neighbors in the larger community also.
- Tax Benefits and Incentives. Few people know it, but there are numerous tax benefits and incentives available for saving energy and water and living, working, playing and learning in better buildings. Changing windows, installing efficient and/or renewable technologies, retrofitting those water hog toilets are all eligible for benjamins from Uncle Sam. DSIRE is the comprehensive listing, state by state, of government incentives currently available.
- Branding and Green Marketing. Enhancing your credibility in the market place can help building owners and tenants win more business and reposition your organization as a trend-setter in a rebranding and green marketing effort.
- Positive Stakeholder Relationships. Your staff and your stakeholders will appreciate your green efforts, especially since you have a fabulous green marketing campaign to report on your good works. With green leadership, your customers can feel confidence in your brand, and the value of your goods and services will skyrocket. What better way to establish leadership and do good in the world. A well articulated mission statement that includes real estate choices will help reflect and advance your mission and your relationships with your customers, vendors, suppliers – and that is good for business.