Don’t Want to Save the Planet?
If you’re even an occasional reader of the blogs on FacilitiesNet, you know that there’s a lot of action on green buildings and energy efficiency. The latest development: the announcement by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International of a challenge to the commercial real estate industry. BOMA’s seven-point plan advocates measures like energy audits, retrocommissioning, annual ENERGY STAR benchmarking and training. The goal is a 30 percent cut in energy use by 2012.
Hitting that target would be significant. Introducing the challenge at this year’s BOMA show, outgoing chairman Kurt Padavano pointed out that energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 18 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
The BOMA plan follows on the heels of a recommendation by CoreNet Global that its members — corporate real estate executives — freeze emissions at current levels and then work toward a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The actions by BOMA and CoreNet are noteworthy in part because commercial and corporate real estate have in the past seemed generally indifferent to energy efficiency. But for some facility executives, the talk about greenhouse gas emissions raises a red flag. They’re skeptical about the causes of climate change and doubt there’s any need to take action.
If you fall into that camp, I have some advice. If you don’t want to reduce energy use to help save the planet, then don’t look at it that way. Do it to protect your organization from volatile energy costs. Do it to justify modernizing old systems. Do it to increase the value of the physical asset. Do it to improve occupant comfort. Just do it.
You’ll be helping to save the planet even if that’s not your goal.