Communities throughout the nation are seeking ways to commit to policies and programs that reduce environmental impacts and encourage sustainability. The Saint Paul Area Association of Realtors® (SPAAR) recognizes the importance of encouraging the housing industry to move toward environmentally friendly principles. As local communities seek solutions, SPAAR opposes mandatory labeling and regulatory standards that require retrofitting. These mechanisms increase housing costs and affect affordability. An effective alternative is to implement voluntary programs that provide financial resources and incentives that educate and empower property owners, such as retrofitting financing and cost recovery mechanisms. Providing programs like these facilitate green investment and energy efficiency improvements.
In moving toward environmentally conscious practices that encourage principles of sustainability and energy conservation, SPAAR supports a shift toward environmentally friendly solutions fostered by a voluntary, incentive-based approach that allows for a positive impact on the environment and global community. Efforts to provide property owners with education, incentives, and resources they need to improve their homes and save energy are another alternative SPAAR supports.
Voluntary programs and standards that seek to mitigate environmental harm while providing market-based incentives for energy conservation activities and focusing on sustainability of real estate assets are preferable over mandates. SPAAR believes the voluntary use of sustainable materials in the construction of new buildings as well as voluntary energy efficient improvements to existing buildings when it makes economic sense and reduces environmental harm is beneficial. Finally, offering educational programs and certifications to the Realtor® community to help facilitate the shift toward environmentally friendly solutions in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas is a better solution.
Overall, the Saint Paul Area Association of Realtors® (SPAAR) aims to increase awareness about sustainability for Realtors® around the Twin Cities, showing the business case for sustainability at the Association and brokerage level, and highlighting the business opportunity for agents who better understand growing market preferences for green and sustainable housing features. SPAAR will increase awareness and create a culture of sustainability for the Association and its members.
Approved by the Saint Paul Area Association of Realtors® Board of Directors on March 23, 2023