Innovative Ways to Educate Tenants
Landlords have many options for educating and engaging tenants around energy efficiency and sustainability. The following are just a few examples of innovative approaches for reaching tenants.
Leveraging an Existing Campaign
Since 2008, TIAA-CREF, a national financial services firm and one of the largest institutional investors in real estate, has participated in ENERGY STAR’s Change the World, Start with ENERGY STAR campaign. The campaign encourages organizations and individuals to adopt ENERGY STAR products and practices that reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Since joining, TIAA-CREF has distributed more than 325,000 compact fluorescent lamps and almost 900 high-efficiency LED lamps to tenants, employees, and residents in its investment real estate portfolio – with estimated savings of more than 150 million kilowatt-hours of energy consumption and $16 million in electricity costs. The campaign gave TIAA-CREF the opportunity to strengthen its tenant-landlord relationship and demonstrate leadership in sustainability.
Hosting a Sustainability Fair
Principal Real Estate Investors, the property’s owner, and KG Investment Management, its property management team, wanted a compelling way to increase their tenants’ awareness of the many sustainability initiatives they had undertaken at the AmberGlen office park in Hillsboro, Oregon The initiatives include recommissioning HVAC systems, using goats for vegetation maintenance, installing an Eco lawn, using irrigation controllers, and building two electric car charging stations. The solution? A sustainability fair for tenants. Now on its fourth year, the fair offers Principal Real Estate Investors and KG Investment not only a great opportunity to share information on sustainability projects but also a chance to connect tenants with important stakeholders, such as local utilities and the city’s sustainability office.
Making a Video
Cassidy Turley, a leading commercial real estate services provider in the US, developed a short video entitled Sustainable Solutions for the Built Environment to support a multi-platform communications campaign revolving around energy efficiency and sustainability in commercial buildings. In addition to using typical communications like newsletters, email blasts, and flyers, the firm sent this video to stakeholders, posted it on the company’s website, and shared it with the public through social media sites including Facebook, X (Twitter), and YouTube. The video describes the substantial role that commercial buildings play in energy consumption nationwide and offers easy-to-follow steps for decreasing energy use in office space. This is an innovative way to highlight accomplishments and recruit building occupants to be active participants in efforts to reduce energy use and improve the working environment.