Mark Bruno, chief ambassador of CUBE and partner at Ampersand Partners, argues against "tunnel vision" when it comes to landlords and occupiers achieving net zero.
Landlords and occupiers working collaborative and creatively to achieve net zero.
Where are we now?
The landlord-occupier divide is a time-old challenge in commercial real estate. Although both landlords and occupiers are committing to ambitious net zero objectives, collaboration is quite difficult when it gets down to the question of who pays; split incentives can often halt progress. Tunnel vision on the cost of net zero, can overshadow the vast value and transformation that net zero brings to the built environment.
Where do we need to get to next?
Tackling energy use in existing buildings is a key first step. Buildings are wasteful, even BREEAM excellent ones, because of the way they are being (mis)used. However, this presents an opportunity for significant gains to be made by working with occupiers on use and behaviours, even in newer buildings.
At the same time, landlords are increasingly placing occupier engagement at the heart of their strategy and require the same of their property and facility managers. Therefore, creating an environment for those that own, manage, and occupy buildings to work together on energy is a win-win. Starting small and building trust will result in more meaningful engagement around collaboration tools such as green leases and provide buy-in of the sustainability agenda from a grass-roots level within each building.
How do we get there?
Luckily it’s not rocket science and can actually be fun. CUBE is the UK’s first competition around energy efficiency improvement in commercial buildings. It's an innovative approach that brings landlords, building managers and occupiers together and, through gamification, mobilises them to reduce their consumption. It has been running successfully in France for six years and has reduced building energy use by an average of 15 per cent and up to 55 per cent year on year. All this without major investment and simply through behaviour change and basic building reprogramming.
With monthly rankings and an annual awards ceremony, the challenge mirrors a sports season. The competition launches in the UK March 2022 with a collection of early movers including the likes of Landsec, Howard de Walden, and Chubb already signed up.
If you’re a landlord, building manager, or occupier, join the CUBE community, a fun and engaging competition proven to reduce energy usage in your buildings.