CBRE Green Conversations: Sustainability in Property Management

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CBRE Green Conversations: Sustainability in Property Management

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Robert Lodder, Managing Director, Asset Services, Netherlands

Julien Ballet, Sustainable Development Manager, Asset Services, France

Sarah Crockford, Director, Asset Services – Central London, UK

Thursday, July 13, 2017 - 8:05am

CAMPAIGN: CBRE Environmental Sustainability


What part does Sustainability play in real estate? What role should it play? What opportunities are there to deliver added value through green real estate?

As part of a new interview series, Green Conversations, we will be exploring the role of green initiatives in real estate. We will be speaking to experts across our business — across markets, geographies, and business lines — to understand what role sustainability currently plays in their respective spheres. We will look at key trends, and the opportunities to deliver advantage through green initiatives.

This week, we focus on sustainability in property management. CBRE provide property and facilities management for over 40 million square feet of commercial real estate in EMEA.

Meet the Panel

  • Robert Lodder, Managing Director, Asset Services, Netherlands
  • Julien Ballet, Sustainable Development Manager, Asset Services, France
  • Sarah Crockford, Director, Asset Services – Central London, UK

Do you think that clients are becoming more interested in sustainability? If so, why do you think this is?

RL: That is an absolute YES. First of all, we are seeing legislation becoming more strict across the EMEA region — and in The Netherlands in particular — which is forcing both investors and occupiers to increasingly prioritise sustainable actions. Secondly, I am of the opinion that a sustainable approach will contribute to helping occupiers and investors to run a successful business in future. For example, by integrating BREEAM or WELL certification for offices as part of the sustainability agenda, we can help satisfy the need for inspiring and attractive work environments as these touches, amongst other things, increased productivity and efficiency.

Sustainability certifications for existing buildings… what levels of interest and trends are we seeing?

JB: In France, we are now implementing more and more BREEAM in Use certifications, in comparison to the other certification, such as HQE in Use and LEED EBOM. Although HQE certification is known for ambitious requirements for building management improvements, the flexibility of implementation combined with a low entry cost makes BREEAM a more attractive option for a greater variety of investors.

It is also becoming easy to see the added value of a certified project vs. a non-certified project, but how can we quantify the performance difference between the different certifications? This is a question frequently asked throughout the French market. In response to this, investors are increasingly considering double, or even triple certifications of their assets.

How are Asset Services working to address the performance gap in efficiency between design and operation?

SC: We are initiating conversations with all of our clients to consider ways in which we can work together to improve energy efficiencies through proactive management within their buildings, which in turn should result in reduced consumption from CBRE managed, as well as Occupier managed, areas and the associated operational cost reductions.

The better we understand how our plant and equipment is operating, whether in a newly built scheme, or an older asset, the better we can improve efficiencies.  As each building has a unique specification, our Building Managers can tailor their approach to sustainable management through the use of our Sustainability Toolkit, which provides guidance and practical advice to reach Core standards, with options to reach World Class standards of sustainability.

A good example of where an innovative approach has been adopted is the introduction of CBRE’s Asset Analytics in One America Square, London where the installed BMS software identified plant operating in competition at certain times of the day.  Analysis of the data produced allowed our management team to re-programme the plant to effect an immediate consumption reduction and subsequent reduction in our client’s energy bills.

What role do you see technology and innovation taking in sustainable property management?

RL: Technology and innovation will continue to assist us in developing distinctive products and services for Investors and Occupiers. Through our CBRE Asset Analytics energy management tool, we are able to optimize reduced energy consumption and therefore carbon footprint. Additionally, through the use of better market intelligence we can ensure that dwell time is optimized and enable smarter use of space at our managed properties. Creating valuable insights from the data we are able to efficiently collect can greatly contribute to the overall sustainability agenda in real estate.

Several reporting tools, such as GRESB, have focus on whole-building performance improvement. How do we address this?

JB: It is known that occupiers are responsible for approximately half of a given building’s energy consumption, and impact by the same percentage the final whole-building energy performance. This means that full involvement by all stakeholders is then necessary to achieve high performances. In France, the evolving legislation focuses on this aspect, and includes occupier responsibilities in terms of energy and environmental improvements. Reporting tools like GRESB give us the opportunity to review occupier consumption as well as assess overall building performance. Through engaging with occupiers throughout the reporting process we can strengthen cooperation between stakeholders further whole-building improvements.

In your opinion, what is the role of real estate in place-making and community?

SC: We want to create, manage and improve environments where people want to be.  This sounds simple but involves a co-ordinated approach and expertise to understand how public areas and community spaces evolve to become a destination to local workers, consumers and visitors alike.

An approach which incorporates sustainability can add vital qualities to an environment, whether that be through the introduction of biodiversity, efficient lighting, materials, or waste management.  These all help in creating an environment where our customers and occupiers can engage with a building or public space.

Spitalfields Estate is a fantastic example of where the management team have worked to provide a safe, clean, well-managed sustainable space which draws occupiers and visitors alike, therefore the Estate continues to attract companies and operators keen to place their business in an environment where people and talent want to be.

Keywords: Green Infrastructure | CBRE | Corporate Social Responsibility | Green Building | Green Real Estate | Julien Ballet | Robert Lodder | Sarah Crockford | Sustainability | Sustainable Cities | Sustainable Development

CAMPAIGN: CBRE Environmental Sustainability