Going Green is always looking at what industries and trends will be changing and shifting due to businesses becoming more sustainable. Real Estate is one of the industries we noticed is going to have a big shift in the way we buy, sell, live in, and work in buildings. We had the chance to talk to Brad Dockser, the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Green Generation, to talk about a sustainable real estate revolution.
Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
Prior to co-founding GreenGen, I worked in real estate investing for more than two decades. I began my career with JMB Realty, which was then the largest real estate firm in the U.S., After business school, I was the Founding Managing Partner of Starwood Capitals International businesses in Asia and Europe, overseeing operations, direct investments, and operating joint ventures and financing activities. Later, I was a Principal with national real estate investment firm MacFarlane Partners, overseeing activities of its mid-Atlantic business. I am a Harvard alum with both an A.B. cum laude in Economics and a Master of Business Administration.
What was your motivation to get into this industry?
As a real estate private equity investor, we saw an opportunity to drive asset value through energy savings. We realized there was a massive opportunity, a “white box” if you will, that nobody was executing against. Simply put, we founded GreenGen because we could not find the firm we needed. We created the firm investors turn to for monetizing energy and sustainability through our positioning at the intersection of energy, real estate, capital markets and technology.
Why do you think climate change/sustainability is such an important topic today?
In the past few months, I’ve witnessed more companies understand the true importance of sustainability and embrace ESG investing. CEOs recognize that the stakes are higher than ever before – they need to address ALL stakeholders’ concerns, including customers, employees, and investors, in order to be successful and viable long-term. It is no longer a zero-sum game; people are demanding to see businesses make decisions that take into account the community at large.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
In 10 years, if our industry succeeds in accomplishing what we are working towards right now, we will talk about our firm in a very different way. Why do I say this? Sustainability best practices will be integrated into every facet of society. From how we run our businesses to what legislation governments prioritize, we will be an economy that makes sustainability a way of life. I envision an industry that did what it set out to do.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
First, think about who the stakeholders are. They are not just the business ‘tenants’ of a building, but rather, tenants’ employees, their families, visitors, and the adjacent community. Think about is the different ways organizations can create and drive value. While it is important to reduce electric, gas, and water consumption, those are not the only opportunities to create value in a building. Optimize your labor force, take a close look at the materials you are using, and make sure you are building creates a positive impression. Think about every single person impacted by the building.