Much of the focus in the commercial real estate industry right now has to do with the rebound in the market, how and if deal flow is picking up, the performance of fundamentals, the state of financing and other pressing issues. Has sustainability, or going “green” gone by the wayside?
Apparently not. Construction giant Skanska launched a $129-million, five-year bond geared toward green development, according to a GlobeSt.com article. “There is an increasing interest in the investor market for not only earning a return on investment, but also contributing to a better environment,” the article quoted Skanska CFO Peter Wallin saying.
Furniture-retail giant IKEA takes sustainability seriously as well. Not only has the company installed 550,000 solar panels on stores worldwide and is constructing a turbine farm in Illinois, the company plans for complete energy efficiency by 2020, reported Philly.com. And though the people at IKEA probably care about the environment, the retailer’s president admitted that it “makes good business sense.”
Meanwhile, commercial real estate services firm JLL recently won awards from ENERGY STAR for its corporate efforts in combating climate change. “Commercial building owners and investors of all property types look at energy performance as a key driver of their triple bottom lines,” said Dan Probst, JLL’s chairman of energy and sustainability services, in a press release announcing the awards.
And to make a not-so-subtle plug, GRS Group is actively helping commercial real estate investors maximize energy efficiency through its GRS | Ticon arm. It offers energy audits, can assist with energy consulting, and locate financing incentives for green initiatives and other services.
So while sustainability in commercial real estate might not be making the big headlines in the industry right now, it’s certainly a cost-saving vehicle that companies are taking seriously. And it’s good for the environment.