Businesses large and small are always looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption. Limiting this consumption works for the good in two ways. First, using less energy can help lower the bills and other costs. Second, and perhaps more importantly, keeping energy use to a minimum goes a long way in reducing the strain placed on the environment and helps protect our planet. Though many commercial real estate owners are tackling this issue on their own, the city of Houston has partnered with several organizations to encourage business and property owners to bring down their energy consumption by way of good, old fashioned competition.
The Houston Green Office Challenge and the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) Sustainable Property Challenge targets tenants and property owners alike. The challenges will pit these groups against one another in “friendly competition” as they compete for recognition and, of course, points. The city of Houston hopes that turning energy reduction into a game will persuade businesses and property owners to quickly limit their energy consumption. Each group is asked to participate in a series of challenges which are meant to teach them about ways to become more “green” and perhaps work with one another in the process. As they progress in these challenges, the groups will be able to earn praise from the city’s mayor and, in some cases, earn ENERGY STAR and LEED building certifications.
What makes this challenge great is the opportunity to compete against and work with one another. Although the city of Houston’s initiative is split into two challenges — the Houston Green Office Challenge is for tenants while the IREM Sustainable Property Challenge is for property owners — there are plenty of opportunities to work in tandem with each other. The city hopes property owners and their tenants will compete in their respective challenges, thereby encouraging one another to earn more points and recognition. The gamification aspect is also helpful. Even if property owners are only motivated to beat out their peers, they’ll have to green up their building to do so.
Everyone can play their part to protect the environment by reducing their energy consumption. Even property owners outside of the greater Houston area can take steps, no matter how small, to reduce consumption and become more efficient. Those in the market for commercial real estate properties can even work together with their local commercial real estate advisor to find properties which have already been outfitted with energy saving fixtures and equipment. By working together with knowledgeable advisors, new property owners maximize their investment while protecting the Earth. This is truly a win-win situation!