Looking to make a difference in your community, save money, and make your property stand out from the competition? Sustainable property management may be just what the doctor ordered.
Read on to learn 9 ways to practice sustainable building management and be part of the green revolution!
Take a holistic approach
First things first — sustainability is more than just an advertising tactic. While it may seem like you can get in on the trend by just slapping a “sustainable” sticker on your office or apartment complex, it takes more to really adhere to sustainable property management practices.
Not only is false advertising, potential tenants will see right through your attempt at being sustainable without any actual sustainable actions. Conversely, an honest attempt at sustainability as a property manager will come across well. It will impress tenants and make potential tenants more likely to rent your space.
Once you do it right, flaunt it
While we encourage you to focus your efforts on good-faith sustainable actions, it does not mean you shouldn’t tell people about the awesome sustainable things you’re doing.
Don’t be afraid to let people know the initiatives you’re proud of, sustainability related or otherwise. People like to be a part of causes they care about, and will be interested in the sustainable actions you’re taking to better the world and your community.
Reduce your carbon footprint where possible
While it’s impossible to run a commercial building or office and have a zero carbon footprint, reducing your consumption of fossil fuels will go a long way towards truly practicing sustainable property management
Some ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your commercial building include:
- Optimized HVAC system: Heating and cooling comprises over 40% of carbon emissions! Making sure your system is running smoothly and only when necessary will not only save you money, but is great for the earth as well.
- Good insulation: Though more expensive at first, properly insulating your building will cut down on heating and cooling costs quick.
- Water: Installing low flow shower heads and faucets will reduce water use while still providing a great experience for your tenants.
- Lighting: Using energy efficient light bulbs, integrating an open floor plan, and taking advantage of natural light will use less power to light your space.
Energy Star appliances
Another great way to cut down on energy use is through using Energy Star appliances. Energy Star appliances run significantly more efficient than older models, often with the same or better performance than less efficient models. To qualify appliances must be 10-50% more efficient.
Appliances to consider include:
- Air Conditioners
Use recycled materials when possible
When choosing materials for new spaces for your property, start with recycled options to see if there are any good fits. These items could be upcycled materials or even things made from recycled materials.
Using these recycled materials will cut down on mining and extraction of new materials. This cuts down on deforestation and is overall better for the earth. It’s also one of the things that very much defines being sustainable — you’re lengthening the usefulness of items.
This doesn’t have to lead to higher costs, either! In reality, many of these materials are the same price or cheaper. A win-win!
Get your tenants involved
People like being a part of something good. Being environmentally friendly is no different. If they feel like there are sustainability efforts going on around them, they’ll want to be a part of it.
If tenants feel like they’re a part of your sustainability efforts, they’ll feel ownership in your building and will also be more sustainable in their actions. Provide avenues for them to act sustainably. When they see you making an honest effort, it will be easy for them to follow suit.
Besides adhering to the law, recycling limits the waste your building produces. Setting up a program is necessary, but empowering your tenants to do the same is different. Make sure to give them easy access to recycling receptacles so they feel empowered to do their part!
At the bare minimum, you should…
- Recycle paper and containers (metal cans, plastic bottles and tubs, and glass bottles and jars)
- Sort and separate recyclables correctly (make sure to separate the glass specifically!)
- Set out materials for recycling collection
Recycling actually does not take much work! With a company like Cascade Building Services by your side, the logistics are easy. We can help you set up your recycling program and make sure you’re compliant and doing the truly sustainable thing!
Though a massive project, harnessing the power of the sun to lessen your reliance on fossil fuels is one of the best ways possible to make your building more sustainable.
A significant federal tax credit is available for commercial businesses called the Solar Investment Tax Credit. This credit provides a 30% rebate on the investment in a solar panel system. You must as quick, however! This tax rebate is being scaled back and will no longer exist after 2022. This rebate is only available to commercial property owners who own their solar panels. Those who lease solar panels are not eligible.
With solar panels, you’ll also be paying significantly less for energy monthly. While you’ll likely be making payments on the purchase, it will still be significantly less than what you’re paying for energy from the utility company.
On top of all of this, you’ll be lessening your reliance on the power grid, which comes from either coal-powered energy plants or hydroelectric power plants. While hydroelectric weens us off of coal, it still does ecological and cultural damage to major riverways. Solar is the only truly sustainable choice for energy consumption.
Use green cleaning supplies
Chemicals are almost never a good thing. Everything eventually ends up in the ocean, and chemical leach from something as simple as windex is no different. They’re also damaging to the health of your tenants and their animals.
This does not mean your space has to be dirty, however! Professional maintenance companies like Cascade Build Services specialize in cleaning spaces using only environmentally friendly methods. This is not only sustainable, but will ensure your commercial space or apartment or condo complex is a safe and welcoming environmentally friendly space.
Cascade Building Services can help you run your commercial space sustainably!
For over 50 years, we’ve delivered sustainable building management and janitorial services to Portland area businesses. Sustainability is important to us. So is the health of our clients and their tenants. We only use products that:
- Deliver exceptional results
- Ensure a sustainable workplace
- Are free from harmful odors and toxins
- Improve indoor air quality
- Help us provide a clean and safe work environment
Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.