By Ben Lipowitz, copresident Kolostat & Krome
While we all see, hear, and feel that something is wrong with the weather and the globe is getting warmer, we still must adhere to financial guidelines and limitation when it comes to the actions and capital that we can to invest to support the global effort to reduce the real estate carbon footprint.
The present financial environment and uncertainty regarding interest rates, office occupation trends, retail stability and overall real estate industry resiliency, places the decarbonization and energy saving needs at a secondary position for most real estate groups.
The acknowledgment for action is in front stage, yet the actions and capital deployment is far behind.
This prioritization is obviously understandable, as monthly mortgage and distribution payment are much more realistic than the long term, vague, carbon reduction achievements.
On the same token, we have long past the point of ignoring the fact the real estate contributes 40% of the green house gas emissions and real estate owners and developers are obligated to act and demonstrate the commitment to battle the global warming.
As 2023 is a transition year from a nice to have a decarbonization action plan, to a must have plan, we have come up with few ideas that will allow a real estate group to start the decarbonization process in the most practical and economical way.
1) Choose one building. Strategy and road map for the whole portfolio is important, yet decarbonization is a building-by-building process. Choose one building that is already on the plan and budget for mechanical upgrade and declare this building as the 2023 decarbonization role model.
2) Find a trusted DESIGN BUILT contractor. An experienced design built mechanical contractor will deliver a project much faster on budget and will be able to guarantee the results and grants.
3) Start the decarbonization program with Quebec. The present grants and overall energy greed situation allows for a very fast return on investment versus other provinces. In most cases, 20%-30% return on investment.
4) Talk to your financial institution about existing financing program for decarbonization upgrades, most of the reputable financial institutions have special programs specifically for energy saving and decarbonization.
5) Trust your in-house sustainability team, they understand the market trends, demands and urgencies, more than anyone in the organization, support them to make your organization a leader in the decarbonization process.