A couple of years ago McDonald’s phased out serving coffee in styrofoam cups. I remember decades ago when my Big Mac stopped being served in the pale brown foam clam-shell. What began as “green” actions back then – ditching Styrofoam that didn’t decompose in landfills – has expanded to sustainability initiatives that address energy use, carbon production and the broader implications of living on a healthy planet.
What doesn’t get the media attention of “styrofoam reduction”, and therefore goes unseen by the public at large, are the sincere and serious efforts being made by businesses in the commercial building space for the sake of sustainability. Check out these examples from three incredible companies you’ve likely never heard of.
Prologis. Heard of them? They operate over 3,100 industrial properties around the world. That amounts to some 670 million square feet of space, providing logistics for better known companies like Amazon, L’Oreal and Wal-Mart. According to the 2014 Sustainability Report, Prologis has seen major successes like certification of 43 million square feet of sustainable properties and 400 million kilowatt hours of energy savings from energy-efficient lighting and solar panel production. That’s enough energy to power over 40,000 homes.
Hines. Heard of them? An experienced developer of more than 273 million square feet of top-flight commercial office space in 19 countries. Of their 875 properties, half of them have achieved green building certifications such as LEED and Energy Star! This reflects serious commitment to minimal energy use, greenhouse gas reduction and responsible facility maintenance.
Kane Realty. Heard of them? A leader in mixed-use developments blending office, retail and residential in dynamic settings. Take the North Hills development in Raleigh, NC, where Kane Realty initiatives have made an example of making sustainability a priority in practical ways. For example: Emissions-free, electric G.E.M. vehicles to shuttle shoppers, electric vehicle charging stations, solar energy production with nifty online displays and the use of engineered water technologies.
So while well-known companies like McDonald’s receive press for laudable decisions like phasing out non-biodegradable packaging, here’s to recognizing all the companies like Prologis, Hines and Kane who are quietly making huge contributions to sustainability in ways that are seldom recognized.
And so the sustainability trends go.