Sustainability Is Opportunity


by Brian Wojcik

ustainability is a term often associated with the green movement, an idea that places value on being good stewards of the environment and to make business decisions accordingly, so we do our individual part to contribute and improve on those things that mat- ter. But “sustainable” is a term also associated with the longevity of a business. Business decisions cannot jeopardize the health and wellbeing of the company to survive and con- tinue to contribute to adding value to the housing supply chain. In business terms, sustainability is managed through cashflow—and ultimate - ly—profitability. It is the lifeblood of business: to provide goods or services that create or add value. The business becomes a consumer and provides value for the communities it serves. The combined demand and purchasing power of the individual consumer and business can move markets and improve quality of life for all, resulting in lower costs for goods and services. S

States, many people in developing countries don’t have continuous access to electricity, and therefore a lack of air conditioning and refriger- ation has negative cascading effects on health, hunger, and food waste. In the United States, regardless of economic rung, we have access to electricity, which allows us to easily flip the light switch to see in the dark and store our leftovers in the fridge in our homes. So if we can agree that we each should do our individual part for a sustainable future, perhaps a good starting point is to be mindful of energy use within our own house- hold. The numbers are staggering. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2015 Residential Energy Consumption

Survey (RECS), Households account for 55% of the energy used in build- ings in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, electricity production from fossil fuel, nuclear, and renewable sources is 62, 19, and 17 percent respectively. If one digs into the microdata, there are opportunities to utilize energy more efficiently, which yields a significant reduction in total energy consump- tion. Heating, air conditioning, water heating, lighting, and refrigeration (a result of an increasing trend of having more than one fridge in a household) account for 63% of energy consumption. Is there any one single thing you can do, individually, for your home or your rental properties, to


Lower costs allow more participa - tion which serves more people of all economic segments. This is exempli- fied throughout history, from the car to the computer, and to heating and air conditioning. Unlike the United

30 | think realty magazine :: september 2020

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