Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Going green -- remember, it's good for business and bottom line

Let's forget all the politics here. As I have said before, green practices can have a positive impact on your bottom line. Ask Lee Scott, who says Wal-Mart isn't green but undertakes green practices to make more money.

Case in point: TIAA-CREF wants to reduce energy consumption by 10%. Is that green? Yup. But it can also improve the bottom line, which makes your properties more valuable. Now, as Ellen Sinreich (one of the go-to people in the biz) says acceptance is not universal, but everyone knows it is the way the industry is going.

So what would make the industry go green faster? Incentives. Some tenants will pay more to be in a green building but others will not. Mandates can also help (as Lisa Michelle Galley points out in SF, which is moving toward mandatory LEED), but I prefer carrots to sticks. Things like what Chicago is doing (some requirements, but expediting permits and the like which can be a HUGE plus) and other incentives would move developers in that direction. Then energy costs; well, that will probably come into play as well at current prices. Much as we don't like admitting it sometimes it is cash -- not feeling good -- that drives this market.


Violet said...

You make a good point, David. The bottom line is people will always be encouraged when there are incentives involved. I urge business owners to check out openeco.org. Businesses can plug in their energy consumption and compare them with other businesses within their industry in efforts to reduce their carbon footprints. Seeing the goals of others is often an incentive for me to achieve MY goals; perhaps this will work for others as well.