Development Crossing

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

The Future of Sustainability in Real Estate

Investment properties, such as commercial and residential buildings, account for almost 40% of CO2 emissions in the U.S, more than any other sector. The majority of these emissions come from the combustion of fossil fuels to provide cooling, heating and lighting, and to power electrical equipment and appliances. 

Because of increased demand for new homes, the situation is even direr. The Oxford Economics’ Global Cities 2030 report states that rapid populace growth will produce the need for 260 million new residential real estates and 545 million square meters of office space in the biggest 750 cities by 2030.

The real estate sector must face this important challenge. What we build today will have a long-term impact on the planet and us living on it. Adopting sustainability practices, building methods and procedures must become a major focus point for real estate development companies today.

LEED Certification

LEED Certification is a crucial consideration for any and all real estate development projects. The acronym stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a US Green Building Council certification. Earning it tells everyone that your project meets the strictest standards for eco-friendliness and sustainability. LEED points are given to projects based on various sustainability factors and categories, which are utilized to receive a composite score for the project.

There are four LEED rating levels regarding development projects:

  • Certified
  • Platinum
  • Gold 
  • Silver

Properties which are LEED Certified have resource efficiency and reduced emissions, all while saving cash in the long run. This third-party certification verifies your effort to build an eco-friendly and sustainable real estate project to future tenants, employees and even investors. 

Sustainable tourism

On islands like Lombok, Indonesia, environmental sustainability became a major focus point, as it is important to have clean beaches and locations, and ensure that they continue to resemble paradise as much as possible. Since islands are popular tourist locations, tourism plays a major role in the economy of the island. Ensuring that the location is in pristine condition will only help locals but also attract more visitors.

This is what motivated Jack Brown, co-founder of Invest Island Foundation to make a difference in the sustainability of the environment of Lombok, Indonesia. The first step of Invest Islands Foundation project was to lower the use of plastic on the island in order to reduce plastic waste. The goal accomplishment was set to 2020. The presence of litter and plastic on the beaches not only causes many problems for the environment but also has a detrimental effect on tourism.

Eco-friendly tenants

More and more investors accept that a sustainable real estate’s capacity to attract and retain tenants is favorable to improved asset-level performance. Moreover, lenders are often aware of both sustainability factors and long-term influence from climate change. 

As businesses take on the challenge of reshaping their practices, they are supported by statics showing that increasing the sustainability of their properties will have a positive impact on their business beyond the simple attraction of eco-conscious customers. In the real estate industry, sustainability is much more than an asset for a brand image. As shown by the Institute of Building Efficiency, the inclusion of sustainable features in properties:

  • Slows down obsolesce.
  • Increases rental value.
  • Lowers the requirement for capital expenses.

Advertising your project’s eco-friendliness and sustainability

If you decide to run a sustainable real estate development project, it's fundamental that you factor this into your marketing strategy. The number of individuals who prioritize eco-friendliness in their lives is steadily rising, so you’ll want to convey and promote your sustainability measures in a clear manner. Implement sustainability messaging into your overall marketing strategy, but remember to also communicate long-term value to your prospects, investors, and tenants.

Although most people understand that sustainability is important, the idea of using eco-friendly materials and methods can sound costly, which is why it’s crucial to explain that they also bring building flexibility, efficiency and enhanced value of the asset, along with enabling a better environment. Sustainability and eco-friendliness are excellent topics for a series of blog posts. You can also showcase pictures of sustainable materials or innovations used in your projects on social media.

In conclusion, regardless of the way sustainability features are implemented in real estate, it’s obvious that green building is becoming more and more popular, measurably viable as an investment, and that tenant demand for them is steadily rising.

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