Breakthrough for Sustainability in Commercial Real Estate

Jacek Utko, art director for Bonnier Business Press, Europe, changed the design of Bonnier newspapers at a time when print media circulation was being substantially challenged by digital gadgets to an extent that he said “there is no reason — no practical reason — for newspapers to survive.” Jacek drew from his combined architectural and artistic background and decided that design of the paper was an important lever to reverse the decline. And so he asked questions such as why do we do it? What is the goal? Depending on the answer to these questions, Jacek then went on to change the newspaper design. He added visual appeal to newspapers and considered them as posters and not really newspapers. Result — readers reconnected with newspapers1 and circulation went up in three countries, Russia, Poland, and Bulgaria, with the latter posting a 100 percent increase within three years.

The commercial real estate industry (CRE) is at a similar crossroads. Industry players are posting average growth. Technology is changing the way in which real estate business is done. Client needs for physical space are also changing due to increased use of technology and enhanced environment consciousness, among other things. This in turn is changing the nature of demand for physical real estate space. As such, new development activity is at record lows across most property types, except multifamily and hotels. So what can CRE players do to break out of the old mold? Can sustainability do for CRE what Jacek Utko’s graphic design did for newspapers? We believe so


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