Sustainability is now a major initiative for Commercial Real Estate. Why? Because there is an obvious value in creating more sustainable buildings. You lower operating costs and add value to the property. Not only do sustainable building practices help the environment and the bottom line but also, according to the Canadian Green Building Council, green offices have been found to boost productivity and performance, enhance worker satisfaction and reduce sick leave and absenteeism.
There are different certifications and organizations to help with commercial real estate sustainability projects.
It is important to Envirotech to help our customers with choices that could make offices more sustainable. Choosing a blend of remanufactured and pre-owned office furniture can provide credits towards sustainability certification, with other benefits as well.
LEED certification is a world-wide rating system that provides third party evaluation of your sustainability projects.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental design. The Canadian Green Building Council offers LEED certification. The certification is designed to provide the tools for building managers and owners to improve the performance of their buildings in order to save energy, water and money. The Canadian Green Building Council website says the aim of LEED is achieving “high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.” Toronto offers supplementary information to the LEED program to help those seeking certification understand how their projects may qualify for incentives through the Toronto Green Standard. Hamilton is also offering incentives for sustainability projects.
Sustainability certification for commercial buildings is also offered by the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada through the Boma Best program.
Certification is offered for existing offices, shopping centres, open air retail plazas, light industrial buildings, and multi-unit residential buildings. BOMA BEST assesses six areas of environmental performance which include energy, water, waste reduction and site, emissions and effluents, indoor environment and environmental management. BOMA BEST uses the Green Globes assessment platform which is similar to LEED.
The Green Key Eco-Rating Program is an environmental rating system for the lodging and meeting industry.
Hotels, motels and resorts can use of the self-assessment tools and onsite audits to help improve in operational areas and sustainable practices. The program offers marketing material to help members promote their green initiatives.
With either a new building or in retrofitting an older building commercial real estate owners and managers are not alone. There are resources and organizations there to help.