Sustainability In CRE Is Not Just About Responsibility: For Prologis and Kilroy Realty, It’s An Economic Opportunity (Bisnow)

Excerpt from Bisnow’s preview of the “Sustainability: The Next Generation” session at NAIOP’s CRE.Converge 2017 by Travis Gonzalez

When President Donald Trump backed out of the Paris Climate Accord this June, he said it was a bad deal for Americans. While it is still too early to tell whether the government’s departure from the agreement will benefit the U.S. as he claims, the government’s wavering on issues of sustainability has not stopped commercial real estate leaders from forging ahead with their own initiatives.

New programs have begun to prove that environmentally conscious solutions and design offer greater social and economic benefits than properties without sustainable practices.

Jeannie Renne Malone

Jeannie Renne-Malone, Vice President of Sustainability, Prologis, Inc.

For Prologis Vice President of Sustainability Jeannie Renne-Malone, commitment to better environmental practices is just business as usual across the company's 684M SF global portfolio.

Prologis provides high-quality logistics assets for customers like Amazon, Home Depot and Walmart. Incorporating changes like efficient lighting and rooftop solar was a natural next step in designing long-lasting buildings, Renne-Malone said. Greater power efficiency leads to improved operational efficiency for the customer, and careful attention to design ensures a high retention and occupancy rate.

“We hear from customers that they also have sustainability goals and interest in efficient lighting and operational efficiency,” Renne-Malone said. “The more we can do to improve that, the happier our customers will be in the long run.”

The company has also committed to designing 100% of its new buildings according to the sustainability guidelines in the country they are located. The regulations often encourage the use of locally sourced building materials and reduced water consumption, cost-saving initiatives that speak to shareholders’ bottom lines.

Sara Neff

Sara Neff, Senior Vice President of Sustainability, Kilroy Realty Corp.

Having investor and management buy-in is a necessary piece of the sustainability puzzle. Kilroy Realty Corp. Senior Vice President of Sustainability Sara Neff said KRC was able to quickly integrate sustainability practices across all of its operations because she had senior management’s full support.

“A lighting retrofit, for instance, can encounter many obstacles: it can be hard to get the money, hard to get it to fit aesthetically, hard to manage tenant impact. It is impossible to do alone; it only works if you have everybody working together,” Neff said.

Kilroy builds, owns and manages its entire portfolio, and sees sustainability as a way to improve operational efficiency. Neff inherited a leasing program that was already green, and expanded upon it by increasing energy- and water-efficiency projects and launching a green janitorial program.

Read the full article on Bisnow and register today for CRE.Converge 2017.