This year's event has a theme of "Achieve Green 2008." ShawnRush, an associate with CB Richard Ellis' Seattle office, spokeMonday on sustainability in a session titled "Green to Benefit YourClient and You." Rush spoke about the need for brokers to knowabout sustainability and the growing importance sustainability hasto the firm's clients. "Sixty percent of the Fortune 500(companies) have joined the Carbon Disclosure Program. Why is thatimportant? Because those are our clients," she says.

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Companies are initiating sustainability programs and will belooking to firms such as CB Richard Ellis to help them with theirfacilities, Rush says. "Buildings are one of the single largestcontributors to carbon dioxide," she says. Shaw talked about the USGreen Building Council's LEED certification program, which wasintroduced in 2000 for new construction. The myth is that it ismore costly to go "green" but the benefits far outweigh the costs,she says. It can cost $4 per sf more to construct a "green"building but that same building will have $58 per sf in benefits,Rush says.

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Other sessions at the forum on Tuesday and Wednesday willinclude enterprise selling, the firm's diversity initiatives,presentation skills training and breakout sessions on brokerage,capital markets and asset services. The event is put on by thefirm's Women's Network. The first event drew only about 75 women,says Lisa Konieczka, EVP in the company's Chicago office.

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