Tag Archives: sustainability

Real estate’s role in developing smart cities

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Cities are expanding at an unprecedented rate and so is their complexity. By 2050 the world will be populated by an estimated nine-billion people. Seventy percent of people will live in urban areas, many of them in new towns and mega-cities.

In order to be competitive, cities will need to be sustainable, have good transportation systems, and have high-density, mixed-use and efficient infrastructure with low carbon emissions. To support their vast urban populations, cities will increasingly rely on smart infrastructure to efficiently deliver vital services, such as power, water, public transit, distribution of goods and services, waste management and security.

The Smart Cities Council defines smart cities as those that have “digital technology embedded across all city functions,” while the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers describes them as “bringing together technology, government and society” across the economy, mobility, environment, people, living and governance.

There are several reasons that smart cities should be of interest to developers, long-term investors and corporate real estate professionals. Perhaps the most obvious is that smart, sustainable cities command higher land and property values, which attract large-scale investors.

However, the real estate industry needs to understand that the buildings sector plays a huge role in helping to make cities smart. That is because the key to smart cities is data analytics – an important element of which relates to the millions of buildings and the huge masses of population that they accommodate. To gain maximum value from owning or managing assets in a smart city, the real estate itself should also be ‘smart’. Smart buildings and smart cities both generate and require big data.… Read More

Islands: on the front line of climate change

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Covering more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, oceans have an intrinsic relationship with weather and climate. Oceans absorb heat from the atmosphere producing winds, currents and storms that bring fresh water to land. Our oceans’ immense capacity to absorb excess heat has helped to mitigate rising global temperatures. But scientific studies show that our oceans are at a tipping point. We are seeing the impacts of global warming on oceans, from rising temperatures and acidity to increasing intensity of storms and flooding. And populations whose survival is dependent on the ocean, such as islands and coastal regions, are experiencing the worst effects of climate change.

Palauan islands are experiencing erosion attributed to mollosks eating away the limestone and the continual push from the tectonic plates beneath. The local community is amazed at the height of the tides and very strongly believe this is a result of climate change.

Palauan islands are experiencing erosion and increased soil salinity attributed to rising sea levels. The local community is amazed at the height of the tides and very strongly believe this is a result of climate change.

Lisa Hinde, Sustainability Manager in JLL’s Energy and Sustainability Services, recently visited the remote island nation of Palau located in the Western Pacific Ocean where climate change has become a daily threat to the country’s survival. As a participant of the Island Innovation Program, Hinde witnessed first-hand the magnitude of the challenge and how governments and businesses are working together to help.

“I see islands like Palau as the ‘canary in the mine’ of global climate change. The effects they feel, being low-lying and prone to tropical storms, show stressors sooner than other places in the world,” Hinde said.… Read More

Earth Day: the interplay of sustainability and wellness

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In nearly 195 countries around the globe, Earth Day provides companies with an opportunity to merge corporate strategy, brand and reputation, environmental stewardship, community affairs and employee engagement, all in one activity, on one day – April 22.  Earth Day grew from the idea that if enough people were aware of environmental issues and vocal about their concerns, it would force environmental protection into the political agenda. It’s also a day for people to reflect on the ways the environment impacts us and why sustainability is such a priority.

shutterstock_513233866Sustainability goes well beyond saving trees and recycling. The United Nations Development Programme has identified 17 Sustainable Development Goals that are focused on protecting the planet and its resources in ways that are crucial to our survival as well. We need air to breathe, water to drink and food to eat – and a planet that can provide those things for us in the long term.

Beyond simple survival, humans benefit from being in a natural environment – sure, we need trees and plants for photosynthesis to clean the air and provide oxygen, but it goes even further. Consider Shinrin-Yoku, or Forest Bathing. This involves visiting a forest for relaxation and breathing in the essential oils produced by trees. These oils, called phytoncides, are antimicrobial volatile organic compounds which may provide health benefits to humans as well as trees. In a 2010 study conducted across 24 forests in Japan, the subjects who participated in forest bathing had lower blood pressure, heart rate and concentrations of salivary cortisol — a stress hormone — when compared with those who walked through a city setting.… Read More

Navigating the journey to a carbon-neutral campus

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shutterstock_478513852For university leaders, committing to a carbon-neutral campus is easier said than done. While carbon neutrality is an ambitious goal, JLL’s new report reveals that it is achievable for U.S. universities. And environmental sustainability isn’t just on the minds of leaders in higher education; sustainable campuses have emerged as a major factor in student and faculty recruitment.

That being said, achieving carbon neutrality is a journey that requires constant diligence. The good news is that there’s a vast array of solutions and technologies to help. Wherever an institution is on this journey, there are universal practices that can be applied to further its environmental sustainability goals. Here are just a few of the measures university leaders can apply to ensure their commitment to building a sustainable campus:… Read More

OSHA: workplace safety & health align with sustainability

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GreenBiz magazine sat down with Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA), and discussed how sustainablity is a movement providing “leadership, innovation and going beyond simple compliance” and that “worker engagement is one of the fundamental tenets of a comprehensive safety and health program.”

Michaels noted in the Q&A that “Worker engagement is one of the fundamental tenets of a comprehensive safety and health program… Worker engagement… Read More