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News Release

Hong Kong and Macau

Jones Lang LaSalle Supports Earth Hour Across the World

Global initiative provides a platform for the creation of an energy-balanced future

At 8:30pm on Saturday, 28 March 2009, Jones Lang LaSalle’s offices in more than 75 cities across the world will join tens of millions of individuals and hundreds of cities across the world that have pledged to turn off their lights in support of Earth Hour.

With a portfolio of over 1.4 billion square feet of office space worldwide managed on behalf of owners and occupiers, Jones Lang LaSalle will oversee the implementation of the Earth Hour program for many of its clients on 28 March. Turning off the lights for one hour of operation at all of Jones Lang LaSalle’s managed buildings, in the spirit of the Earth Hour pledge, could reduce energy use by more than 1.4 million kilowatt-hours, equating to 2.1 million pounds of greenhouse gas reduction.

Lauralee Martin, Jones Lang LaSalle’s Global Chief Operating and Financial Officer says, “We are proud to pledge our support for Earth Hour across the globe again this year. This meaningful effort is part of our long term action plan around sustainability, which involves both our employees and clients. Our Energy and Sustainability Services teams are partnering with clients to assess and address their sustainability needs in today’s changing environment. We believe that by working together, we can all play a part in taking action against climate change.”

As the leading global provider of sustainable corporate real estate services, Jones Lang LaSalle is a strong advocate of sustainable practices and energy efficiencies.  In 2008, the firm documented energy reductions for clients in excess of 790 million kilowatt hours, translating to $95 million in energy savings and the avoidance of 438,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to support of the Earth Hour through actions taken at its properties, Jones Lang LaSalle employees worldwide are pledging to participate in the effort to send a powerful message about how individuals can work together to make a difference.  Through the firm’s internal sustainability program, A Cleaner Tomorrow (ACT), employees are educated year-round in sustainable practices and encouraged to engage in them on a personal level. 

Earth Hour is an initiative of the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature that began in 2007 and has gained overwhelming momentum.  This year, over 1,800 cities, towns and municipalities in 81 countries have committed to participate, with more coming on board every day. 

Amy Ho, Managing Director, WWF Singapore says, "We are delighted to have the support of Jones Lang LaSalle for WWF's Earth Hour in Asia Pacific. Their involvement along with that of the many other organizations we now have on board will make a very real difference. What's more, businesses like Jones Lang LaSalle have an incredible ability and responsibility to engage their employees, customers and partners to create a sustainable future for our planet, this means Jones Lang LaSalle's support is not only good for Earth Hour, but has the potential for encouraging a longer term focus on action against climate change."

However, turning the lights off is not as easy as flicking a switch. According to Peter Hilderson, Head of Engineering and Operations Solutions, Asia Pacific, health and safety, automated building management control systems (BMCS), signage sponsorship, cleaning contracts, formal lease agreements and lighting requirements are just some of the issues to be addressed.
“Our efforts in support of Earth Hour will demand many hundreds of man-hours of Jones Lang LaSalle’s operational time and effort, but we recognise the impact that Earth Hour will have and believe this to be a very worthwhile commitment of our time. In the not too distant future, we may be forced to shut off all non-essential lights as a standard operating procedure for all buildings. Addressing some of the challenges we face during Earth Hour will be an important part of achieving a healthy energy balance in our cities,” says Mr Hilderson.
Jones Lang LaSalle has been an active participant in Earth Hour for the past two years and is now taking the lessons learnt and extrapolating them to the growing Earth Hour program across the globe.
“The management of a building is a complex series of systems and processes. Occupants don’t cease to use buildings at 6pm on the dot, so the simple act of ‘turning off the lights’ for an hour can be quite a complex process for operational staff. One of our main concerns is the health and safety risks that are introduced by a reduction in building lighting. This means that no building should be completely dark as many staff and the public typically access the building during later hours,” notes Mr Hilderson.
  • Jones Lang LaSalle also highlights the following considerations that building owners and tenants should keep in mind as they participate in Earth Hour:
    Many tenancy agreements include policies on how they must light and maintain their office space over the weekends, so exemptions to these requirements must be provided by building managers if they are participating in Earth Hour. Not all energy can be ‘cut’, for example, computer systems require constant power back up services. In addition, addressing the issue of tenants that have staff that work at night, such as those involved in monitoring global trading markets to providing 24-hour call centres is important. A ‘lights out’ policy can have major impacts on them. 
  • A range of resources and education processes have to be explored. For example, will security officers on site know how to operate lighting controls? Can the site management team re-program the lighting time schedules, or is a BMCS technician required? In some cases, it may be appropriate just to dim the lights rather than turn them off fully.
  • Signages on the top of building also raise issues. The controls to these signs may be through the BMCS, an independent time clock or some other means, and clearance is required from those who have sponsored these signages. Other areas that need special consideration include ground floor lobbies, plant room levels, roof tops, vacant floors and suites, external plaza and garden areas, car parks and loading docks.

“With a growing interest in sustainability and as the participation rates increase for activities like Earth Hour and Earth Day, we expect that the above considerations and issues will become operating norms in the near future. In fact, Earth Hour is a good platform to engage all countries, organizations and individuals in a collective effort to build an energy-balanced future,” concludes Mr Hilderson.