“Business Unusual” and its themes of innovation and resiliency in the face of adversity took on special meaning in the beautiful-but-still-recovering city of New Orleans. We stood shoulder to shoulder with colleagues from around the country but not from around the globe due to the unusual event of Europe air travel disrupted by volcanic ash from Iceland.
Keynote speaker Peter Sheahan pointed out that company leaders everywhere recognize the need to innovate, and I’m convinced that energy and sustainability offers the single biggest area of innovation. Many Summit sessions on innovation had sustainability baked in, such as the energy efficiency collaboration between Citi and the Clinton Climate Initiative, a discussion of to green your leases, and even leading-edge topics such as using biomimicry to inspire city development projects.
The most enlightening session was Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” presentation, the gist of which was that clients and employees stay loyal to you when they connect with your “why,” as in, why you do business, why you exist. A sincere focus on sustainability can be a powerful “why”.
CRE has focused its sustainability efforts mainly on energy efficiency and other operational innovations, but at Jones Lang LaSalle we see additional opportunities for innovation in areas like finance (including PACE and other new ways to fund energy retrofits), culture/brand (such as new involving employees in green teams and personal sustainability), and infrastructure (via sophisticated tools for energy and carbon management).
Reduce, Reuse, Reinvent. Happy Earth Day.