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HOUSTON-After building sustainable offices worldwide, Hines is looking inward, making sure its office practices are as environment-friendly as its exteriors. The international real estate firm’s green office program, now being implemented throughout its 230-plus offices worldwide, soon will be spread to the company’s global tenants.

Called HinesGO (Hines Green Office), the program enhances the sustainable features and space operations developed by the company’s 1,100 properties worldwide. These initiatives range from the sophisticated–motion sensors to turn off lights–to the relatively simple–double-sided printing.

“Hines has been very involved in energy savings from the very beginning,” of its construction projects, Ilene Allen, vice president of corporate operations services of Hines, tells GlobeSt.com. The company works closely with the US Green Building Council LEED program and Energy Star. “We said, ‘We do such a great job with that, how can we bring it inside?’”

With offices in more than 100 cities in 16 countries, and controlled assets valued at approximately $25.6 billion, Hines is one of the largest sustainable real estate organizations in the world, the company says.

A headquarters team examined office supplies and procedures to ensure that recycling and energy savings was implemented–paper should be recycled and public transportation encouraged. The result was a complete program, launched internally in December 2008, that helps identify and implement no-cost and low-cost alternatives to operating in a standard indoor office environment. Scored on a scale of 100, offices are evaluated in seven categories: Energy Efficiency, People & Atmosphere; Travel & Commuting; Reduce, Reuse & Recycle; Cleaning & Pest Control; Remodeling & Construction; and LEED and/or ENERGY STAR. When a specific strategy or improvement has been implemented, participants earn “Leaf Credits.” These range from eliminating bottled water machines in favor of filters in each kitchen to donating computers, to the use of “green” paints and floor coverings as offices are renovated.

If an office achieves 70 Leaf Credits, it is then designated as a Hines “Green Office,” and awarded a etched-glass statue for display. The response was immediate and fervent, Allen reports.

“You feel good, and it didn’t cost much more,” she says. “People were really enthused and thinking of different things to do. It wasn’t a competition, but everyone wanted their office to be a green space.”

The company now has 89 “green offices” in the United States and Europe, and is adapting the program for tenants at its 177 management properties around the world, to be implemented mid year. Hines is designing an award for tenants to display in their offices.

“This is a great bridge for the program to our tenants,” Allen said. “This has been interesting, educational and an easy thing to do, and it will be a fun, interesting and upbeat way to interact with our tenants.”

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