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Over the past decade, the words “green,” “environmentally-friendly,” and “sustainable” have become highly politicized and are often equated to unnecessary added expense. They are words that have come to turn many people off; however, sustainability can have an enormous impact on the success of a company. Corporate sustainability strategies are becoming increasingly important and can have an impact on various areas of a company, including HR and operations.
Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the British American Business Council on a panel titled “Sustainability Strategies that Make Business $ense.” My co-panelists were Nick Masci of Dacon and Erin Rae Hoffer of Autodesk. We were initially asked to speak about the different factors in environmental standards such as LEED and BREEAM, but our group felt strongly that the topic of sustainability wasn’t relevant unless it could be tied back to tangible results. We each discussed ways in which companies incorporated sustainable strategies and different ways these results were tracked.
T3 recently hosted an intimate group dinner at Naha with Webcor and Velerio Dewalt Train at 2011 CoreNet Global Summit. Joined by real estate executives from some of the Silicon Valley’s most exciting technology companies the dinner discussion was both intellectually stimulating and light hearted. One of the topics of conversation that everyone seemed to have an opinion on was corporate sustainability. We learned about the Living Building Challenge which goes BEYOND LEED certification and more towards priorities based on technical requirements and core values. T3 is excited to hear about new building philosophies and standards but questioned how this new standard will gain momentum as LEED is still something the real estate industry is working to better understand and implement.
Technology companies continue to push the envelope in innovation when it comes to corporate campuses. Microsoft is one of the sustainability world’s best kept secrets. Darrell Smith, Sr. Operations Manager and unofficial “mayor” of the Redmond WA Microsoft campus was featured on a panel, “Breaking Down Silos for Energy Strategy at Microsoft: Challenges, Techniques and Successes.” Darrell has the luxury of economies of scale working in his favor – the largest contiguous corporate campus in the world (126 buildings, 15 Million SF) – or as Darrell likes to put it, a “medium size town”. Even in the state of Washington, which has some of the lowest electricity prices in the country (~$.0747/KwH) Microsoft is still able to find significant opportunities to save power and money and is doing so in a very strategic and thoughtful manner.
© 2013 T3 Advisors, LLC