The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the real estate management industry can reduce energy usage by up to 30 percent simply by improving building operating standards. If a 1 million-square-foot portfolio can reduce its energy consumption by just 10 percent, it would be the environmental equivalent of removing almost 5,000 cars off the road for one year, according to an article in The Daily Transcript, San Diego.

Saving energy doesn't have to be difficult. The EPA has developed a checklist of 30 ways corporate management can reduce energy, while making sure they save every penny they can. Below are a couple of those suggestions. For a full list, click here.

• Make sure equipment is functioning as designed
• Consider alternative cleaning methods — team cleaning, motion sensors, coordinate tasks with other departments or day cleaning
• Encourage workers/tenants to turn off equipment
• Use equipment certified to save energy — such as EnergyStar
• Harvest daylight — don't use overhead lighting when daylight is sufficient
• Reevaluate lighting and the bulbs used
• Use high-efficiency LED exit signs
• Install timer controls for exterior lighting
• Adjust temperature and limit access to thermostats
• Optimize start-up time and equipment sequencing