Publications

- March 1, 2013: Vol. 7, Number 3

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A Local Affair: The Principal Objectives of Sustainability Can Best Be Met on the Ground

by Richard Fleming

1 It should be a simple message — “think ‘green’, go renewable, act responsibly, save the planet” — but as with anything that mankind gets its hands on the message is in danger of being obscured by: rules and regulations; certifications and ratings; measurements, monitoring mechanisms and metrics; manoeuvrings for position; and ways of making money. In short, complications. It says a lot when you wonder whether all the financial efforts being put into sustainability and energy-efficiency at the real estate level by the various parties — regulators, planners, developers, constructors, investors, fund managers, corporate occupiers and users — might not, in fact, be better targeted by dealing with deforestation at source, in effect by spending that money at the grass roots level, stopping trees being felled and planting new ones. Yes, make buildings more sustainable, through design and use, but also deal with the climate

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