Making an Impact

There is a post making its rounds in our office written by Sallie Krawcheck for LinkedIn. Her Big Idea is that 2014 may be the year in which investing fundamentally changes. She observes that the profile of the “typical investor” is changing, with women controlling more of the US wealth decisions and more millennials entering their prime earning years. Both these groups, Sallie observes, are inclined to express their values through their investment dollars. She calls this the ability to amplify one’s impact.

Investing for impact has been around for a number of years. In our profession that can take many forms, literally and figuratively. Architecture is the reflection of clients’ goals and values as much as it is an expression of our creativity and expertise. When these elements align, it results in great work.

It’s encouraging to see that clients share many of the same values that Spiezle believes are important; innovation, creativity, efficiency, economy, and respect for the environment. The list goes on and our professional responsibility is far reaching. But driving all of this is our belief that the work we produce has a positive impact on the communities we serve, and on the people who experience our work.

Our clients are investing to make their buildings more energy efficient, greener, and more resilient. They are using sustainability as a decision-making framework. The outcome of such impactful decisions provides immediate and long-term benefits. These decisions are being driven by a desire or a mandate to be operationally more efficient, to reduce costs, or to improve comfort and well-being, all of which can realize immediate benefit. Some clients are looking at more resilient building and energy systems as a way to mitigate future risk, while others view the larger umbrella of sustainability as a core value that drives their mission or business strategy. All of these clients are investing for impact.

I agree with Sallie’s opinion that 2014 may be the year in which investing fundamentally changes, whether it is investing on Wall Street or investing in Main Street. Investing for impact produces positive results. Environmentally responsible investments are making buildings greener and more sustainable, and these business decisions have value. They demonstrate your company’s values, and the benefits are tangible. Our Big Goal for 2014 is to help you successfully make those investments that bring value to your organization. There is no better time than the present to make an impact!

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