Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sustainable Real Estate Development in India Starts to Gain Momentum

Taking action on India’s environmental crisis is no longer an option – it is a necessity. Sustainable real estate presents India with an unique and enormous opportunity to make concrete progress in the country’s effort to improve its environment. In a recent research report titled ‘Sustainable Real Estate Development in India’, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj highlights the increasing trend of sustainable development in India. There is greater consciousness towards the environmental crisis in India with terms such as sustainable development, corporate social responsibility and triple bottom reporting becoming more common in the real estate industry. The report also details the best practices and processes that owners and occupiers can adopt to reduce the environmental impact of their real estate assets and at the same time, gain from substantial ROI (Return on Investment) from their ‘green’ initiatives.
The ‘Sustainable Real Estate Development in India’ report points out that despite the ever rising construction activity, awareness of sustainability in India has significantly lagged behind countries in the West. Nevertheless with the growing importance of environmentalism in India, the Indian commercial sector has begun to make conscious efforts towards creating sustainable real estate. With support from the Indian government, almost 40 construction projects that are currently underway are registered with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). LEED is soon emerging as the preferred rating system as it is flexible enough to be applied to a diverse variety of markets and also because it enjoys the greatest recognition of the various international rating systems. This recognition is especially important when one considers that a prime motivator for developers to create a certified sustainable building is to differentiate their project from competition. The government has introduced several schemes to encourage sustainability such as the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) schemes for subsidising capital for installation of solar water heaters, encouragement of energy audits and management schemes, mandatory use of fly ash-based construction material, groundwater and rain water harvesting and most importantly increased monitoring of air and water pollution.
Manisha Grover, Head Strategic Consulting & Research, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj and also co-author of the paper said, “It is important that developers and occupiers develop an understanding and work together in successfully achieving improved sustainability performance. Occupiers can greatly assist in implementing a sustainability programme. The overall sustainable building movement has significant business implications and is an opportunity to make a real contribution in the effort to curb India’s environmental crisis.”
The research paper also highlights the process of implementing sustainable development. This development can be achieved through synergy between developers and occupiers to establish goals, undertake audits and ascertain where savings and improvements can be made. This can be achieved by focusing on high-impact, low-cost solutions that can be implemented within a realistic time frame. The importance of educating occupiers on the impact their use of space will have on sustainability outcomes is integral to the success of a sustainability programme. To properly educate developers, their patterns of behaviour must be changed to accommodate and reinforce any sustainability features that have been implemented in a building. The main objective of any education and communications program should be to encourage developers and occupiers to follow practices such as energy and water conservation, waste management and improve indoor air quality.
“The business advantages that sustainable buildings create are enormous. Sustainable buildings use design techniques, materials and technologies that minimize a building's impact on the environment in their design, construction and operational systems while adequately servicing and supporting activities within. Sustainable buildings provide occupiers with several operating cost reductions. Electricity is one of the largest operating expenses for commercial buildings in India. Buildings with sustainable elements can save up to 20% in total electricity costs,” added Grover. In India, sustainable buildings in Tier 1 cities are at best limited to a handful of top-quality Grade A properties. However, it is encouraging to know for owners and occupiers that the number of sustainable buildings in India are increasing and in the long term are cheaper to run and make for a better working environment.
Vincent Lottefier, Chief Executive Officer , Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj concluded, “The shift towards sustainability is gaining momentum in India as environmentalism and sustainable buildings are an important part of doing business in this part of the world. Sustainable real estate is not a passing trend but is a new way of doing business in real estate as sustainable buildings provide considerable financial savings. In developing, maintaining, owning and occupying sustainable buildings, individuals can help make a positive impact on the environment. Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj as the leading property and facility manager is a strong advocate of creating a more sustainable environment for current and future generations.”
About Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj
Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj is the Indian operations of Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE: JLL), the only real estate money management and services firm named to FORTUNE magazine's ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ and Forbes magazine's ‘400 Best Big Companies’. With an extensive geographic footprint across ten cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kochi, Chandigarh and Coimbatore) and staff strength of over 2,800 employees, it is the premiere and largest real estate services company in India. Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj provides investors, developers, local corporates and multinational companies with a comprehensive suite of services, including research, consultancy, transactions, project and development, integrated facility management, property management, capital markets, residential, hotels and retail advisory.
For further information, please visit www.jllm.co.in
About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE: JLL), the only real estate money management and services firm named to FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” and Forbes magazine’s “400 Best Big Companies,” has approximately 160 offices worldwide and operates in more than 450 cities in over 50 countries. With 2006 revenue of more than USD2 billion, the company provides comprehensive integrated real estate and investment management expertise on a local, regional and global level to owner, occupier and investor clients. Jones Lang LaSalle is an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, with a portfolio of approximately 1.3 billion square feet worldwide. In 2006, the firm completed capital markets sales and acquisitions, debt financing, and equity placements on assets and portfolios valued at USD70.9 billion. LaSalle Investment Management, the company’s investment management business, is one of the world’s largest and most diverse real estate money management firms, with approximately USD46.9 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit our website, www.joneslanglasalle.com.
Jones Lang LaSalle has over 45 years of experience in Asia Pacific. With over 15,000 employees operating in more than 70 offices in 13 countries across the region, the company is positioned to partner with clients to provide the quality advice needed for making quality decisions.
The Little Book of Real Estate Definitions - Asia Pacific by Jones Lang LaSalle is a useful resource to gain a better understanding of the most commonly used real estate terms in the region. To enhance your knowledge, please visit www.joneslanglasalle-dictionary.com


No comments: