As the commercial real estate industry develops on an international scale, the need for a governing body that offers support and advocacy grows as well.
Darren Klassen, BOMA Canada Chair and Vice President, Real Estate Management Services (REMS), Winnipeg, Colliers International, has been closely involved in the strategic leadership of the international expansion of the BOMA BEST program, launching the rapidly growing sustainable building program onto the world stage. The program’s first official entry outside of Canada and the United States began in Mexico, where the first certificate was presented on January 15, 2019 for Torre Origami, where Colliers provides facility management services to the anchor tenant. “Since the inception of BOMA BEST, the goal has been to offer a world-class sustainable building program for our members and the broader industry. Our successful international expansion has not only validated our strategic course of action, but it has also been extremely rewarding to be able to offer our program to others around the world, giving international BOMA members another tool to manage their buildings in an environmentally conscious manner,” reflects Klassen fondly.
Initially, when BOMA Canada President and Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Shinewald led an exploratory business mission to Shanghai and Beijing in 2013, there was no plan to expand the BOMA BEST program into the Chinese market. However, once the program was refreshed at home in Canada, the opportunity to expand on an international scale, and specifically in the Asian market, felt like a natural, and obvious, progression.
After the BOMA Canada team’s years of hard work, Klassen travelled on their behalf to Shanghai in March of 2019 to unveil the BOMA BEST program in China and present an overview of the BOMA BEST program. “I [was] truly honored to be able to take part in the launch of BOMA BEST in China, an industry driven, Canadian-made program. [The launch] was a culmination of several years of hard work by our BOMA Canada team together with our amazing partners at BOMA China” he shares. While in China, Klassen also spent time with Sean Robertson, Management Consular at the Embassy of Canada in Beijing to understand first-hand their experience with the program. Since then, the Embassy’s six buildings have been certified at BOMA BEST Silver.
Officially launched on March 7th, BOMA Canada and BOMA China recognized the first seventeen recipients of the BOMA BEST Sustainability Professional designation. Only available in China for the time being, the BOMA BEST Sustainability Professional designation is one that demonstrates the superior level of knowledge that an individual has about the BOMA BEST process and as the BOMA BEST program expands in China, this pool of experts will become a valued guiding resource.
With a successful program launch under its belt, BOMA China, led by its Executive Director, Dominic Lau, will continue to drive BOMA BEST’s development forward so that China’s commercial properties can pursue and achieve professional excellence and sustainable development.