Participants at the International Council of Shopping Centers' upcoming Global Retail Real Estate Convention, scheduled May 23-25 in Las Vegas, will have a chance to consider both the risks and the advantages of pursuing environmental sustainability in retail operations, during a panel discussion called, “Corporate Retailer to Boutique Retailer – What Has Worked, What Hasn’t Worked, and Where Do We Go From Here?”

Mike Flynn, a principal of the architectural firm KTGY Group, based in Irvine, Calif., will moderate the panel discussion. Panelists include Paul Loubet, president of Dreyfus Real Estate; Barry Giles, CEO for Building Wise, LLC; and Doug Wiele, a founding partner of Foothill Partners, Inc.

Besides discussing the risks and goals of sustainable building, the panel will consider design approaches and systems that have proved cost effective, says Flynn. “We will also discuss why retail has historically lagged behind the corporate office market in adopting sustainability as an important building and design component and how future green legislation can impact retailers.”

According to Pacific Gas & Electric’s Food Service Technology Center, restaurants are the retail world’s largest energy user, consuming nearly five times more energy per square foot than any other type of commercial building, says Flynn. “Electrical utilities are likely to increase peak demand rates, and to expand incentive programs for owners who have energy-efficient facilities,” adds Flynn.

Existing buildings, including shopping centers, can be made more energy efficient without major expense, says Flynn.