Tag Archives: corporate sustainability

Decarbonizing real estate: Why businesses are on-board

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In the business world, a growing number of companies are recognizing climate change as a present or future risk. According to a report by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, 90 percent of the multi-national, blue chip companies on the Standard and Poor’s Global 100 Index identify climate change as a major risk to business. Their major concerns include damage to assets and facilities, failure of critical infrastructure, higher costs and disruption to supply and distribution chains. Resiliency is becoming a cornerstone of future-proofing businesses, as well as essential to remaining competitive.

The concept of resilience can be viewed through two lenses: mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation aims to curtail climate change by reducing or offsetting greenhouse gas emissions. Adaptation purposes to limit one’s own vulnerability to the impacts of climate change without necessarily addressing the underlying causes. The paradox with real estate is that climate change affects the resiliency of buildings just as buildings largely contribute to the problem of climate change. The building sector alone accounts for nearly 40 percent of carbon emissions in the U.S. per year.

Even as industry traditionally tends to favor less rather than more regulation, nevertheless some of the world’s largest corporations are pushing for more aggressive climate change mitigation through government policies and market mechanisms. In a “Business Manifesto” presented at Davos in 2015, for example, executives from Unilever, KPMG, Philips and others called for world leaders to design a new architecture for sustainable development based on transparency, accountability and market forces.… Read More

Financial and sustainability win — with wind

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JLL provides a renewable energy solution for Intuit’s Global HQ that is set to save $1 million in energy costs.

More than three decades ago, Intuit developed personal finance software to help families balance their budgets. Today Intuit’s mission is to power prosperity around the world. The company serves more than 42 million customers including consumers, small businesses and the self-employed. Within the company’s ecosystem of innovative financial management solutions, its flagship products include QuickBooks® and TurboTax®.

As Intuit has grown, its commitment to using the company’s position to being a good corporate citizen has remained. Being good stewards of the environment is at the core of the company’s values, and sustainability is considered in decision making company-wide.

In 2016, Intuit sought an offsite renewable energy solution to power the company’s global headquarters in Mountain View, California. With less than ten years remaining on the lease of the 188,000-square-foot Mountain View campus, Intuit wanted to obtain three megawatts of 100 percent renewable energy with a direct access contract that ensured a scheduled, known price — but without extending an agreement beyond the terms of their lease.

It was a unique case in the market. Most power purchase agreements are for longer terms — at least 15, and usually 20, years — and for larger energy purchases needed by locations that require considerably more power. Intuit’s request was highly unusual. While the lease term was too long for a typical direct access agreement, it was too short for a typical power purchase agreement. Most developers told them it was an impossible request to fulfill.

Intuit turned to JLL’s Clean Energy team to secure a cost-neutral solution that was all-inclusive from the point of electricity generation to the door of Intuit. … Read More

Sustainability is not a constraint – it is an opportunity

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As a global society, we have been grappling with sustainability for many years. It doesn’t help that the definition of the term is open to interpretation—and constantly changing. As individuals we each have different capacities and responsibilities, and to me, sustainability is about pooling our strengths to make a positive impact on the world we live in.

At JLL, our vision is to create spaces, buildings and cities where everyone can thrive. According to the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), buildings are responsible over 40 percent the world’s energy consumption and one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions.

It is clear, we have a lot of work to do. But rather than feeling overwhelmed, we can view this as a great opportunity. True, changing habits is not easy—especially at scale—but when you focus on the payoffs, it becomes a no brainer.

As outlined in JLL’s 2016 Global Sustainability Report, our sustainability services generated revenue of $27 million last year. We also helped US clients save an estimated 282 metric tons of CO2e, an equivalent of around $59 million in costs. That’s roughly the same as 29,000 homes’ worth of energy consumption.

Sustainability is not just about the environment. It is about resilient communities, and wellbeing on both the individual and societal level.… Read More

Earth Hour: Dimming commercial building lights for a brighter future

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03_eh-60-logo_stacked-clr_jpegEarth Hour is the largest grassroots movement focused on building awareness of climate change. The movement, which encourages people to limit their use of electricity for one hour, has empowered people around the globe to mobilize – in person and online – in support of fighting climate change. From its humble origins in 2007 as a one-city event in Sydney, the movement organized by the World Wildlife Fund has grown steadily each year, and spread to 178 countries across seven continents by 2016.

This year marks the eleventh annual Earth Hour celebration. On March 25 at 8:30 p.m. your local time, millions of people will turn off their lights for one hour to promote a more sustainable future for our planet. In more dramatic fashion, countries and organizations will show their support by turning off the lights on hundreds of historic landmarks and monuments. Last year the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, the Parthenon in Athens, and the Empire State Building all went dark for Earth Hour.

Earth Hour is an important reminder of the impact real estate has on the environment. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, commercial and residential buildings in the U.S. consume 39 percent of the country’s total energy consumption and account for 38 percent of carbon dioxide emissions – one of the primary greenhouse gases that cause global warming. In addition to increasing carbon emissions, the growth of our cities is causing harmful light pollution. A number of companies and cities that have participated in Earth Hour used the event as a launching pad for other energy management and sustainable efforts.… Read More

The best intentions do not a plan make: turn corporate sustainability goals into action

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Companies across all industry sectors are committing to develop corporate sustainability plans. It’s no secret that a corporate sustainability plan can improve operational efficiency, reduce environmental impact, increase employee satisfaction, attract top talent and strengthen brand loyalty. It also can provide your company a competitive advantage by increasing its overall value, therefore attracting wealthy investors.

Once your company has committed to establishing a corporate sustainability plan and received engagement from the organization, the next critical step is to implement strategies that will help your company meet its sustainability goals. With the multitude of sustainable strategies and reporting standards available, it can be difficult to narrow the options, focus on the right metrics, and implement the best tactics.

But it may be easier than you think. What our Energy and Sustainability Services (ESS) team has found in helping clients turn their sustainability vision into a reality is that by initiating the following strategies, you’ll be well on your way to meeting your sustainability goals.… Read More