Sustainability Initiatives Enhance Corporate Productivity
Written by Jones Lang LaSalle
As commercial real estate leaders pursue strategies to enhance sustainability through building performance, corporations and other organisations that own and lease space are making sure their employees are aware of the benefits and engaged in making sustainability programs successful.
"Numerous studies have shown that employees enjoy work more and are more productive when they see their companies acting in a socially-responsible manner," said Dan Probst, Chairman of Energy and Sustainability Services at Jones Lang LaSalle. "Companies can improve their bottom line by showing employees how they can participate in sustainability programmes, and by seeking employee input on ways to continually enhance those programmes."
The Global Sustainability Perspective report distils the employee engagement process to three essential phases—raising awareness, building engagement and maintaining commitment. It also features three real-world examples from well-known organisations that have tackled the challenge of engaging employees in developing meaningful and ambitious sustainability programmes where passions, ideas and experiences of staff are woven into the company strategy to achieve measurable results:
Grainger plc, a leader in UK residential property, raised awareness of its leadership in corporate responsibility by hosting a half-day seminar for 10 percent of its employees that discussed the company's efforts at resilience in the face of potential adverse housing trends. One hundred percent of participants surveyed after the seminar said they would like to continue to stay engaged.
Bank of America's My Environment employee initiative grew to 12,000 active employee participants in 26 countries, and 1,445 ambassadors in 11 countries, within two years of its inception. In that time, the initiative has helped build engagement by expanding from an employee education focus to an action-oriented global community, with members dedicated to helping the bank meet its environmental operations goals.
CA Technologies has maintained employee engagement by establishing pilot projects to measure and improve repeatable processes that can then be applied broadly. Its Green Teams drove colleagues in Paris to reduce paper consumption by 10.5 percent and measured the waste stream in Sydney to raise the percentage of recycling/reuse to between 85 to 90 percent of overall waste.
"Owners and managers of multi-tenant office buildings should be aware of the employee engagement strategies of their major tenants, so that they can show how initiatives at the building are in alignment with tenants' corporate values," said Jones Lang LaSalle Executive Vice President Bob Best. "Building management and leasing professionals need to stay abreast of these issues to remain competitive for high-quality tenants."
"It's ironic that a building's occupants are often overlooked as key players in sustainability initiatives, when they are the ones using energy and benefiting from a healthier workplace," Probst said. "By making employees aware of their effect on the environment, and what they can do to make a positive change, companies can not only meet their sustainability objectives but enhance job satisfaction as well."
SOURCE Jones Lang LaSalle
Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector
Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre.
At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable.
How optimistic is the outlook for the UK’s turbine bid?
Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.”
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement.
The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.
“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government.
“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.
“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”
However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future.
“We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.”
The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours
This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly