Five Questions With…is our new series of Q&As with sustainability leaders.
Joyce Mihalik is Vice President, Energy Services at Forest City Enterprises. Founded in 1920, Forest City is a national real estate management and development company with retail, residential and commercial properties throughout the United States. As part of the Integrated Design Services Group (IDS), which shares knowledge about all aspects of the building development process across the company’s offices, Joyce manages Forest City’s energy strategies and leads the company’s development of their sustainability framework.
1. Sustainability is one of Forest City’s Core Values. Why is sustainability so important to FCE?
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, we must leverage not only our entrepreneurial capabilities, but our commitment to creating and operating a well-managed, resource conscious community. Our goal is to create distinctive places where people live, work, shop and play. We want to be a part of their fiber, and the backbone of a community where we build for many years to come. Longevity, resource effectiveness, and integration into our market are all part of building a sustainable community.
2. What does the Forest City’s Integrated Design Services (IDS) do, and how do they contribute to Forest City’s sustainability goals?
Integrative design is about taking the best of what we do and making it a part of everything we do. IDS is a consolidation of resources for all developers and asset managers across product type and geography. IDS is responsible for the following:
- Improve process efficiency to lower our cost of delivery
- Coordinate and bridge FCE teams
- Optimize approach to design using proven cost/benefit analysis
- Reduce our environmental impact and ensure positive lift to communities
- Innovate continuously to drive Operational Excellence
- Craft a consistent message to our stakeholders
3. What results have you seen from the work you’ve done with IDS?
The IDS group is providing a collaboration forum and a voice to the many associates who work on our development and asset teams. As the group moves into its second year, we are now committing to a more unified design intent and consistent use of operational best practices as a company, including sustainability.
4. What advice would you give other real estate companies interested in creating a sustainability program?
There is a lot of information available on the web and through different organizations about sustainability. You can attend a lot of classes and hear a lot from dozens of consultants on the elements essential in a strong sustainability program. First and foremost, you need to make the program personal and extensively supported by executive management. In order to do this, be highly organized. Hire a master consultant with a great reputation in the industry that can organize and fast track your ideas best on the best theories and practices in the industry today. Leverage this consultant to help you build strong goals, create communications plans, and execute on the deliverables.
5. What are you most excited about when you consider the future of Forest City’s sustainability program?
I am excited to see our evolution. Sustainability has embedded itself into our culture and now we want to share this information with our tenants, our investors and our communities. We enjoy being a resource to others outside of our organization, and as we continue to share our message, sustainability will continue to support Forest City’s overall mission to be a partner of choice.
To read our previous interviews with other sustainability leaders please click here.