6,000 buildings. That’s how many CBRE has benchmarked in EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, far more than any other organization has recorded in that system. That’s indicative of the type of leadership CBRE has become known for – making change by doing. And as the world’s largest commercial real estate services company, CBRE is uniquely positioned to make a lot of change happen.
“Those who have the opportunity to lead, must, because even their failures advance the industry.”
At the forefront of their sustainability leadership is Dave Pogue, the Global Director of Corporate Responsibility. Having been at the forefront of the environmental movement for years, it was a natural transition to incorporate these values into CBRE’s practices. One example – CBRE set a goal to get 100 buildings LEED-EB certified at a time when there were less than 60 LEED-EB certified. Now, CBRE has more than 800 buildings LEED-EB certified. But Dave knows being an ESG leader is a moving target that goes far beyond certification.
“Beyond the standards we set for our buildings, we’ve also done a lot of academic research. It’s one thing to emotionally believe in a cause or anecdotally think it’s the right thing to do. But we wanted to get the data to demonstrate that this was the right thing to do,” Dave said of CBRE’s work.
This work has proven valuable to making changes in the commercial real estate world. Recent research from CBRE, in collaboration with Maastricht University, has proven that green building adoption is at an all-time high as more investors see the value in sustainable buildings. Now, 41% of the top 30 metros in the US are green building certified.
“At the end of the day, it’s the money that drives a lot of people,” Dave said. “If it can be demonstrated that a building is going to perform better or have less risk, then the money will be inclined to follow, and the whole industry begins to move.”
At a building level, organizations like CBRE need to understand how their buildings are operating to make data-driven improvements. These small changes roll up to huge movements for CBRE and the industry as a whole.
“You can begin to see anomalies and opportunities for improvement just by looking at the data and being more responsive to it,” said Dave. “When the data becomes actionable, that’s where the value comes in. Measurabl provides that opportunity.”