GlobeSt.com: What is the mandate for this newposition?
Jordan:
We're mirroring what we're seeing in the market and theeconomy in general--which because of environmental, social andportfolio sustainability--are intertwined and really require asystems-thinking approach. Our consulting services help with thatsystems thinking, [to allow an] overall [corporate workplace andinfrastructure] that makes sense for the employees, the coststructure, and the corporate mission. We're the integrator of avariety of functions, to set strategic direction for leadingcorporate real estate organizations.

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GlobeSt.com: The group is about a year old--how has itevolved?
Jordan:
We did start working on our internal sustainabilitybefore that. We wanted to make sure we were practicing what wepreached. We've looked for opportunities to reduce the carbonfootprint of our clients--we have worked to bring more greenexpertise to our building process by familiarizing people withgreen operations and maintenance issues, and green constructionstandards and practices. We're continuing to build capabilities tohelp clients understand the importance of maintaining buildingsystems in an efficient manner, working on workplacesustainabilities. We're taking a holistic view of thesustainability equation to include how employees work in theirspace, and how much space is needed. Occupancy planning has been aproblem in real estate on the corporate side for a long time, andthere is even more urgency now--vacancy drives up property costsand energy costs. With the rising price of energy and loomingcarbon pricing, those issues are front and center for corporations.We're working with our clients to help them understand what to doon this, and how a holistic view goes beyond facilities,infrastructure and energy.

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GlobeSt.com: Is that true globally?
Jordan:
It depends on the governing body. A global corporationbased in the United States is going to be making a differenceregardless of where you are. Those same corporations are strugglingwith doing the right thing while doing the right thing by theirshareholders. We have looked at green building policies andstandards around the world to help our clients understand themarket forces for their peer companies, local regulatory trends andadoption of green building standards and where those are trendingaround the world. …

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Process and operations is a bigger dividing line than geographicregions. For example, in manufacturing or high-tech, the energymanagement practices for those line operations generally boil downto keep everything running. In an office space, energy managementhas gotten more sophisticated on demand management in technologies,behavior, and alternative sources of energy. You'll see a trend ofconsolidating energy management inside the line and across the lineon both sides of the operation as people understand there isexpertise they need to take advantage of and apply to their networkor manufacturing or production line.

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GlobeSt.com: Does your team do walk-throughs of buildings,etc.?
Jordan:
We do that, and we train green teams in our clientcorporations themselves so they can do self-assessment on site.Employee engagement is critical--the leadership opportunity in thecorporation is to find a program that employees can join. That's abig challenge to corporate real estate groups: they need thoseprogram management skills and a strategic plan that shows how thiscreates value for employees, shareholders and managers. We help setthat plan in place, working with corporate real estate leaders sothey know where to deploy these programs, how they create that kindof value. We bring in information on what's going on in the market,the social sustainability industry, what makes more economic sense,where trends and movements are in legislation and regulation, whatmunicipalities are required. There's a ton of information, and wespend a lot of time helping our clients unwind and prioritizethat.

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GlobeSt.com: How does the "green lease" play intothis?
Jordan:
Through "green leases" we have found an opportunity tocreate more common ground between landlord and tenants, wherelandlords have to understand what tenants are looking for, andcorporations have to create that market for space that is locatednear public transportation, uses water efficiently, providesrecycling infrastructure throughout the building, and has a healthyenvironment for employees with sufficient daylight and ventilation.It's really a great opportunity for landlords to build out theirpractices for sustainability, really partnering with theirtenants.

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GlobeSt.com: Are corporations much more receptivenow?
Jordan:
It's a range. Even when the corporate real estateorganization reports to finance, some surprisingly are not justROI-focused, they take a more portfolio-focused approach. They'renot going to do anything foolish regarding their cost structure,but they recognize the opportunity for employee retention andattraction, and some of those hard-to-quantify benefits. They havea clear mission and a commitment to the public to take the rightactions. I think it's working.

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GlobeSt.com: Does this continue to grow?
Jordan:
There is a lot of creativity being applied, andarguably we're only scratching the surface of the holistic program,combining workplace strategies, commute strategies for employees,carbon reduction strategies and energy management. Those programsare far from ubiquitous. But there are a lot of market and economicpressure for companies to do much more than they do today. So wehave a long way to go.

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