2020 – The Age of Going Green

The coming of a new decade puts the spotlight on the pressing need for solutions and the challenge of the continuing the quest for environmental sustainability.  It has been said that buildings use up to 40% of the world’s energy, emit up to 40% of the world’s carbon emissions, and use 20% of the world’s available drinking water.” As large corporations are becoming more and more aware of this impact, they are also seeing proof of the positive effects of Going Green.

There are various green building rating scales with certification criteria for commercial and residential buildings, whether existing or new construction.  The following link has a list of Canadian certifications: https://greenbuildingcanada.ca/green-building-guide/green-building-certifications-rating-systems-canada/

These certifications include rating measures such as:

Energy efficiency
Water usage
Air quality

Waste management
Emissions and effluents
General environmental impact

So what are the benefits of Going Green?

Other than their corporate social responsibility towards the planet in general, some additional benefits are:

  • Attracting Tenants and Potential Buyers: Green upgrades translate to environmentally conscious tenants and serious tenants at moderately or significantly higher rental rates depending on the extent of the upgrades. This in turn appeals to serious potential long-term investors. 
  • Lowering Operating Costs through Waste Management: is a commercial issue; the less waste that is created, the less you have to pay for its by-product and/or waste removal. Reducing the amount of waste produced helps promote monetary savings.
  • Increasing Productivity, Positive Image and Staff Retention:  A corporation with a healthy environmental conscience attracts and retains workers. Since we all spend much of our waking week at work, amenities such as low-flow showers, bike racks, energy efficient IT and electrical equipment, healthy food choices, break-out and meditation rooms etc.  Companies who quantify the costs related to staffing (from recruitment to benefits, to absenteeism) know that these represent the greater majority of office-based corporate expenditure, and that there are significant financial benefits and increase in productivity by making certain changes.

In short: Going Green can contribute to cost savings in utility costs, and reduce vacancy rates for building owners and help to create a functional and comfortable workplace that contributes to employee productivity and enhance the bottom line.  So corporations with a social conscience willing to invest in change, can reap both the positive image and financial rewards.