National CRE News In Your Inbox.

Sign up for Connect emails to stay informed with CRE stories that are 150 words or less.

Sub Markets

Property Sectors


National  + Weekender  | 

Finding Proof of Sustainable Headquarters

Per Karlberg

In the current built environment, many companies fly their “sustainability” flags, broadcasting their efforts toward carbon reduction. But ProptechOS sought evidence that more than lip service is being paid to green practices by corporate brands.

To that end, the Swedish-based company delved into the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification database. From there, the company developed a list of ten well-known U.S. brands and their headquarters buildings, demonstrating conclusive proof of carbon reduction and net zero initiatives.

These included:

  • Using a goat herd to graze and fertilize company grounds (Alphabet’s Googleplex and Bay View, Mountain View, CA)
  • Planting 9,000 drought-tolerant trees on the corporate site while implementing a recycling system to support a nearby city (Apple Park Main Building, Cupertino, CA)
  • Maintaining a food hall with the largest all-electric kitchen in North America (Adobe Founders Tower, San Jose, CA)
  • Running a 13,200-square-foot all-electric corporate kitchen, no CO2-intensive gas flame in sight (Microsoft’s One Esterra Park, Redmond, WA)
  • Boasting America’s largest onsite water recycling system in a commercial high-rise (Salesforce Tower, San Francisco, CA)

The other five headquarters ProptechOS highlighted for their sustainability efforts were:

  • Amazon’s The Spheres in Seattle
  • Nvidia’s Endeavor and Voyager in Santa Clara, CA
  • Wells Fargo’s Headquarters, San Francisco
  • Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL
  • Morgan Stanley’s 1585 Broadway, New York City

“Major companies are still a big part of environmental problems. But giving credit where credit is due, some innovations we found are remarkable and deserve more focus,” Per Karlberg, ProptechOS’ CEO, told Connect CRE. “They can pave the way for a future where such sustainable practices may become the standard for not only major corporations but for ordinary people.”

The Common Denominator

Though the ten companies serve different audiences and offer different products and services, Karlberg said they share a great deal in common in the area of sustainability. There is the LEED factor, of course. But other common denominators uniting these companies include an in-depth ESG commitment, the use of innovation and technology to improve efficiencies and reduce environmental impacts and active community engagement.

Additionally, “sustainability is part of their long-term business strategy,” Karlberg observed. “These companies recognize that these strategies not only offer immediate benefits but also a competitive advantage in the future.”

One Step at a Time

The other issue is that the single grand gestures don’t do much for sustainability.

“As the world looks for ways to combat the climate crisis, companies with great financial resources seem to think that innovative technologies is the answer,” Karlberg said. “Or in some cases, the complete opposite – like a herd of goats doing the lawn mowing.”

But the goat lawnmowers, in combination with a geothermal pile system and sustainable, durable materials (all of which are employed by Google’s Bay View), help the push toward net zero.

“There isn’t just one solution for everything, or even anything close to that,” Karlberg said. “Instead, we need to adopt a holistic and total approach to energy reduction.”

Read More News Stories About: Microsoft

Inside The Story

ProptechOS' Per KarlbergProptechOS

About Amy Wolff Sorter

I love content. I love writing it, visualizing it, and manipulating it to fit into different formats. I have years of experience in working with content, both as creator and editor. The content I create and edit provides assistance with many goals, ranging from lead generation, to developing street cred through well-timed thought-leadership pieces. Content skills include, but aren't limited to, articles and blogs, e-mails, promotional collateral, infographics, e-books and white papers, website copy and more.