The effort you put toward greening your commercial building can save money and energy, and reduce emissions to help protect the environment. But these sustainability investments can also bring positive attention to your facility, as well as increase interest from potential tenants.
Telling your green story and explaining green investments can differentiate you from your competitors, whether your organization’s ultimate goal is to improve student test scores, increase patient satisfaction, manufacture more widgets, or sell more goods and services.
Many organizations, such as HOK, tell their green stories through engaging and interactive digital signage, video feeds, or energy usage meters that display how much energy is being saved and used in the space. These displays can also indicate which tenants are using the least energy in a multi-tenant space, which can encourage healthy competition.
If you have available meeting or gathering space, you can also tell your story through the facility itself. Offer your building as a venue for educational events, like Phipps Conservatory’s Center for Sustainable Landscapes does. Reach out to local organizations, along with local AIA, IFMA, IREM, ASHRAE, BOMA, USGBC, and other association chapters, and offer to donate your space for their meetings. Provide tours of the facility to meeting attendees who want to see it. By showing off your facility to everyone who uses it, people leave with a positive impression and first-hand knowledge of your building – and they may become champions for your organization by telling other people what they saw.
Getting the word out about your facility can also bring in more revenue. Some tenants are willing to pay a premium to be located in a green building due to the associated benefits: lower operating costs, higher worker productivity, and the marketing benefits. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, green office space is typically leased for as much as 20% more than traditionally built offices.
A 2008 CoStar Group study indicates that green buildings also have higher occupancy rates than non-green facilities: LEED-rated buildings have 4.1% higher occupancy rates over their non-LEED peers, and ENERGY STAR buildings have 3.6% higher occupancy rates than comparable non-ENERGY STAR buildings.
Are you sharing your green story? Why or why not?