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CHICAGO-Jones Lang LaSalle has begun producing video podcasts with opinions, insight and tips from the firm’s executives. The podcasts, which are generally around two minutes in length, are a way for Jones Lang LaSalle to provide information to people in a way that is quick to process and easy to understand, says David Johnson, global chief information officer for Jones Lang LaSalle. “We are really trying to get the message out to our clients and our potential clients about our ability to think out of the box,” Johnson says.

The podcasts are geared to real estate executives, investors and asset managers. The clips are available on a website and people can also subscribe to receive them. There are about 800 subscribers at this point, Johnson tells GlobeSt.com. The company expects to produce a few podcasts a week, he says. After viewing the podcast, there are internet links that people can access additional information and research on the topic. “Most of these podcasts have a simple idea that we want people think about because it can affect them for a profitability standpoint,” he says.

The topics of recent podcasts include “Opportunities in Times of Challenging Debt Markets” and “LA Commercial Market: Why so robust?” Johnson says that the firm is having employees determine the topics of podcasts and will also likely take topic suggestions from viewers in the future. The podcasts have been based on topics in the US thus far but will have topics from “across the world” in 2008, Johnson says. There may also be a couple of podcasts on the same topic with different opinions of different firm executives.

People are “inundated” with emails each day and may not have time to read through long opinions or insights but would like have time to watch a podcast, which is generally only about two minutes in length, Johnson says. Additionally, “I think that video is really the medium for learning that most people will gravitate to if they have a choice,” he says. People are able to better understand concepts with hearing the words with the speaker’s inflection and seeing the speaker’s facial expressions and body language. The idea for the podcasts came from brainstorming sessions with about 20 of the firm’s clients. “We actually went out and talked to our clients about innovation, what does innovation mean to them…(and) what is something that Jones Lang LaSalle can do that is innovative that will put money in (the clients’) pockets,” Johnson says.

In other JLL news, the firm released a public statement Tuesday that it has renewed its partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Program, which it has been a part of since 1999. Jones Lang LaSalle will recommend and implement energy saving strategies with its corporate and institutional clients as well as improving the firm’s energy efficiency, says Diane Vrkic, global COO for the firm’s energy and sustainability services group. The firm will find ways for the buildings it manages to be more energy efficient and will implement strategies in addition to making recommendations to building owners, such as installing more energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems, Vrkic says. Buildings that are more energy efficient have lower long-term operating costs in addition to having a “lower negative impact to the environment” and, in some cases, “create a healthier environment” for tenants and employees, Vrkic says.

Jones Lang LaSalle has a global initiative entitled ACT, standing for Act for a Cleaner Tomorrow, she says. The firm plans to decrease overall energy consumption, decrease waste and increase recycling. Jones Lang LaSalle expects to complete a “baseline” study within the next few months detailing the firm’s energy usage and detailing ways to be more efficient. “But, we have already moved ahead with certain programs” to reduce the amount of waste the firm produces and to be more energy efficient such as making sure that lights are off when employees are not in the office and increasing the temperatures in offices by one degree in the warmer months, she says. The firm began this year an initiative to reduce paper consumption and plans to increase recycling at all of the firm’s office locations.

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