Corporate real estate (CRE) executives, whose companies drive demand for office space, are increasingly willing to invest in refurbishing their owned assets to meet sustainability goals, according to the results of the 2009 CoreNet Global and Jones Lang LaSalle sustainability survey.
In a survey of CRE executives responsible for real estate portfolios totaling billions of square feet across the globe, 70% said that sustainability is a critical business issue for CRE today.
A significant 89% consider sustainability criteria in making leasing decisions, with 46 percent always considering energy labels (such as Energy Star or HPE), and 41 always considering green building certifications (such as LEED, BREEAM, IEMA, NABERS Energy, Green Star, GreenMark or CASBEE).
Even though obtaining funds to implement sustainability strategies is a difficult or an extremely difficult challenge for 67 percent of respondents, 74 percent would pay a premium (generally 1–5 percent) to retrofit owned space for sustainability criteria, up from 53 percent in 2008.
Although most executives view sustainability as a priority, only 37 percent would consider paying a premium (between 1-10 percent), and another 21 percent indicated that they would only be willing to pay a premium rent if it was offset by lower operating costs.
CoreNet Global and Jones Lang LaSalle 2009 sustainability survey key findings
Sustainability is a critical business issue today for 70% of respondents and 89% consider sustainability criteria in their location decisions
Green building certifications are always considered by 41% and energy labels by 46% in administering their portfolio
say they are willing to pay a premium to retrofit space that they own for sustainability criteria
would only pay more rent for sustainable space if offset by lower operating costs, while 8% expect to pay less and 34% the same
are adopting workplace strategies to meet sustainability goals while reducing overall occupancy costs
“These results clearly show that sustainability as an issue is here to stay, but companies are increasingly aware of the commercial realities,” said Dan Probst, Chairman of Energy and Sustainability at Jones Lang LaSalle. “It is no longer enough to simply be ‘green’; organizations want to see the benefits to the bottom line.”
“The survey results show that corporate real estate executives continue to be very focused on sustainability,” said Michael Anderson, Research Manager at CoreNet Global. “Despite the economic challenges of the past year, more than a third of corporate real estate executives would consider paying extra for a green lease, and nearly three-quarters would pay to retrofit properties they own.”
The focus on cost reductions is seen in the 60 percent that are adopting workplace strategies to meet sustainability goals while reducing overall occupancy costs, up from 54 percent in 2008. CRE executives also continue to focus on strategies that are easy to implement and provide short-term cost savings, such as energy efficiency programs and waste recycling.
In terms of metrics, companies want to see bottom-line outcomes, with energy costs ranked as the most important portfolio metric by 37 percent followed by employee health and productivity at 29 percent, and 45 percent are highly involved in providing sustainability performance data.
However, making targeted investments in sustainability initiatives can be challenging. More than 50 percent said that insufficient industry metrics, difficulty in calculating ROI and lack of tools for collecting necessary performance data are difficult or extremely difficult challenges
“Companies are looking for help in making targeted sustainability investment decisions and measuring the results in terms of both environmental and financial performance,” Probst said “Clarification of industry metrics globally, tools that collect data and turn it into information, and clear methodologies for calculating project ROI will be critical to overcoming these challenges.”
The global survey of 231 corporate real estate executives was conducted in September and October 2009. A copy of the summary report is available an Jones Lang LaSalle’s Web site at http://www.jll.com/_layouts/15/jll/jllredirect.aspx?oldUrl=http://www.jll.com/pages/sustainabilityresearch.aspx and on CoreNet Global’s Web site at www.corenetglobal.org.
About CoreNet Global
CoreNet Global is the preeminent organization for Real Estate and Workplace professionals worldwide. As the leading professional association for the corporate real estate industry, we represent 6,500 members based in 45 chapters in major cities globally. We are the only association to convene the entire industry across the supply and demand sides, including the corporate occupier, outsourced service partner, and economic development sectors. The CoreNet Global mission is to serve as a dynamic, fully developed network of professionals who create strategic value for their enterprises. For more information on CoreNet Global programs, education, research, professional development and membership, please visit www.corenetglobal.org.
About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate. The firm offers integrated services delivered by expert teams worldwide to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying or investing in real estate. With 2008 global revenue of $2.7 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle serves clients in 60 countries from 750 locations worldwide, including 180 corporate offices. The firm is an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, with a portfolio of approximately 1.4 billion square feet worldwide. LaSalle Investment Management, the company’s investment management business, is one of the world’s largest and most diverse in real estate with more than $37 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit our Web site, www.joneslanglasalle.com.