At the recent ICSC RECon 2014 Conference, there was growing interest among attendees in learning how shopping centers can become more sustainable.
I led three sessions devoted to best practices in measuring performance, benchmarking strategies that promote sustainability, and the ICSC Property Efficiency Scorecard
Developed by Paladino in collaboration with ICSC members from around the world, the Scorecard is the only sustainability benchmarking solution uniquely tailored for the retail real estate industry.
The Scorecard enables retail landlords to assess the performance of their existing buildings, benchmark against peers, improve the performance of their portfolio, and report their results.
Sustainability Builds Momentum
ICSC RECon is the blockbuster conference for the retail real estate industry and attracted 32,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors over three days in Las Vegas. While sustainability has not been a major topic at this event, which primarily focuses on leasing space, there was a measurable uptick in interest in sustainability in 2014.
ICSC validated its own interest in sustainability with a story in the conference newsletter. To quote, “Whether the goal is to preserve the natural environment or simply reduce energy costs, retailers and landlords alike are adopting green practices and converting to energy-saving buildings, fixtures and equipment like never before.”
ICSC hosted free education sessions in the Marketplace Mall that saw standing room only for sessions on topics including energy benchmarking, LED lighting technologies, roof maintenance, and the Scorecard.
In the sessions focused on sustainability, participants discussed their concerns about the impact of mandatory energy performance disclosure laws. As we described in a previous blog post, compliance is a time consuming process.
There was general agreement that a process to address benchmarking requirements proactively by tracking common area utility consumption and reaching out to each tenant to get utility data should be developed before the lease is ready to be signed – have a plan!
Scorecard Attracts Global Interest
The ICSC Property Efficiency Scorecard attracted interest at the conference from North American, European, Central American and Middle Eastern developers. This mirrors the adoption pattern of tool users so far.
In just six months since launch, 31 companies, including Kimco, Westfield, Mirvac, Sonae Sierra, Redevco, IKEA and CBRE Global Investors, are tracking almost 1,200 shopping centers in the tool.
The Scorecard helps shopping center landlords and managers maximize NOI by:
- Identifying the centers that promise the best opportunities to save money through energy, water, waste and other property efficiency best practices
- Gaining insights into how buildings perform compared to one another and to industry peers
- Benchmarking with peer buildings by shopping center type, classification or utility metering profile
- Normalizing utility consumption and cost by GLA
The meeting of technology and retail real estate is becoming ever more apparent. There are a multitude of tools becoming available to help landlords operate more efficiently. These include cloud-based people traffic monitoring, energy analytics and controls systems, and shopper location tracking.
The ability to handle and analyze big data is becoming cheaper and more user friendly, which should help landlords identify additional opportunities to improve sustainability in their portfolios.
Paladino is helping to organize the next ICSC sustainability conference, ICSC RetailGreen, to be held December 2-3 in Phoenix.
This is a great opportunity for people who want to participate in the retail sustainability conversation with key decision makers from the landlords (Kimco, Macerich, Westfield, Oxford Properties) and tenants (Walmart, Verizon Wireless, Walgreens and Target) in attendance.
Patrick Leonard, PMP®, LEED® AP, is a Director at Paladino Seattle