Creative Ways Real Estate Companies Are Celebrating Earth Day
Happy Earth Day! As we celebrate the 46th annual event and await the United States' signature on the landmark Paris Agreement with 120 other countries, we asked various commercial real estate companies what they're doing to mark the day. The result: plenty of fun, educational and charitable ideas to adopt for your buildings.
Above, Boxer's Leann Brandon, Kyle Bolin and Marc Vecchio show us how the company is celebrating Earth Day.
Tenants and employees at all participating Boxer Property locations are invited to trade in their used rubber-soled tennis shoes for healthy treats, and all collected shoes will be donated to a nearby Nike Factory Outlet, which will ground up the shoes into material for playground surfaces, running tracks and other places to play. To inspire team spirit, the property that collects the most shoes wins lunch for its property team.
Over 150 properties will encourage tenants to get involved with Boxer's Earth Day celebration. Tenants will receive an infographic that educates them on how Boxer conserves, and many buildings are holding raffles for Earth-friendly prizes like Whole Foods gift cards or plants for desks. (The raffle entries ask tenants to list what they do at home or in the office to help the Earth.) Boxer will also have icebreaker tables with fun questions for tenants to network and get to know others at their locations.
2016 marks the sixth year of CBRE's annual Soles4Souls shoe drive, which kicks off on Earth Day. Over the last five years, CBRE employees have donated over 62,000 pairs of shoes and contributed more than $30k, which has provided almost 100,000 people in need with new shoes (above is a collection at its Indianapolis office).
CBRE manages 2.4B SF of properties, and each year, it hosts a variety of activities around the environment, health and wellness. Notable highlights: recycling fairs for collection of e-waste, ink cartridges, plastic bags and cellphones; drought-tolerant plant giveaways; fitness membership giveaways; rideshare, mass transit and electric vehicle education booths; and building service vendors demonstrating LEED standards and products.
Additionally, CBRE has partnered with the City of San Diego to educate tenants on water conservation practices and is working with the Georgia Tech Urban Honey Bee Project to fund education and research in support of sustainable bee colonies.
For its employees, CBRE also offers a free online US Green Building Council LEED Green Associate training course, which will help its 70,000 employees become experts in green building practices.
Cushman & Wakefield
Cushman & Wakefield launched its 10 Powerful Ideas for Earth Day social media campaign, which offers 10 great sustainability ideas for anyone (above). This week, the US Environmental Protection Agency recognized the firm with its SocialStar Award for Energy Star Promotion and Innovation on Social Media (which included a video on saving energy in the office—see if you spot anyone you know).
The firm also developed an Earth Day Toolkit, which was distributed to its global occupier services and property management professionals to share with clients.
Among the ideas its employees can use for Earth Day activities in its buildings: organizing an Earth Day information fair; informing building occupants of environmental best practices implemented at the property; hosting a recycling collection event; and ensuring the building is benchmarked in the Energy Star Portfolio Manager. The employees are encouraged to tag their Earth Day successes with #CWPowerfulIdeas.
Ivanhoé Cambridge and Callahan Capital Properties
Throughout the week, Denver's Tabor Building hosted various building vendors to teach tenants about sustainable practices.
On Monday, Bristol Botanics provided info and samples while enhancing tenants' knowledge on Earth-friendly plants and products. On Tuesday, Waste Management taught tenants about recycling and composting practices in place at the building. On Wednesday, Rocky Mountain E-Waste collected electronic equipment for recycling. Yesterday, Able Services demonstrated eco-friendly cleaning practices and handed out complementary microfiber clothes.
And today, City Electric will be offering tenants the opportunity to purchase various types of energy-efficient lighting at discounted prices, while members of the JLL-run building management team will hand out reusable grocery bags to tenants.
For Earth Day at Washington, DC's 1801 K St, JLL is hiding globes around the building throughout the day, its third year of doing so. When a tenant finds a globe, he brings it to the management office to claim an eco-friendly prize. This year, JLL is giving away orchids, Earth Day pops (you don’t eat them, you plant them!) and herb growing kits. In addition to the globes, it's setting out wildflower seed packets for all tenants to enjoy (above).
Chicago's Aon Center (where JLL is headquartered) is hosting an Earth Day Fair with building vendors that will provide info regarding sustainable practices and offer free giveaways, including Waste Management, Ecotronix, Unisource, Kings Hill Farm, Greens by White, ESam Jones, ABM Janitorial, GOBY, Brickman, Zipcar, Chicago Bike Ambassadors and Bike & Roll Chicago. It's also hosting a building-wide electronic recycling and paper-shredding fair.
At TIAA's LEED Gold and EPA Energy Star-certified 701 Brickell Ave in Miami, JLL is hosting an electronics recycling drive, as well as a 10-day water bottle challenge in which occupants pledge to use reusable water bottles and reduce 701 Brickell's waste (after signing a pledge, tenants are provided with a free water bottle). And the lobby is showcasing Earth Day-themed drawings created by the children of 701 Brickell employees.
North American Properties
In celebration of Earth Day, North American Properties hosted a chalk-drawing event at Colony Square in Atlanta.
Two local artists—Meg Mitchell and Amanda Emmo—used chalk to draw Mother Earth with fantastical plants and animals on Colony Square's plaza (above, before the event), then invited the community to join in the coloring and help finish the masterpiece.
RiverRock Real Estate Group
RiverRock Real Estate Group-managed buildings throughout Southern and Northern California will be hosting e-waste events to encourage tenants to bring in electronic recyclables for collection.
In addition to an e-waste fair, AEW Capital Management's 2050 Main St in Irvine (above), which RiverRock manages, will host vendors that will present energy-efficient ideas, as well as hold raffles and giveaways. And 100 Bayview in Newport Beach, also owned by AEW, will give out reusable BPA-free water bottles with infusers, as well as display the results of all the energy-efficiency measures the building has implemented. (Both properties are LEED Gold certified and local TOBY winners.)
SL Green partnered with the NHL to collect and donate used sporting equipment to local schools and nonprofit organizations through its Recycle The Game initiative, which runs through May 2.
Above, the REIT's Pamela Seltzer, Elizabeth Majkowski and Evin Epstein stand in front of one of the NHL regulation-size goal nets, which became equipment donation drop boxes in 10 of its New York City properties.
Ice Hockey in Harlem is the recipient organization of all used hockey equipment, and these efforts will help NYC youth learn a sport that would otherwise be financially unavailable to them. PowerPlay NYC will accept all other sporting equipment, which will then be distributed among city public schools with limited resources.
Stream Realty Partners
Stream-managed properties throughout the country are holding various Earth Day events, including e-waste collections at Pacific Center in Torrance, CA (above); Trammell Crow Center in Downtown Dallas; and the Kellogg Co and Centerra in Denver (Trammell Crow Center and Kellogg Co will also offer shredding services).
In Houston, the Towers at Westchase is hosting a field trip to visit Last Organic Outpost in the city's Fifth Ward. (The Last Organic Outpost establishes a local food economy in Houston's underserved neighborhoods through urban farming and farm-based art and education.) Westchase, along with waste consultant Corporate Waste Solutions, will bring one or two designated "Green Team" employees from each tenant, who will be educated on urban farming and take that knowledge back to their companies.
Tanger Outlets The Walk—its center in Atlantic City, NJ—partnered with the ThisIsAC community movement and more than 25 local businesses and organizations for a city-wide cleanup effort, picking up litter and debris within and around the vicinity of the center, which hosts more than 100 stores. Many of the center's retail tenants pitched in for the effort, as well as various municipal agencies, hotels, casinos, restaurants and entertainment venues.