Archives: Sustainability

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A Call for Comprehensive and Clearer ESG Disclosures

Last Wednesday, with a Dutch court finding Royal Dutch Shell partially responsible for climate change and ordering it to reduce emissions and two environmental activists being voted to Exxon Mobil board at the annual meeting, made clear how dramatically the landscape is shifting for all businesses in the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) space, as … Continue Reading

Labor Department Will Not Enforce Anti ESG Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced that it will not enforce recently published final rules by the prior Administration on “Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments” and “Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights.” This policy statement is in furtherance of the Biden Administration issued Executive Order 13990, entitled “Protecting Public Health and … Continue Reading

ESG Disclosure Simplification Act Passes Committee But Will Fail

On September 20, 2019, the Financial Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4329, the ESG Disclosure Simplification Act of 2019. The bill would require all public companies to disclose “environmental, social, and governance [ESG] metrics” as material information about the company. Although there is little if any chance that the bill … Continue Reading

The Hottest Environmental Trend is Sustainable Business Practices

In a dramatic shift the fastest growing environmental issue in 2018 is sustainable business practices. At a time when many issues are politically charged, including environmental matters, a major shift in public opinion is happening. There are dramatic changes ongoing as a consequence of the last Presidential election that will result in less and different … Continue Reading

You Need a Green Building Consultant (Who Speaks for the Trees)

The Lorax Partnerships Team
We are often asked “what is the best way to assure success in a green building project?” Whether that query is from a Fortune 1000 businesses or an architect, the answer is the same, have the owner engage an experienced green building consultant as early as possible in the project. Which often leads to a … Continue Reading

Prospering thru Green Building in a Changing Environment

I spoke to a gathering of construction industry attorneys the other day about changing environment of Federal government regulation portending huge business opportunities for green building. These were my prepared remarks for that talk. While much of the mass media hyperbole is focused on the new Administration’s 2018 “skinny” budget request of $5.7 Billion for … Continue Reading

The First BREEAM USA Certification

The Oaks, a 1.3 million square foot shopping mall located in Thousand Oaks, California, owned by Macerich is the first project achieve certification under the new BREEAM In-Use program for existing buildings. Macerich, a leading owner, operator and developer of major retail real estate with a portfolio of over 50 shopping malls, also earned the … Continue Reading

Deadline to Propose Changes to National Green Building Standard

Development of the 2018 version of the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) is now underway. The NGBS is a collaborative effort between the National Association of Home Builders and International Code Council, the NGBS also known as the ICC 700 provides “green” practices that can be incorporated into new homes, including high rise multifamily buildings, … Continue Reading

California is a Model for PACE Loan Reform

California’s statutory changes to its existing residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program, that became effective January 1, 2017, may be a model for residential PACE programs across the nation. The first residential PACE program started in Berkeley, California in 2007. Today there are laws in at least 34 states that allow some form … Continue Reading

Passive House is “In” in 2017

As you consider what’s “in” and what’s “out” in 2017, within the realm of green building, Passive House is in. It is not controversial to accept that a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings at low cost, while also improving occupant comfort, is to improve the thermal performance of the building envelope. By … Continue Reading

FTC Order Restricts use of “All Natural”

The Federal Trade Commission issued a summary decision against California Naturel, Inc., for falsely advertising its sunscreen product as “all natural” in violation of Sections 5 and 12 of the FTC Act. In a December 12, 2016 opinion, written by Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, the FTC describes how the company promotes its “all natural” sunscreen on … Continue Reading

Less Climate Change Disclosure by Public Companies

Publicly traded companies are required to disclose material business risks to investors through regular filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Since February 8, 2010, the SEC has expressly required disclosure related to climate change. While it has been controversial, the SEC’s 2010 interpretive guidance, the Commission Guidance Regarding Disclosure Related to Climate Change, which … Continue Reading

False Advertising Claims over Net Zero and LEED Certified Homes

Homebuyers are making claims of false advertising over “Net Zero LEED certified” houses in midtown Sacramento – that may be neither. The website for the architect on the project, today still says, “2500 R Street located on a two acre site along the R Street light rail corridor in Midtown Sacramento, this new single-family home … Continue Reading

Increased Flexibility for LEED Multifamily Residential Projects

Dramatic changes have been announced by the U.S. Green Building Council to the LEED v4 Homes Multifamily Lowrise and Multifamily Midrise rating systems with the aim of broadening market share. Regular readers of this blog will recall that I blogged from Greenbuild last month, when Scot Horst first publicly announced dramatic changes to LEED multifamily … Continue Reading
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