Australia uses the Stick to enforce Sustainable Office Space Requirements

As one of the vanguards in environmental sustainability of commercial properties, Australia now imposes significant fines for non-compliance with certain energy efficiency standards.  Building owners (and some tenants) whom fail to meet these standards, as of November 1, 2011, face a large financial penalty.  This was recently reported in The Sydney Morning Herald

By contrast in the United States, compliance is generally enforced through incentives by local or state governments.  For example, in the City of Chicago a project that is striving for LEED certification will receive their permits on an expedited basis through the City’s Green Permit Program. 

While state and local governments in the US have generally followed this “carrot” approach, tenants and landlords should be thinking that the “stick” may not be far behind.  That’s particularly the case with so many state and local governments looking for additional revenue sources which, of course, must be balanced against pro-job growth policies.

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