While “speaking for the trees” may suggest only genuine altruism, it is not inconsistent with the idea of the triple bottom line: people, planet, profit. Sustainability initiatives have a positive impact on all three of these things and small changes can mean a big impact for more than just the environment.
By the end of 2011, the nearly 16,500 ENERGY STAR certified buildings across America helped to save nearly $2.3 billion in annual utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions from the annual energy use of more than 1.5 million homes. [See Data] In addition to the environmental benefits and cost-savings, ENERGY STAR and LEED certified buildings create more productive and healthy work environments for employees, give the building a competitive advantage in leasing and tenant retention, and create positive press and branding opportunities.
What the city is doing – Chicago LEEDs the way
Chicago is ranked #4 on the list of U.S. cities with the highest number of ENERGYSTAR certified buildings.
Sustainable Chicago 2015 Chicago has implemented Sustainable Chicago 2015, an initiative that seeks to create green jobs, upgrade infrastructure, and improve transportation, waste, and water programs by 2015.
Retrofit Chicago A component of Sustainable Chicago 2015 endorsed by the US Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, Retrofit Chicago offers energy efficiency approaches for both municipal and commercial buildings:
Municipal Buildings Chicago Infrastructure Trust is a public-private partnership which leverages private investment to fund municipal retrofit initiatives that will reduce energy costs by more than $20 million annually.
Commercial Buildings Large commercial spaces may voluntarily join the Commercial Buildings Initiative with a goal of reducing energy usage by 20% within 5 years.
What you can do
In conjunction with macro efforts to make buildings themselves more efficient, building owners and managers can help individual tenants to adopt impactful green habits. See the pictograph below for
a snapshot of some of those green habits. All MB Real Estate managed buildings have access to our Best Environmental Practices guide which offers information and tips on adopting green workplace policies. To get the comprehensive guide, contact Natalie Stanley at email@example.com.
Sustainability reporting is key to gain support for green programs and to publicize their success. An example of this is the recycling data below, which is sent out to MBRE tenants via building newsletters. The quantified visual representation of tenant efforts keep sustainability top-of-mind for tenants of MBRE managed buildings.
What we are doing – Our commitment to a greener workplace
MBRE employs 16 LEED certified professionals. MBRE manages 8 ENERGYSTAR certified buildings totaling 6 million square feet and 5 LEED certified buildings totaling 5.5 million swuare feet. MBRE managed buildings participate in both the municipal and commerical Retrofit Chicago programs. MBRE’s Sustainable Solutions Committee engages a task force of green-minded innovators to develop and implement internal and external eco-solutions.