On October 24, public and private sector leaders in Los Angeles gathered at Loyola Marymount University’s Institute for Business Ethics and Sustainability for The New LA: Climate, Collaboration and Real Estate. The symposium, attended by students and business leaders, provided real-world examples of how Southern California cities, stakeholders, and businesses are responding to challenges posed by a changing climate. In his presentation “Drivers of Energy Efficiency and Sustainability in Commercial Real Estate,” Partner Energy President Tony Liou spoke to the opportunities and challenges of running a business focused on energy efficiency engineering and sustainability consulting services. He pointed to Financing programs, Compliance requirements, and Corporate Policy initiatives as major business drivers of energy efficiency. Mr. Liou explained that these business drivers of energy efficiency work as both ‘carrots’ and as ‘sticks’ to accomplish change.
- Carrot example: reduced rates, monetary incentives, and easier access to capital for borrowers who commit to reducing energy usage, and/or obtaining a green certification.
- Stick example: penalties for building owners who do not comply with State, city, or county energy disclosure laws. Fees vary by location, and may range from $200 to over $1M, per property; the State of New York has implemented a New Green Deal with the strongest penalty structure in the country.
Symposium topics included urban resilience, the Green New Deal pLAn in the City of Los Angeles, and sustainability planning in the City of Long Beach. The symposium closed with LMU’s Dr. David Choi speaking on Innovation and Entrepreneurial Creativity, who introduced the audience to several start-up companies creating new solutions for living in a warming climate.