I always think of the word Essential as anything it describes is a “must have.” Like having a pair of black shoes…. they just go with everything. What is “must have” in multifamily? Granite counter tops? Pool and fitness center? Pet relief stations? Has sustainability always been essential, we have haven’t been ready to embrace it? Here is a fun contrast: in the 1970’s essentials in multifamily were a decked-out kitchen and carpet. While in sustainability, in 1970 the EPA was created by Richard Nixon. Admittedly the first action the EPA worked on was marine toilets and keeping raw sewage out of the water but ultimately created the Clean Water and Clean Air acts. The EPA had a goal in 1970 to reduce auto emissions (CO2) by 90% by 1975. Reduce Emissions being Essential? Are we still talking about the past and not the present?

I am excited so share that sustainability has become essential for multifamily. When we look at sustainability, we see it as important to our business from multiple stake holders. Let’s look to the money. Sure, we can talk about how the mega trend of ESG is changing our business as investors require a renewed focusing on committing to reducing our footprint and/or the amount of resources our properties consume. This perspective is critical because if our investors require it, we do it. Essential. Continuing to look at the money, more and more owners are seeing the positive NOI of sustainability.

I doubt that anyone reading this has never changed an incandescent light bulb to an LED and reduced their expense. Lastly, looking to the financial benefits of sustainability, we see more and more residents viewing efficiency (sustainability) in their units and the communities that they chose to live in as being a priority resident demand for sustainability adds to its essentialism in multifamily.

I am excited to present this issue of JOUM to you as we deep dive into the “must haves” of our sustainability. Let’s explore certifications and renewable energy and ESG reporting, your newest essentials of sustainability.


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