Sustainability is truly good business

Dan Probst - Jones Lang LaSalle


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Dan Probst
Energy and Sustainability Services


Earlier this week, I spoke at a press conference in Chicago supporting the recent EPA proposal, the Clean Power Plan, to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants. The electric power sector accounts for nearly 40% of today’s greenhouse gas emissions, and the EPA’s initiative to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30% nationwide is a significant step towards a more sustainable built environment.

Buildings are responsible for up to 70% of electrical consumption in major cities and up to 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. So improving the energy efficiency of our buildings represents one solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The good news is that there are technologies and resources available to support building energy efficiency initiatives. While power producers can make efficiency improvements to their plants, substantial efficiency opportunities also lie within the commercial buildings sector. Sound energy management strategies represent a great opportunity to reduce both emissions and energy costs for building owners.

Over the last 5 years, we have helped clients reduce their collective greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 12 million metric tons. In the process, we saved them more than $2.5 billion in energy costs. Cost reductions aren’t the only benefit of building energy efficiency improvements.  Building investors are finding that green buildings are more attractive to tenants and owner occupiers are finding that improved environmental performance can make their company more attractive to employees, customers and shareholders. Research indicates that as many as 90% of American workers want to work for a company with a strong green reputation.

Carbon emission regulations can also create jobs. The U.S. Green Building Council says that, from 2009 to 2013, green construction generated nearly 8 million jobs in the U.S., and nearly $400 billion in labor earnings. These are American jobs which can’t be exported. When we managed the retrofit of New York’s Empire State Building, for example, 200 new jobs were created. There is a significant opportunity to help boost our economy and local job growth by retrofitting existing buildings to reduce emissions.

I’d like to think that more efficiently managing our electricity and power facilities is truly a “no brainer” – it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our impact on the planet, reduce costs for both power companies and consumers, and help drive the economy. Sustainability is truly good business and the right thing to do.

JLL’s President and CEO, Colin Dyer speaks to US Congress panel about sustainability initiatives

michael jordan outside small


Posted by:
Michael Jordan
Strategic Consulting


On April 10, 2014, JLL’s President and CEO Colin Dyer headed to Washington, DC to speak in front of the Senate Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change. Highlights include how the firm’s efforts to combat climate change benefit the environment and the economy.

Colin’s visit coincided with the one-year anniversary of the Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy’s (BICEP) launch of the Climate Declaration, which encourages Congress to make policies that combat climate change while boosting the economy. JLL was one of the first signatories of the Climate Declaration; it now has more than 750 signatures.

To mark this anniversary, BICEP members agreed to hold a briefing for the Senate Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change to demonstrate corporate leadership on sustainability. Colin was joined by executives from Mars, Sprint, VF Corporation and IKEA as he highlighted JLL’s commitment to sustainability:

  • Last year, JLL helped clients reduce their collective greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 12 million metric tons and saved clients more than $2.5 billion of energy costs.
  • JLL’s management of New York’s Empire State Building retrofit alone created 200 new jobs.
  • Through the end of 2017, JLL’s goals per employee are to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and office energy use by 10 percent, and reduce its occupied space by 8 percent.


Watch Colin’s briefing before the Senate Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change here (his briefing begins at 28:45).

Choose your climate change response


Posted by:
Michael Jordan
Strategic Consulting


Some of my colleagues and I have just returned from attending the annual Ceres Conference, among the premier events of its kind.  Ceres is important because it convenes investors and companies in a consistently high quality workout on behalf of responsible economic preservation and growth.  (The organization has just celebrated 25 years of this singular mission.)

The message to investors from the keynote speaker Paul Gilding was CHOOSE – choose an investment strategy that incorporates climate change science.  Strategy “A” could be to take profit from deploying capital into extractive industries (despite a business model that causes economic collapse).  Investment strategy “B” could be to capitalize companies which are part of the radical re-tooling of the economy that will avoid collapse.

This theme of “choose” and of “be deliberate” recurs in my conversations with experts in sustainability.  The power of deliberate action is amazing!  Companies that choose to invest in large scale renewable energy, for example.  Companies that innovate products that are better for the environment (without costing more).  Companies that choose to advocate to policy makers for climate change mitigation.  What sort of future do we want?

Be deliberate.  Understand the facts and the science.  If you still need to choose your personal investment strategy, now is a good time to do so.

Sustainability credentials – Which ones are the best for real estate?




Posted by:
Carey Guerin
Sustainability University


With the LEED credential exams changing again this summer, green real estate credentials might be on your mind.

If you don’t have a LEED credential yet, should you rush to get one before they change the exams – probably. But let’s review some popular options.


The USGBC’s LEED credential is the most recognized sustainability credential in real estate. The successful marketing of their certification system over the past 10+ years makes this credential widely recognized by current and potential employers and clients. While studying for the LEED Green Associate exam, a person is exposed to the LEED rating system, but more importantly, a person is exposed to green building concepts that have now become fundamental knowledge for real estate professionals. For $300 or less total upfront expenses, this is a great bargain for an employee’s career and their employers.

Green Globes Professional

Like the LEED credential, a Green Globes Professional is exposed to green building concepts and learns the specifics of the rating system (in this case Green Globes). There are over 1000 Green Globes certified buildings in Canada and the US and is currently one of the few alternatives to LEED certification for a building or space. As this rating system continues to grow its presence, the $875 total upfront expenses (be sure to check their qualifications) is a great way to stay in front of the green certification curve.

Up and coming credential

People looking for not only basic green building concepts, but more in-depth knowledge of sustainable operations of a building, might want to look at a fairly new credential available. IFMA’s Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP) is in its 3rd year and provides a good overview of sustainability concepts relevant to real estate along with helpful implementation information. $1500+ might be a lot of money compared to other credentials available, but the in-depth content and strong focus on a building operator/manager’s viewpoint is not as prevalent in the other credentials.

More technical oriented individuals should look at credentials available from the Association of Energy Engineers. Many of our Portfolio Energy Managers, experts brought on board to drive sustainability campaigns across a portfolio, hold credentials from here such as Certified Energy Manager or Energy Auditor, along with the ones mentioned above.

Since JLL is a global company, we have many other sustainability credentialed professionals throughout the world that hold credentials relevant to their market such as Green Star in Australia and BREEAM in Europe. Too many to cover in one blog post! As with all credentials, you need to weigh the cost of the credential with what you get out of the credential with your career goals and experience. A credential is just one part of your career plan, but no matter what you decide to do for your career, the steps you take to increase your knowledge in green real estate practices will have a positive return on investment for you, your company, your clients and the planet.

Your Envelope: The Next Energy Edge?

Bob Best



Posted by:
Bob Best
Energy and Sustainability Services

Buildings are all trying to cut energy consumption through smart control system, more efficient equipment, lighting strategies and operating procedures.

But, most buildings are over-looking a potential energy edge … the building envelope.

According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, “The building envelope – walls, roofs, windows and skylights – is responsible for about 25% of all building energy use.”

Most building managers shudder (pardon the pun) at attacking the envelope because they think all solutions involved big dollars, like a new roof or window caulking.

Maybe not.

Building envelop technology is one of the most promising frontiers in the commercial building industry.  Heat scans, infra-red reading and even building fly-overs that can quickly pinpoint problems are getting more traction.  They may even save you money by helping to avoid major expenditures that are not necessary.

When you are looking for ways to save energy, check out your envelope.  It might be the energy edge you’re looking for.