Harbor Group International (HGI), one of BSW’s trusted real estate managers with whom we have worked for over a decade, celebrated Earth Day 2014 by announcing the company’s inaugural sustainability statement.
Because we are all, individually and collectively, stewards of the planet, Harbor Group Management Co., in its property management endeavors, will commit to the following each day:
- ENGAGE associates, residents, customers and the community at large to join us in our stewardship efforts
- REDUCE our corporate carbon footprint, wherever and whenever possible
- INNOVATE measures to increase energy efficiency
- CONSERVE and judiciously use our natural resources
As an organization, we promote opportunity and recognize best practices that embody these tenets.
In making this announcement Ken Haskins, Vice President – Commercial Management for Harbor Group Management Company (HGMC) said, “This commitment will be displayed alongside our Mission and Values Statements in each of our Management and Leasing offices.” Haskins will lead the sustainability initiatives campaign for the company’s residential and commercial properties. Of the sustainability statement he continued, “It will remind us that we must wisely use, conserve, and responsibly manage our energy, water and solid waste resources as part of our daily business practices.”
HGMC became an Energy Star Partner with the Environmental Protection Agency in 2005. By 2012, when the company’s average portfolio-wide Energy Star score reached 85, the EPA recognized HGMC as a “Top Performer” (today, the national average stands at 50). The following year, 10 of HGMC’s buildings received the BOMA 360 Performance Award (Building Owners and Managers Association) for superior practices in several management categories including energy savings and sustainability.
In March of 2014, one of HGMC’s signature properties – One South Wacker in Chicago – was awarded the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold for Existing Buildings certification by the United States Green Building Council. Across the entire Harbor Group Portfolio, energy consumption has declined by a remarkable 30% over the past five years, even as occupancy increased.
Energy savings can be achieved by investing in more efficient equipment, implementing new property management software, sub-metering energy and water by tenant space, and encouraging tenants to use energy saving rebates. Most importantly these efforts require good managers who can implement change while also providing a desirable environment for tenants. According to Haskins, “Efforts to benchmark building operating performance and environmental impact run in parallel with tenant satisfaction evaluations.”
Quality of life is increasingly important for tenants as many of their waking or sleeping hours are spent in offices and apartments. As such, Harbor Group has gone to great lengths to develop programs such as Harbor Fit, which brings health club style fitness facilities to both apartment and office properties. In addition, Harbor Group supports the growing trend of bicycling to work, by providing secure bike storage rooms at almost every office property.
BSW is very excited to share the commitments and achievements which our partners are making in regards to sustainability. Over the many years of BSW’s close partnership with Harbor Group we have advocated for and applauded initiatives that reflect BSWs commitment to environmental sustainability, community development and economic vitality. Good business considers the longer term impact on people and the planet. In this regard, we are thrilled to share Harbor Group’s recent announcement.