Shutting down or unplugging electronics after use. Eating more vegan or vegetarian lunches. Taking public transport to work. What all these and other small actions amount to is a whole lot of impact – especially when everyone is involved. But how do you get people to really buy in?
In this blog we give a taste of the biggest takeaways from our latest white paper, Challenge yourself: Bringing tenants and building users together to create green properties. With roughly 70% of greenhouse gas emissions in real estate coming from operations alone, we explore how stakeholders can come together to spark positive change in the way buildings are used. One effective route is through thematic challenges around sustainability that are not only impactful, but fun for everyone.
Sustainability is a worthy challenge to face
Sometimes big, expensive investments into efficient heating and cooling systems or solar panels are not the only solution to real estate’s lackluster sustainability. It can be something as straightforward as people adapting to a new way of using buildings. In fact, research by The Energy Research Partnership shows us, net-zero targets are at risk of being missed without sustainable change in corporate and public behaviour.
Transform building users into building heroes
Motivating people to behave more sustainably means setting trends, establishing norms and generating positive habits. With monthly challenges (around action agendas like zero-waste, smart mobility and more), the goal is to focus on creating new norms around green habits which become second nature. With the help of visualisation tools, in combination with engaging green challenges, you can generate awareness and excitement around sustainability; even for something as simple as reducing single-use plastics. From this, you facilitate a bottom-up culture centred around sustainability, and create inspiring green ambassadors that we like to call building heroes.
From building heroes to green communities
The process doesn’t stop there. Building users, especially employees, want to feel a sense of purpose in their work; not that they are just there to collect a check and go home. By organising challenges around sustainability, you not only give them purpose, but also direction; something to aim towards that produces positive impact along the way. The result? Happier tenants, lower employee turnover, a more attractive company culture and real carbon and energy savings.