RealFoundations, a real estate management consultancy firm, reviewed data provided as part of the NAREIT Leader in the Light survey by 27 REITs in the period from 2011 to 2013. The firm found that investment in energy efficiencyincreased 42 percent during that time. Meanwhile, annual savings on energy costs rose 39 percent. The return on investment (ROI) from sustainability projects gained 48 percent between 2011 and 2013.
“As the low-hanging fruit becomes scarce… both the project size and complexity have increased over the last three years,” said Alok Singh, a director at RealFoundations. He noted that investments are now focusing on capturing interactive effects through the facades of buildings – known as the building envelope – or buildings as a whole, both of which result in a more attractive ROI than early sustainability programs and technology.