Articles With "Green Business" Tag

BusinessWeek: Beyond the Green Corporation + Sustainable Core Competency

Imagine_a_world_bw_cover On the first day of the new year, I blogged about my personal goal to flaunt the business case for green real estate.  I really do believe there are big opportunities in sustainability, and this week, BusinessWeek is doing the job for me.  Sort of.  The cover story is "Beyond the Green Corporation: Imagine a world in which eco-friendly and socially responsible practices actually help a company’s bottom line.  It’s closer than you think."  The article doesn’t have a real estate focus, but real estate is business. 

I liked one point the article made: "Companies that talk the most about sustainability aren’t always the best at executing."  Take Ford, for example.  Ford spent a reported $2 billion renovating their River Rouge facility into a green building, but do we consider sustainability one of Ford’s core competencies?  I don’t.  Sustainability is ancillary to what it really does, which is to make big trucks.  Big F150s.  Does it have sustainable practices?  Maybe, but sustainability isn’t Ford’s core competency.  And Ford’s not alone.  Everyone is trying to grapple with the complicated balancing act between quarterly numbers and long-term sustainable practices. 

Companies that make sustainability a core competency will be very profitable in the future.  But, that’s easier said than done because sustainability will require entirely new ways of doing things.  It will take time.  It takes my weekend research.  You won’t find sustainability taught in most MBA schools yet, either.  But this is what competitive advantage is all about, isn’t it? 

LivingHomes News: Ray Kappe v2 + LEED Silver

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It looks like LivingHomes is lighting up the blogosphere again with more news.  I’ve talked about Living Homes here + here, and I really like the company, big-time.  So there are a few tidbits of news that you may find interesting:  (1) LivingHomes has committed to make all its homes LEED Silver, at a minimum, and will work with owners to pay for certification costs, and (2) LivingHomes has entered into a partnership with Enterprise Community Partners (ECP) to take some proceeds from LivingHomes sales and put them into a fund for affordable green home communities.  So we see LivingHomes expanding its target consumer base to allow for broader adoption due to possibly lower prefab costs–that said, these are green, architect-designed homes that command a price premium. 

Interestingly, you’ll also find Ray Kappe’s second design (RK2) on the newly redesigned LivingHomes webpage.  Pictured above, RK2 will be LEED Silver (Total Points = 50.5) and will have the following green benefits:  yearly energy savings enough to power the home for 2 months; yearly water savings enough to fill 2 swimming pools; 80% of construction waste diverted from landfills; and 67% construction from recyclable materials.  It will be about 2,215 square feet, with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  RK2 looks to be the perfect fit for large lots with expansive views.  It will include an interior garden as well. 

3Form Named a Top 25 Fastest Growing Company in Utah Business Magazine

Orange_slice Cut_grass Snowmelt Night_sky

I was in Utah over the weekend for Equity Green‘s wedding.  He’s a real estate tax guy named Garrett, so visit the archives if you want to learn about green real estate from that perspective.  While in town, I picked up Utah Business magazine, which included an article on the state’s 2007 Economic Forecast, and I noticed a list of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies [Registration required].  Guess who was on the list as the state’s #22 fastest growing companies?  3Form.  The magazine says 3Form is company that "creates resin products for design and construction industries."  More specifically, 3Form is committed to environmental solutions for their industry and was recognized by BuildingGreen in 2006, for having a Top-10 Green Building Product.  I’ve written about both 3Form and the Top-10 Green Building Products list previously at the links above. 
 

IceCycle: Innovation in Thermal Energy Storage


Guest post contributed and co-authored by Mark Glover, CEO of Trinity Thermal Systems, and David Anderson, COO of Trinity Thermal Systems.  Mark and David are joint founders, inventors, and pioneers in green energy storage technology.

The Current Energy Situation
Storage is an integral part of every man-made system we have.  We have food in our pantries, fuel in our car gas tanks, and water in our water towers to meet our needs on demand.  Man’s greatest machine is our mass network of electricity and grid, but it does NOT have storage built in.  Which means, it is not only how much, but when we use electricity that is important.  Electrical supply and demand must perfectly balance every minute of every day; standby electric capacity must exist to instantly ramp up to the highest possible peak demand at a moments notice, with reserve capacity of ten to fifteen percent in case demand is under estimated or mechanical breakdown occurs.  If we fail to meet even a moment of this growing demand, we have blackouts or brownouts that paralyze our business economy and threaten the health of our families.

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Green Key Real Estate Expands into Second Office (Marin County)

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Here on Jetson Green, I’ve talked about EcoBroker, but I’ve been waiting to talk about Green Key Real Estate.  I’ve been waiting to see how the market would respond to their services and today’s announcement makes it clear that Green Key Real Estate his hitting all the right market buttons (even in today’s erratic real estate market).  Green Key just announced the opening of a second office in Marin County, managed by the husband/wife duo of Cam + Pam Andrews.  This Green Key Marin team is committed to helping buyers and sellers reach their financial objectives without sacrificing environmental responsibility and social equity. 

When the first Green Key office (San Francisco) opened, it drew quite the splash in the blogging world.  Green Key is a residential brokerage firm committed to environmental responsibility and social equity.  Green Key’s certified by San Francisco Green business + EcoBroker.  It’s also building a database of green properties in their locale; recycling and composting office waste; minimizing paper use with technology; donating a portion of profits to green building organizations; and maintaining a reservoir of knowledge in the industry to help inquisitive purchasers and sellers.  Really, I think Green Key Real Estate is smartly executing on a well developed, eco-friendly business plan.  Via E-wire

Skyscraper Sunday: LEED Gold Connecting Old + New (Seattle)

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I came across an interesting statistic (which will be obsolete in no time) about LEED certified office buildings.  There are about 669 LEED certified office buildings, and of that number, only 38 are remodels.  Why?  When you have a building that’s occupied, how are you going do a green renovation without losing rents?  Here’s one way.  The former Union Bank of California Center, the 41-story, 34-year-old building owned by Beacon Capital Partners, is looking to be one of the few LEED-Existing Building (EB) certified structure in the United States.  Because most of the leases are due to expire over the next five years, the company will be able to renovate as space opens up.  They’ll shift tenants around until the building is complete.   

This is about a $36 million remodel job.  Green amenities will include the following:  shaved columns for added light; automated artificial lights; recycled and recyclable carpet; no- or low-VOC paints; recycled metal in ceilings; new insulation in walls that were uninsulated; new high-efficiency heating and cooling systems; water-efficient bathroom fixtures; and runoff water landscaping. 

Additionally, BCP started construction next door on a new, 24-story, 126-unit green condo tower at Fifth Avenue and Madison Street.  The new building will be complete in 2008.  BCP officials said they are seeking LEED Gold for both buildings.  I must say that will be a powerful juxtaposition of the old and new:  both environmental leaders in their own way (EB + NC).  Via Seattle Post-Intelligencer + Emporis.

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