Your role in global sustainability

Yes, I’m talking to YOU.

I talk a lot about the benefits of energy efficiency. And why people should pursue it. Now, let’s talk about your role to play.

You could be anyone. A consumer, a resident, a business owner, a property manager. Or any combination of these titles and more. Whoever you are, YOU have a role in the success of global sustainability. Of our collective efforts as humans to take care of the planet we live on.

Now, this isn’t an exhaustive list of roles and suggestions. Just the tip of the iceberg. But, it should get you thinking: what could I be doing?

For the consumer

We everyday consumers have more power than we realize. We — together — can sway the corporate world. Businesses are driven by economic self-interest. Which means that if we as consumers demand that our favorite brands pursue sustainability, there’s a chance they’ll listen. When we dedicate ourselves to an ideal, businesses will pursue it so we’ll continue to buy from them.

For the resident

The multifamily market has largely been left behind in the global pursuit of sustainability. Few — if any — energy efficient devices have been designed for them. As a result, most apartments have not moved toward efficiency. In New York City, only 2% of the multifamily market’s spending goes toward energy efficiency programs. And that’s a city with over 1.5 million apartments.

What role do residents play in bringing sustainability to this sector? Asking for it! Like consumers, if residents en masse demand that their properties pursue efficiency, the properties will have to listen.

And what if you’re a homeowner? The residential sector consumes about 21% of energy used by the U.S. If every homeowner reduced their use by even 5%, the effects nationwide would be drastic. The homeowner’s role is to take advantage of the research and technology available.

For the business owner

You might think it was the government that ensures sustainability is taken seriously. Lately, that hasn’t been the case. The main driver has been the commercial sector. Businesses have been pursuing efficiency of their own accord. So, what role do they play in global sustainability?

Keeping up the good work. If businesses continue to pursue sustainability with or without government support, then they’ll continue to pave the way. And other sectors will continue to follow their lead.

For the property owner

As previously stated, the multifamily market has long been ignored in regards to sustainability. The situation is slowly improving, however. More technology is emerging that can be adapted to the sector’s unique needs. As this tech continues to be developed, what is the property owner or manager’s role? Dropping barriers.

Even when there are investments to investigate, property owners have a tendency of letting myths get the best of them. Myths about the efforts being too expensive or time intensive. Instead, property owners need to be willing to seek out opportunities, and learn about their full potential.

So what should YOU do?

We each have a very real role to play if we want to take care of the planet. And, each of our roles comes with a benefit. We either directly profit, or immediately save. Or both. Either way, efficiency comes with its rewards.

So, what should we do? Start taking advantage of what’s already out there, and start doing our individual part to help global sustainability thrive.