Sustainable building and operation practices continue to shift into the mainstream as industry firms embrace the impact green building has on their triple bottom line. Advances in solar, lighting and water-saving technologies mean payback periods are shorter than ever. While the jury is still out on the exact impact on valuation, institutional investors and funds are hungry for green product. As energy-use benchmarking and organizations like GRESB continue to gain traction, there really is no limit to how green commercial real estate can go.
It is no surprise, then, that the vast majority (all but two) of the respondents to CPE’s 2014 Greenest Companies Survey expect to increase green building activity over the next calendar year. A full quarter of respondents plan to increase their activity by more than 25 percent. And the number of LEED- or otherwise-certified assets increased across the board—dramatically at a number of firms—compared to last year’s results.
For the purpose of scoring firms, we took into account information that was submitted to us in narrative form and balanced that against weighted scoring of categories having to do with dedicated personnel, industry specializations, levels of current and planned LEED certifications and announced plans for 2015 and beyond. Service providers, which we view as catalyzing agents in the greening of commercial real estate, were ranked against each other using the same criteria. Because as catalysts they have less of a direct impact on the environment than building owners do, we oriented them to the middle of the list.
To be included in upcoming surveys, contact Mike Ratliff at [email protected]/news.