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News release


Want to cut business operating costs? Go green, says Jones Lang LaSalle

Sustainable buildings can reduce operating costs by improving worker productivity and reducing energy consumption.

SYDNEY, 28 July 2011 – The business community is increasingly recognising the impact of green technology on productivity and cost-efficiency in the workplace, with a number of major companies relocating to buildings with high sustainability credentials to support employee wellbeing.

Joel Quintal, Director of Sustainability at Jones Lang LaSalle said, "Ten years ago, the link between green workspaces and cost minimisation was not really recognised. It's only now that we are seeing companies embrace sustainability and recognise the positive impact that it has not only on the wellbeing and productivity of the staff but the bottom line of the company."

In the recently released edition of Global Sustainability Perspective, Jones Lang LaSalle research professionals analysed previous studies of the connection between sustainable buildings and employee productivity. Although the impact of sustainability on productivity is difficult to quantify, an examination of the existing data shows a clear correlation between a comfortable and healthy workplace and occupant wellbeing, which translates into lower absenteeism and greater productivity.

Read the complete findings of the study and other articles on global sustainability here:

"The Global Sustainability Perspective recommends a range of strategies for building managers and corporations to create office environments that promote the wellbeing and health of occupants. Even in existing buildings, businesses can make a difference by focusing on their occupancy layout to maximise penetration of natural light into work spaces, using chemical-free cleaning supplies and installing low emission wall and floor coverings," Mr Quintal said.

This reinforces the findings of the 2011 annual Sustainability Survey conducted jointly by Jones Lang LaSalle and Core Net which found that energy costs and employee health/productivity are the key considerations for an organisation’s sustainability strategy.

"When business people make a financial case for green buildings, they often focus on energy efficiency because the cost and benefit are easily measured. But the opportunity to increase employee productivity even by a few percentage points is a much greater financial plus, even if the benefit can not be precisely quantified," continued Quintal.

"Companies recognise that a comfortable environment that promotes good health allows their employees to produce better results."

The NABERS Indoor Environment rating operated by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage provides organisations with some clarity on the quality of their indoor environment and how well the various impacts within the indoor environment are being managed. The rating tool measures performance on a scale of 1 to 5 stars and is an important first step to understanding and addressing workplace issues.

"As the NABERS Indoor Environment rating gains popularity, we are seeing an increasing number of studies into the effects of sustainability in the workplace and employee health and wellbeing. The research is showing a strong causal link between green buildings and employee productivity" Mr Quintal said.

A 2007 study commissioned by Sustainability Victoria and the Kador Group stated that Oakley Thompson, a law firm in Melbourne reduced their average number of sick days per employee per month by 39% after they relocated to 500 Collins Street, a 5 Star Green Star building. This resulted in a 44% reduction in the monthly average cost of sick leave. In addition to the reduction in sick leave, there was a 9% improvement in the average typing speed of the secretaries and a 7% increase in the lawyers billing ratio.

Globally, Australia is leading the way for businesses looking at the benefits of Green Buildings. In Asia Pacific, most fast growing markets have started to take a keen interest in Green Buildings, taking best practices from Australia. Peter Hilderson, Asia Pacific Head of Energy and Sustainability Services for Jones Lang LaSalle commented "As the number of case studies in the region grows, the benefits associated to indoor environmental quality are increasingly quantitative. This makes a big difference to local decision makers who more inclined to value health above less tangible concerns."