The war in the Ukraine may yield the side effect of making commercial real estate more sustainable. 

A new report from Commercial Property Executive says to expect an increase on energy conservation, alternative sources, and energy technology as the government and industry seek solutions to the sticker shock and geopolitical tensions. That activity will help drive down the price of innovation and renewables.

“According to Elizabeth Beardsley, senior policy counsel at the U.S. Green Building Council, the increased urgency for energy efficiency and sustainability is likely because sky-high energy prices are both a “kitchen-table” and a boardroom issue; the price hikes highlight that energy, particularly fossil fuels, is a finite resource; and oil independence is a national security issue. Besides, the U.S. has been down this road before.”

In the article, John Chang, senior vice president & national director of research and advisory services at Marcus & Millichap, called increased energy awareness a “silver lining” of the Russia-Ukraine crisis for commercial real estate. Rising energy prices also present major challenges for the office and industrial real estate markets.

Office workers who were reluctant to return to the office will be even more resistant due to the increased cost of driving to work. Industrial property owners could see a decreased demand from logistics tenants and a reconfiguration of distribution networks, according to the article.