Contributed by Carey Weiss, Director of Sustainability Initiatives at Fordham University.
Real estate professionals dedicated to sustainable and resilient built environments came together on March 15 at Fordham University to discuss their company goals and experiences. The evening was organized by the Gabelli School of Business Net Impact Graduate Chapter. A few highlights of the discussion included Turner Construction Company Chief Sustainability Officer Michael Deane explaining “lean” construction- the goal to eliminate wastes of all kind (sometimes called the “Toyota way” where any employee can stop the line operations to improve or address something.) Deane said that “ultimately sustainability will make Turner a leaner, more efficient and more profitable company- but it’s painful to get there. Taking a big boat and turning it in a new direction is not easy. ” Nicole Parlapiano, VP of Integrated Marketing, Global WeWork said that they are looking to get much larger companies on board to change the fundamental way those companies think, plan and operate their workspaces. “They are in a very fierce talent game because their office spaces are so depressing. They have WeWork come in and leverage really cool workspaces. Our competitors don’t have the marketing muscle that WeWork has. We are 200 locations globally and if we can leverage sales teams to have a touchdown space everywhere around the globe, with these efficient spaces, WeWork’s reach in sustainable buildings will be significant.”