Property teams are facing new and significant challenges. When developing a robust sustainability strategy, there is more pressure than ever to be transparent and provide stakeholders with proof of your sustainability performance. One way of doing this is by acquiring green building certifications: industry standard programs that recognize a building for its sustainability performance. However, there are so many different sustainability frameworks and ways of measuring and ranking a property’s sustainability performance. This can leave organizations asking themselves: what is the baseline and where do we start?
We hosted a discussion panel exploring the potential green building certification and nature-based solutions can hold for commercial properties. We were joined by two green building certification experts: Ben Stapleton, Executive Director of the U.S. Green Building Council – Los Angeles Chapter and Breana Wheeler, Director of Operations at BREEAM USA, part of the BRE Group.
Missed the session? Read the top takeaways below or watch the recording here.
1. GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION FRAMEWORKS HELP IDENTIFY OPPORTUNITIES TO REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Buildings account for more than 40% of global carbon emissions. That means those working in the built environment have a profound opportunity and responsibility to reduce that environmental impact. For those looking to take action, green building frameworks can provide guidance to understand what the impacts are and how to mitigate them – from incorporating energy-efficient measures to increasing pollinator habitat.
2. GETTING CERTIFIED CAN BOOST A PROPERTY’S VALUE
Certified buildings tend to see higher rental rates, higher exit values, and maintain their value for longer. Green building certifications are being used to reposition assets to boost leasing. Sustainability performance is an attractive feature to potential tenants and investors and being able to showcase a certification provides accountability and transparency.A recent CBRE survey determined that 45% of occupiers and investors would pay a premium for green building certifications, such as BREEAM and LEED.
3. CERTIFIED BUILDINGS HAVE HAPPIER TENANTS
Health and wellbeing play a big role in many green building certifications, and for good reason. People who work in buildings that have taken the necessary steps to achieve certification report feeling happier at work. They are more productive, take fewer sick days, and have higher levels of mental health.
4. BEFORE STARTING, SET GOALS AND BE INTENTIONAL
Remember: the certification isn’t the goal. It’s the demonstration that you’ve met your environmental goals. What these frameworks can do is guide you in setting your priorities and working toward them. Don’t be afraid to start small! Integrating a sustainability strategy is a journey and every step matters.
5. BIODIVERSITY PRESERVATION IS THE FUTURE
Biodiversity is slowly but surely becoming a greater priority for investors and ownerships. Frameworks are being produced to get organizations thinking about the material risk that could come from biodiversity loss. Both biodiversity and nature-based solutions are becoming a bigger part of the conversation around how we address Net-Zero and that is only going to increase over the years. As such, expect biodiversity to become an even bigger part of green building certifications in the future.
Hear the full conversation
Watch the webinar replay to hear all the insights shared about the value green building certifications and nature-based solutions can drive for commercial real estate.