Protecting the environment has become a top concern for people across all industries, including commercial real estate. Eighty-two percent of real estate and urban development professionals consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when making decisions about operations or investments, according to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2022 report from PwC and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

If you want to make your property more environmentally friendly, you should start by maximizing energy efficiency. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that 30 percent of the energy commercial buildings utilize is wasted on average, according to the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Subsequently, there are plenty of opportunities for many organizations to lower their energy consumption, saving money and the planet at the same time. Although you might have heard that it isn’t easy being green, improving energy efficiency is, in fact, “one of the easiest ways to eliminate energy waste and lower energy costs,” according to ENERGY STAR, a program run by the EPA and Department of Energy.

If you’re wondering how to improve the energy efficiency of a commercial building, here are a few recommended strategies, according to ENERGY STAR and the National Institute of Building Sciences.    

1. Upgrade to LED lighting.

This is a must if your property has incandescent, HID, T12 fluorescent, or halogen lights. LED lighting will lead to a lower electric bill and a healthier planet.

2. Implement an energy-efficient HVAC system.

Older HVAC systems are often inefficient due to older technology and wear and tear from years of use. The National Institute of Building Sciences recommends deploying a system that meets or exceeds the standards specified in 10 CFR 434.

3. Utilize energy-saving products.

ENERGY STAR maintains a list of certified energy-efficient options, including light fixtures, electronics, appliances, data center equipment, and more.

4. Explore renewable energy sources.

You can potentially boost energy security and lower emissions with alternate sources such as biomass, wind, solar water heating, geothermal, and photovoltaic energy.

5. Streamline building performance and deploy system controls.

This can include the utilization of smart building controls, centralized remote meter reading, energy management tools that allow you to track consumption rates, and sensors that can adjust lights, heating and cooling depending on occupancy, among other tools.

Ultimately, lowering energy usage in commercial buildings can lead to significant cost savings while protecting the environment and creating technology and construction jobs, according to the Department of Energy.

If you’re interested in energy-efficient building design, the Avalon team has experience with green techniques. For instance, we can retrofit your building with LED lights or implement a wind generator for your property. Visit our client services page to learn more.

For details about our Chicago commercial real estate and property management services, contact us today by calling 847-506-1000 or emailing