Incentives and the power of the nudge
Speaking of various incentives for landlords, tenants and employees, participants noted that incentives needn't always involve money. Several spoke of friendly competitions among employees or business departments based on reducing energy consumption and waste, recycling drives and the like.
Gunther urged executives to keep in mind the "power of the nudge." Writing about Poland Spring last year, Gunther reported that to see which of the company's drivers had the most idle time, truck fleet manager Chris McKenna compiled a list of based on information from onboard computers:
"All we did was talk to them about it, and put a list up in the break room," he told me. "Human nature, no one wants to be at the bottom of the list."
"A little competitiveness is always good," said Bartlett.
Don't reward good work with more work or, even worse, budget cuts
"If you look at if from the perspective of the guys in the boiler room, they are asked to hit ROIs that the guys in the C-suite could never ever make in a million years … and when when they do hit it, then they are rewarded with budget cuts -- what's not to like," said Watson.
Celebrate home runs
Gunther and Watson pointed to the extensive retrofit of the Empire State Building, undertaken by Johnson Controls with several other partners, as an example of a successful enterprise sustainability project from inception to execution.
The project, which Nesler detailed in forum presentations in San Francisco and Chicago, included a revamp of lease arrangements to motivate tenants to become more energy efficient and mechanisms, such as sub-metering, to educate occupants.
"Energy efficiency is a team sport," Gunther remarked, as the session wound down toward its close. "What position do you play?"
Top Image -- The Smarter Buildings panel at the State of Green Business Forum in Washington, DC. Seated left to right, Carl Lundstrom, Eaton's federal solutions manager, Johnson Control's Vice President of Global Energy & Sustainability Clay Nesler, IBM's Vice President of Industry Solutions David B. Bartlett and Vice President of Sales Chris Collins for Schneider Electric's Buildings Critical Systems.