The Green office trend is taking off all over the world, and it’s good news for everyone interested in both real estate and the environment.
Real estate companies and governments alike are jumping on board the eco revolution and in more creative ways every day. In the USA, Chicago’s MidWest Real Estate Data recently implemented a “Walk Score” to its property listings, which measures how many services can be accessed from a particular property without driving.
In California, a leading sustainable infrastructure product designer, Envision Solar, has partnered with a Commercial development firm to help them easily install and promote solar energy in their buildings. And, in Australia, as of November 2011, a scheme called the “commercial building disclosure” came into full force, under which sellers or lessors of office space of 2000sqm or more must obtain an up-to-date Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) which measures the building’s energy and water efficiency. Commercial real estate buildings also require a National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS), and a rating for lighting efficiency.
With all these innovations being put into place, how can those who own or rent commercial real estate be sure they’re doing their best to reduce their environmental footprint?
Small eco-friendly tips you can implement in your office or commercial space:
- Printing, faxing and copying – Printers and photocopiers use up a lot of energy and resources in your office. Choose recycled paper, always print and photocopy double sided, and perhaps implement a system where people have to physically walk up to the printer to confirm a print job, rather than just hitting “print” from their computer.
- Heating and cooling costs – Air-conditioning is another huge energy cost. If possible, consider tinting office windows to reduce the need to use air-conditioning all day during warmer months.
- Saving electricity – It should be an automatic move everyone makes, but be sure to turn off all computers, lights, and other electronic equipment at the end of every day. These things don’t need to be running all night.
- Put waste in the right place – In kitchen and common areas, have separate bins for general waste, recycling and compost.