It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in 2013 and here we are, 52 weeks and 52 blog posts later, starting the New Year.

We decided to look back at the topics that generated the most discussion on our site, on social media networks and among our clients, and that addressed issues of importance to the sustainability community.

The posts we chose fell into three 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.

Leadership and Transformation

It takes leadership and a vision for the future for organizations to achieve transformational change. Our founder and CEO Tom Paladino wrote about the need for sustainability leaders in this post, Why We Need Exceptional Sustainability Leaders to Change the World.

He wrote in part, “We need leaders who can inspire and create platforms to effectively influence change across all areas and at every level in an organization. Sustainability champions are more than transactional, or even transitional, leaders. They are the catalysts that can break old frameworks to embed sustainability as a core competency to achieve transformation in the organization. This requires a set of new leadership skills that are absent in most companies today.”

Julie Honeywell, VP of Talent Management at Paladino, wrote a series of blog posts about leadership in sustainability based on the Vital Smarts model. This model describes six sources of influence to help leaders create lasting organizational change based on measurable results.

The sources are: personal motivation, personal ability, social motivation, social ability, structural motivation and structural ability.

Adding to Tom’s sentiments, Julie wrote: “Leaders who understand the science behind behavior change and apply a sophisticated change management strategy targeting the six sources of influence are 10 times more successful in their efforts to influence system-wide change.”

Here are the posts in that series. We’re confident they will help you in making lasting changes in building your sustainable organization.

LEEDv4 and Other Changes

Not surprisingly, we wrote about LEED a number of times. The anticipation of LEED v4, released at Greenbuild in November, caused quite a lot of anxiety among owners and developers.

After the long wait, participants at the conference were actually quite upbeat about the release of LEED v4 (for which Paladino edited the Reference Guides). Our consultants expressed their thoughts about the conference in this post Renewed Optimism for LEED v4 at Greenbuild Nation 2013 Conference & Expo.

The post by Hawkins Thomas, Frequently Asked LEED Questions (FALQ) by General Contractors, generated a lot of discussion in LinkedIn sustainability groups. Some were unaware of certain LEED requirements and others suggested different answers. That’s a major purpose of this blog – to stimulate discussions and new ideas.

After achieving LEED certification, what’s next? We addressed that question in this post by Rachel Sowards, Avoid the Post-LEED Certification Slump by Setting New Goals. Click here to read all our posts about LEED.

Sustainability in Real Estate

The post Leasing Commercial Real Estate Properties by Promoting Sustainability by Rachel advised that a sustainability program can set a building apart from its competitors by making improvements that save money and attract tenants.

In his post Paladino Launches the ICSC Property Efficiency Scorecard, Patrick Leonard describes how Paladino helped develop the scorecard in collaboration with ICSC members from around the world. The ICSC Property Efficiency Scorecard is the only benchmarking system uniquely tailored and designed by users and for users in the shopping center industry.

It was a revelation that competitors such as Home Depot and Lowe’s are willing to come together to brainstorm ideas on how to create a better world—and a better customer experience — through sustainability. Melony Pederson wrote about this in Fierce Retail Competitors Surprise by Collaborating on Sustainability.

Paladino decided to practice what it preaches, and made every effort to make its new Seattle headquarters more sustainable, as described in this post by Brad Pease, The Greening of Paladino’s New Seattle Headquarters.

And finally, it seems fitting to end this year-end review with a post that speaks to the spirit of rebuilding. In Sustainability as a Lasting Legacy at the New World Trade Center, Rachel spoke to the profound legacy of the World Trade Center as a symbol of regeneration, renewal, and true sustainability.

This is our hope for the world in 2014: that we will have peace in the New Year and we will come together as one worldwide community committed to the sustainability of the planet.

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