CRE’s 2021 ESG opportunity includes quick wins: BMS and sensor-managed HVACs, LED light scheduling

Reducing carbon emissions is a goal for institutional investors. 


Managers who want to pass investors’ ESG sniff test should focus on implementing strategies and showing data-backed proof with Raphael Rosen, Carbon Lighthouse.


Quick wins to reduce carbon emissions CRE managers can adopt some energy strategies to reduce carbon emissions, such as: 

  • Focus on the asset’s biggest energy users and carbon emission contributors: the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. There are solutions that don’t require cap-ex heavy fixes. For example, building management systems (BMS), advanced sensors, AI-driven software solutions and data analytics will help better manage the overall HVAC systems to ensure each individual piece of equipment is working efficiently and effectively as part of the overall system. 

  • Start with low-hanging fruit with cost-effective updates in the lighting system. Make sure you’re using LED lights throughout the building, as well as sensors and automated scheduling to align use of lighting to when spaces actually need lighting (vs. after hours or when a conference room is not being used). 

  • Find energy saving solutions that also account for the 50% of energy used by tenants in triple-net lease structures. 

  • Data-back carbon reductions to easily market proof back to investors, tenants, staff and all stakeholders alike.


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First published in NAREIM Dialogues Spring 2021, published in association with IREI.