Putting sustainability second

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From Bob Best
Executive Vice President
Jones Lang LaSalle

The commercial real estate industry has been working hard to make the buildings that we build, manage or own more sustainable.  That’s a good thing. We are starting to see the next stage in this effort unfold, where sustainability is less of a differentiator and more of an expectation.  And that’s a better thing. 

We seem to be approaching that magical tipping point where a building has to be sustainable to even be competitive.  We’ve come a long way.

Just look at the vast number of buildings either going through energy-reduction programs, or getting sustainability certifications and ENERGY STAR ratings. The number of professionals with sustainability accreditations in our industry is also growing significantly. 

Jones Lang LaSalle is the construction manager, property management and exclusive leasing agent for 99 High representing owner TIAA-CREF. Together we have worked very hard to make the tower a sustainability leader. Yet, the marketing effort focuses on the advantages the building offers to tenants – not on its sustainability achievements. Take a look at this video and you will see what I mean.

When we don’t put sustainability upfront as if it’s the crowning glory of a building, that’s when we have really arrived. By letting sustainability become “secondary,” we are beginning to acknowledge that it’s simply the new standard.



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