Since it's founding in 1957, Hines, a privately owned real estate firm involved in real estate investment, development and property management has dedicated itself to maintaining the highest possible standards in sustainable practices.
Ricardo Serrano, Hines Mexico's Marketing Director proudly points out "We believe that sustainability is, and will continue to be the cornerstone for future developments, therefore Hines is constantly looking for new technology that will meet the needs of our tenants and investors. Ultimately, we feel that by maintaining a higher level of standards in green technology, our developments will be more desirable and generate greater savings for our tenants".
The results speak for themselves. Globally, Hines is responsible for 145 projects, representing more than 89 million square feet that have been certified, pre-certified or registered under the various LEED rating systems.
Additionally, Hines was a founding member of the German Sustainable Building Council, and is active in the BRE Environmental Assessment Method program in the United Kingdom and the Haute Qualité Environnementale program in France. In 2009 Hines was recognized by the EPA, for the second time, with the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award; Hines currently has 138 buildings, representing approximately 77 million square feet, which have earned the ENERGY STAR label. Hines is currently developing twelve other projects that are set to obtain the ENERGY STAR label, representing another 6 million square meters of energy efficient developments.
Mexico is no exception, In September 2009 Ecologistics I at Parque Logistico obtained the LEED "Core and Shell Certi- fied" rating. Serrano continued: "Hines is very happy to have achieved the first LEED Certified Industrial building in Mexico, but at the same time we are looking at this as a stepping stone to becoming Mexico's premier green developer and administrator".
"When I mention green," Serrano continued, "...this includes not only LEED Certified projects, but every green practice. We strive to set an example for all real estate developers and to do this you must be leaders in the field--and then the rest will follow. Hines has now implemented HINES GO (Green Offices) which is a certification process similar to LEED, but only implemented within Hines offices worldwide. The goal of the HINES GO program is to create a sense of awareness of all green practices within our organization and for each and every employee to participate".
Javier Macías, Director of Construction for Hines explained that there are five major aspects or categories that LEED measures in order to obtain certi fication: Sustainable Sites, Water Effi- ciency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality, all of which need to be considered in order to gain points and obtain the Certification. As of this publication, Ecologistics I has recently signed its first tenant: Losifra.
This tenant specializes in pallet reconstruction and distribution for CHEP Mexico. Ricardo Serrano told MexicoNOW that one of the deciding factors for Losifra to lease in EcoLogistics I was because the building has obtained the LEED Certification and all of the benefits that this implies. In 2007, the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) sought to quantify the Tenant's advantages for being in a Green Building. The results were astounding: When compared with the average building, Green Buildings registered a 20%-40% savings in energy; 30%-50% water reduction and anywhere from 50%-97% in waste-cost savings. All of these savings are reflected in the operating expenses that a Tenant must pay the owner.
Ricardo goes on to point out that "Additionally and most importantly, is the increase in efficiency, comfort and well being of the Tenant's employees. The USGBC found, for example, that there is anywhere from a 2% to a 16% increase in productivity for their employees just by being in a Green Building". The reasons behind this are that there is a significant reduction in absenteeism from employees working in a Green Building. Better air filters are used and more natural light is provided into closed spaces. Cleaner energy is used, and so on. These aforementioned benefits increase the employees' overall production.
It is hard to argue against the Tenant's overall benefit to relocate to a Green Building: Cost savings are achieved while employee production improves. So many companies, especially in tough times like these, are looking for ways to cut costs while maintaining or increasing levels of productivity. It doesn't get any easier then moving into a Green Building.
"Our strategy is to continue expanding our sustainability task force in Mexico," stated Serrano. He concluded: "We hope to begin with new LEED Certification projects and increase awareness of the importance of doing so. We understand this is a process that may take time, but Hines is committed to sustainability".
Mr. Serrano explained it as follows: "In Mexico we have a great development and operational team with more than 15 years of local experience. This includes developments like Parque Industrial Queretaro, Parque Logistico in San Luis Potosi and Parque Industrial Tecnologico I, II & III in Guadalajara. We also have several Build-to-Suit and Construction Management projects Nationwide and several of our employees are LEED Accredited Professionals ". We will continue to grow our Industrial Portfolio Nationwide through Build-to-Suit projects. We also plan to aggressively market our Construction Management services, since we have local experience to help companies with their LEED Certification process. In addition, we also plan to apply our knowledge of the best sustainable practices to grow our Property Management Business in Corporate and Industrial developments".
To learn more about sustainability at Hines, visit www.hines.com/sustainability