Taking action on India's environmental crisis is no longer an option - it is a necessity. Sustainable real estate presents India with a unique and enormous opportunity to make concrete progress to improve its environment.

In a recent research report titled 'Sustainable Real Estate Development in India' , Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj highlights the increasing trend of sustainable development in India. There is greater consciousness towards the environmental crisis in India with terms such as sustainable development, corporate social responsibility and triple bottom reporting becoming more common in the real estate industry.

The report also details the best practices and processes that owners and occupiers can adopt to reduce the environmental impact of their real estate assets and at the same time, gain from substantial ROI (Return on Investment) from their 'green' initiatives.

The report points out that despite the ever rising construction activity, awareness has significantly lagged behind in countries in the West. Nevertheless with the growing importance of environmentalism in India, and support from the Indian government, almost 40 construction projects that are currently underway are registered with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the preferred rating system as it is flexible enough to be applied to a diverse variety of markets and also because it enjoys the greatest recognition.

This recognition is especially important when one considers that a prime motivator for developers to create a certified sustainable building is to differentiate their project from competition. The government has introduced several schemes to encourage sustainability such as the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) schemes for subsidizing capital for installation of solar water heaters, encouragement of energy audits and management schemes, mandatory use of fly ashbased construction material, groundwater and rain water harvesting and most importantly increased monitoring of air and water pollution.

Manisha Grover, Head Strategic Consulting & Research, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj and also co-author of the paper said, "It is important that developers and occupiers develop an understanding and work together in successfully achieving improved sustainability performance and curbing India's environmental crisis."

The main objective of any education and communications program should be to encourage developers and occupiers to follow practices such as energy and water conservation, waste management and improve indoor air quality.

Vincent Lottefier, Chief Executive Officer, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj concluded, "Sustainable real estate is not a passing trend but is a new way of doing business in real estate as sustainable buildings provide considerable financial savings."


Source: Economic Times
14rh December, 2007
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