Iselin-based Bergman Real Estate Group is contributing to a greener future. The firm is investing significantly into multiple sustainability initiatives across its two-million-square-foot portfolio of office buildings.
Large investments in renewable energy and small changes alike make up the full package of initiatives, from changes in cleaning supplies to the use of energy-efficient LED lighting, and more efficient HVAC controlled by modern building management systems that optimize energy consumption for better climate control.
“We are making a major commitment to our tenants and our joint venture partners by investing in a cleaner and more environmentally friendly world,” Steven Bergman, chief operating officer, Bergman Real Estate Group stated. “We want to do as much as we can to be a sustainable partner.”
The new sustainability initiatives are part of the Bergman Cares program. Launched in 2020, the program offers a growing suite of amenities at Bergman-managed properties that aim to promote the health, safety, and well-being of tenant employees.
“Prioritizing a healthy workplace goes beyond the enhanced HVAC filtration and cleaning procedures – it’s a holistic view that takes into account what’s important for employees and therefore to tenants as their businesses attract talent,” Michael Bergman, CEO and president, Bergman Real Estate Group said. “Offering environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions on a large scale is important for businesses and their employees alike, as they want to work with companies doing their part to support a greener world.”
The newly launched sustainability program is anchored by a rooftop solar panel initiative that has been in development for the last decade.
Properties to be outfitted with solar panels this year include 555 U.S. 1 South in Iselin; 201 W. Passaic Street in Rochelle Park; 51 Haddonfield Road in Cherry Hill; and 100-110 South Jefferson Road in Whippany. Other properties will receive solar upgrades as roofs need replacement, so plans to add renewable energy are baked into each property’s capital improvements program.
The projected energy savings of nearly 20% annually, coupled with the fixed cost of solar that helps the real estate firm better project cash flow, adds approximately $1 million in value, Steven Bergman said.
Through a partnership with forestry nonprofit American Forests, Bergman Real Estate Group is committing to planting trees in addition to the green initiatives conducted at its properties. The real estate firm will plant trees in each new tenant’s name for each new lease signed at any Bergman property.
Greener transportation options are another priority in the sustainability program, including electric vehicle (EV) charging stations currently underway and bike sharing programs available at many Bergman properties. EV chargers are currently operational at 75 Livingston Ave., Roseland, N.J., with more installations scheduled at other properties by the end of 2022.
In addition to this larger investment on an institutional level, Bergman Real Estate Group has initiated several smaller switches that add up to big changes for both the company and the planet. All buildings have switched to sustainable products such as restroom paper supplies made with high recycled content, green certified cleaning products, and paints low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Recycling programs are in effect at every building as well.