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Why You REALLY Should Go Green

Why You REALLY Should Go Green
What's the bottom line for landlords with sustainability? We turned to the panelists at Tuesday's Bisnow Philadelphia Sustainability Summit to find out.
marla thalheimer liberty property trust philadelphia sustainability summit
Liberty Property Trust's Marla Thalheimer told the 100 CRE pros at Le Meridien that sustainable practices need to have some effect on the bottom line to move forward for real estate owners, not just an earth-friendly drive. “I'm not going to lie. There's a lot of things that have to be a bottom-line buy-in. If you can't make the numbers work, then it's not going to fly."
philadelphia sustainability summit chris boyle drinker gsa david ehrenwerth le meridien bad thing leasing
The GSA's David Ehrenwerth (second from left) says that the government's sustainability interest has more to do with a socio-economic agenda, using its money in ways “that encourages things that are important." Tightening federal budgets mean agencies are seeking ways to reduce building costs given they only get a fixed amount of money. The GSA meters agencies and makes the ones that use more energy pay more. It's often good incentive for agency heads then to find ways to reduce cost and add more money into other priorities, David says.
brandywine brad molotsky christopher boyle drinker biddle reath david ehrenwerth gsa marla thalheimer liberty property philadelphia sustainability summit renewable energy
Brandywine's Brad Molotsky (far right, with our supermoderator Christopher Boyle of Drinker Biddle on left) says there's big potential in alternative energy sources, particularly solar, given that .05% of US power is produced through renewables: “There's a huge opportunity to increase that and create a significant impact.” But for solar, Pennsylvania's problem has been a lack of incentives to keep that alternative power produced inside the state. Instead it's often being sold to users in other states, like New Jersey.
glaxosmithkline navy yard liberty rendering
For David and Marla, the trend overall also means companies are using less real estate. Even within the GSA, many government agencies are moving toward hoteling and remote working, cutting the need for raw office space. Marla says that GlaxoSmithKline's Navy Yard project (under development, rendered above) is a “perfect example”—the company reduced its need for a 600k SF HQ down to 200k SF.
waste management data philadelphia sustainability summit sponsor le meridien
The boys from Waste Management, one of our valued sponsors. The company got a huge shout-out from Brandywine when Brad commended it for being able to gather critical data on how the landlord was saving money and being sustainable with its trash collection.