The commercial real estate industry has been working hard to make the buildings that we build, manage or own more sustainable. That’s a good thing.
But, we are starting to see the next stage in this effort, where sustainability is less of a differentiator and more of an expectation. And, that’s a better thing.
We seem to be approaching that magical tipping point where a building has to be sustainable to even be competitive. We have come a long way.
Just look at the vast number of buildings going through energy-reduction programs, or getting sustainability certifications and ENERGY STAR ratings; even the number of professionals in our industry getting sustainability accreditations.
99 High Street is a building Jones Lang LaSalle manages in Boston for TIAA-CREF. We have worked very hard together to make it a sustainability leader. Yet, the marketing effort focuses on the advantages the building offers to tenants – not on its sustainability achievements. Take a look at this video link and you will see what I mean.
When we don’t need to put sustainability upfront anymore, as if it’s the crowning glory of a building, that’s when we have really arrived. By letting sustainability become “secondary,” we are beginning to acknowledge it’s simply the new standard.