RMR Sustainability Leader Stresses Need to “Connect the Dots” for Employees

John Forester, director of energy and sustainability at real estate management company The RMR Group, joined REIT.com for a video interview at NAREIT’s 2017 Leader in the Light Working Forum at the Hilton Austin in Austin, Texas.

Forester discussed some of the biggest issues involved with tenant engagement. He noted that tenants are usually engaged, provided that sustainability projects are easy to incorporate and have a well-defined value proposition.

Forester added that “creativity” is sometimes needed to align an individual tenant’s interest in sustainability with the priorities of the company.

Meanwhile, Forester stressed that employee engagement is also vital to delivering sustainability results. “Employees are core to the success of all the portfolio-wide programs,” he noted. In terms of improving internal sustainability awareness, Forester emphasized the need to “connect the dots” between daily tasks and the metrics of sustainability reporting.

Forester also commented on recent EnergyStar milestones achieved by properties within the Government Properties Income Trust (NASDAQ: GOV) portfolio, which is managed by RMR’s operating subsidiary.

“We’ve achieved that by making sure energy performance is at the forefront of operations,” he said.