Over the course of the past year, Paladino published weekly posts on our Abundance blog, written by our consultants, about topics of importance to the sustainability community.

We decided to look back at the topics that generated the most discussion on our site, on social media networks and among our clients.

Abundance is a core value built into Paladino’s DNA. As we’ve often stated, sustainability assumes that any successful change initiative must contain an upside, a state of abundance.

The posts we chose to highlight fell into four distinct categories. If you missed any during the year, simply click on the link in the post title and go directly to the post to read it.

Client Focus

We were pleased to highlight two of our valued clients. In our interview Five Questions With…Joyce Mihalik of Forest City Enterprises we learned why sustainability is one of Forest City’s core values and her advice for other companies interested in creating a sustainability program.

Joyce pointed out that first, and foremost, the program must be personal and extensively supported by executive management. Forest City’s core values have long embedded sustainable planning principals.

To be a leader and partner-of-choice in today’s competitive real estate market, she said, we must leverage not only our entrepreneurial capabilities, but our commitment to creating and operating a well-managed, resource conscious community.

Paladino was proud to be on the team that helped our client PNC realize its goal of building the most sustainable office building in the world. We reported on this milestone in a post PNC Tops Off Global Headquarters and Affirms Commitment to Sustainability Building.

Paladino has worked with PNC for almost 15 years on its pioneering green building program, beginning with its first green building, Firstside Center.

Leadership in Sustainability

In the past year, we’ve focused on the importance of developing leaders who are committed to transformational change.

We began with a post about one of the most watched sporting events every year: the Super Bowl. Making the Super Bowl – and Sports – Sustainable highlighted the NFL’s sustainability efforts for the game.

These included a waste management recycling program, green power at the host stadium, and biodiesel blended fuels used to power generators. This leadership initiative could serve as a model for other sports events and venues.

We published three posts about the important role of each generation in building a sustainable future.

Our first, Attract and Retain Millennials With Your Green Building, discussed how the organizations that recognize how deeply Millennials care about the environment and align that with their own commitment to sustainability will come out the winners.

In Generation X is Ready to Assume Leadership Role in Sustainability, we described how this small (41 million) segment of the population is accustomed to stepping up and getting things done.

Engage Gen X by focusing on their resourcefulness and independence in finding ways to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels. Gen X and Gen Y will be working together for years to come. Each generation brings unique strengths that can be leveraged in service to a sustainable planet.

In our post — Engaging Baby Boomers – Pioneers in the Green Movement – we discussed the first green generation.

Boomers planted the seeds of the modern day green movement as the idealistic “flower children” of the 1960s. They helped to organize and then gathered to celebrate the first Earth Day in 1970.

As they prepare to exit the workforce, they can be powerful levers of change and assume roles of leadership in their organization’s sustainability initiatives.

The government has an important role in sustainability. In his post Why Aren’t Today’s Elections About a Sustainable Future for States?, CEO and founder Tom Paladino lamented that the issue of sustainability is barely on the radar screen of state governors who function as CEOs of their states.

Yet the three pillars of sustainability – people, planet, profit – touch all voter concerns and present an opportunity to create jobs, strengthen the economy, improve our health and wellbeing, and protect our communities against devastating weather events.

LEED v4 and Building Codes

There was great anticipation of the U.S. Green Building Council’s annual convention in November where LEED v4, introduced in 2013, continued to be a hot topic. Paladino was the master editor for the LEED v4 reference guides.

In the post LEED v4: Delayed Adoption Means Delayed Benefits, we noted that the rating system has improved dramatically and outlined the benefits of adopting v4 prior to the deadline of 2016. The LEED v4 documentation required to achieve many of the points now helps in the design, construction, and retrofitting of better buildings.

Paladino learned this first-hand, having used LEED v4 in our new corporate headquarters in Seattle. In Lessons Learned from Paladino’s LEED v4 Gold Rating, we described what we learned in achieving a Gold rating using the LEED Commercial Interiors program. It is only the seventh project in the world to have successfully certified under LEED v4.

Seattle has long been a leader in sustainability as outlined in Highlights: Seattle’s Cutting Edge Energy Code and Utility Structure. In 2014 Seattle pushed the envelope and set the stage for innovative energy programs to encourage a smaller energy footprint for our region.

Rigorous code regulations require owners to up their game on energy efficiency, innovative financing models, and pay-by-performance programs that incentivize owners to keep their buildings performing at peak efficiency.

Other noteworthy posts about new codes included:

GRESB

GRESB (the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) is a platform that allows large real estate portfolios such as real estate investment trusts (REITs) and funds to voluntarily self-report sustainability policies, practices and portfolio-wide utility data performance metrics.

Are You Ready for GRESB? kicked off a series of posts anticipating the newest release of the GRESB survey questions.

In Exciting Changes to the 2014 GRESB Survey, we summarized a number of changes to the GRESB annual survey including reporting square footage, asset type classification, energy costs and asset-level data collection.

GRESB Results Show Uptick in Adoption of Sustainability Benchmarking offered suggestions to implement meaningful and impactful sustainability initiatives.

Managing Big Data for GRESB Reporting recommended a three-step framework of GATHER–>TRANSFORM–>SYNTHESIZE to manage big data effectively and maximize your Performance Indicators (PI) aspect score.

…Looking Ahead to 2015

Our second post in the New Year will introduce our reorganized client service team that is aligned by market segment. We’re confident this structure will be highly beneficial in delivering services to our clients.

Then, Tom Paladino will share his predictions in a post about the future of sustainability.

If you’d like to receive our posts when they’re published, just click on one of the subscription links below. Then stay tuned for our blogs in 2015 that will address your critical sustainability issues.

We look forward to hearing from you with your comments and ideas. Please let us know if there is a topic you would like addressed as we continue to strive for a more sustainable planet.

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