2018 has been a remarkable year for sustainable real estate and the global and local forces that drive demand for energy efficient, healthy, resilient, Sustainable buildings.
Continued climate disasters showed us a glimpse of what is to come if we do not act quickly and decisively. International and domestic experts laid out in scientific detail the grave social and financial impacts of climate change if we continue on the current path.
Not surprisingly, real estate continues to be one of the most cost-effective sectors to combat climate change. Energy efficient, healthy and resilient buildings have lower utility costs, higher occupancy and higher values. Each dollar spent to improve sustainability creates value for all stakeholders: building owners, operators, investors and occupants.
And the financial sector has discovered the serious risks of ignoring climate science, and the reputational and financial benefits of embracing it. More than 85% of the S&P500 now report ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) performance and over 61% of major listed real estate funds report sustainability performance through GRESB.
Twenty cities and 3 states are driving energy efficiency with policies covering over 10 billion square feet of property, and two cities, Washington DC and New York City have proposed mandatory energy performance requirements for existing buildings, the first in our country.
Leading real estate organizations are pushing for deeper carbon reductions, coupling energy efficiency improvements with creative renewable energy purchases to set aggressive science-based targets. And a US real estate firm became the first in the country to announce a carbon neutral pledge.
And of course, the demand for green buildings continues to grow. Millennials, the majority of whom value sustainability over salary, will be 75% of the workforce by 2025, further expanding the demand for sustainable buildings in which to work, live, and play.
We are excited, but not surprised, to see this rapid growth in the value of sustainable buildings. This momentum will only accelerate as investors, policy-makers and tenants continue to demand more energy efficient, healthy and resilient buildings.
We are proud to be part of this exciting and important industry, working with some of the most impressive and passionate clients, peers and policy makers to improve the built environment for this generation and generations to come.
Happy Holidays and here's to an exciting 2019!