At a certain point, practices that start out as niceties become necessities, either through government mandate or economic realities. Today, companies often think of making their buildings energy efficient as a good long-term goal that will be gotten around to when there’s time and money to make the necessary changes. But in the face of rising energy costs, increasing public interest in global warming and the potential for new state and federal regulations, more real estate managers are beginning to see that the right time is now, the benefits are large and the investment is actually small.

In a survey that formed the basis for the “Energy Challenge: A New Agenda for Corporate Real Estate,” a report recently released by CoreNet Global and the Rocky Mountain Institute, nearly every executive picked “important” or “most important” to describe the significance of energy efficiency (94%) and sustainability (83%) among all issues affecting corporate real estate. Unfortunately, the same report found that fewer than half of participants have energy policies or consumption targets in place, and less than a third of the firms surveyed are working on finding no-cost and low-cost ways to lower energy consumption.

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