Getting Started with Sustainability: Green Management Begins with Careful Evaluation

Article excerpt

OK, YOU'VE GOTTEN ON BOARD AND HAVE DECIDED IT'S TIME TO ENHANCE YOUR PORTFOLIO'S SUSTAINABILITY. NOW THE QUESTION IS, WHERE DO YOU START, GIVEN THESE ECONOMICALLY CHALLENGING TIMES?

Deliver a message to senior property management executives focusing on the superior service level that your firm can provide to clients by improving their properties' sustainability, and how this will improve your firm's competitive position and increase your market share. With their commitment to a program and strategy for green real estate management, your company will leverage economies of scale by working across your management portfolio.

Additionally, you can share with owners that more sustainable operations will make income-producing properties more competitive, given the current market demands for green space. It will also allow the firm to stay ahead of future carbon emissions legislation. Use the information strategically to make the case for a sustainability program. Remember, studies have shown that better energy management is a proxy for better overall property management practices and is the cornerstone of any successful green initiative.

For both your company executives and the building owners, be prepared to answer questions and doubts. Owners are likely to raise concerns about the costs and time associated with "greening" their properties. So, remain confident and steadfast with your responses, and stress that by combining best practices and low-cost upgrades, any building can be greener and demonstrate increased income and enhanced value. It will also help your case if you're able to provide supporting literature, case studies and an easy-to-understand first-blush cost/benefit analysis of a few initiatives to consider.

Once you have received the go-ahead to go green, the next major undertaking is to understand where you are today. …