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Identifying Best Practices Key to Going Green

05/15/2012 | By Matthew Bechard

Being green comes with both opportunities and challenges, according to David Jaber, Shorenstein Realty Services' senior vice president for property management and construction .

Jaber spoke with REIT.com during the 2012 NAREIT Leader in the Light Working Forum in Dallas about the company's sustainability initiatives and how the green program has evolved.

"The company has been green for a long time. The first part of green is saving money," he said. "We've always identified the best practices and implemented them in the buildings, because the bottom line is it helps the ownership."

Since Shorenstein has become more focused on environmental efforts, Jabar said that the company has taken that commitment a step further and added a green committee to implement various initiatives in the buildings.

He said that it's important to have buy-in from different core departments. He added that in order to have a good program, everyone has to be involved.

In terms of challenges, Jaber pointed to the issues of tenant buy-in and technology as constantly evolving.

"We're always going to find and identify the next level of technology, so knowing when to make those investments is a challenge," he said. "I hate to say it, but you always have to work with that right of return."

"Also, if I cut down power or go to recycling, I have to get the buy-in from the people that are actually turning on the switch or turning off the switch," said Jabar, adding that the company's marketing campaign has been helpful in that regard.

Currently, Shorenstein is working with its tenants right now to get its buildings certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, the industry benchmark for green design and construction of tenant improvements.

"We've worked really hard in the background to identify best practices and the best ways our tenants can obtain those designations," Jaber explained.