Raptors – Nature's New Property Managers

Ryan, environmental services manager and trained biologist, shares how working with raptors helps protect the built and natural environment.

July 14, 2022 3 Minute Read

We were able to show the benefit to our client and expand the program to new buildings in 2022. The triple bottom line matters to clients and they’re shifting their priorities and investments because of it.
When gulls flock to rooftops to build their nests, that can cause problems for equipment and technicians. The natural solution? Raptors to the rescue.

In collaboration with operations, procurement and a third-party specialist, Ryan developed and implemented a program “hiring” these birds of prey to encourage gulls away from buildings and back to coastal lands and waters. Gulls are protected as migratory birds, but during nesting periods, they can become aggressive. “We have many technicians working on roofs in coastal cities. At some sites, that meant that the technicians couldn’t even service the rooftop equipment because of the gulls,” Ryan explains. “We’ve implemented a mitigation program using trained raptors to push the birds toward their natural habitat instead of nesting on building roofs. Ultimately, it’s better for the gulls and safer for our technicians.” 

Ryan is a biologist focused on the tangible ways that CBRE properties impact the environment – from wildlife to water and other natural ecosystems. “I’m focused on making sure we’re complying with environmental regulations and protecting the environment in all of those critical areas that aren’t directly related to climate change,” he says, noting the added reputational benefit for CBRE and our clients. 

And it’s paying off. Last year, the Environment Program in Canada was responsible for millions of dollars in avoided costs from regulatory fines and other operational expenses. “There’s a balance between the financial cost and the environmental and business benefits,” Ryan shares. “In this case, we were able to show the benefit to our client and expand the program to new buildings in 2022.”  

The response to the raptors and the holistic Environment Program has been positive, not only from the client, but the public in general. “By far the highlight of any day is getting to see the birds out flying. The triple bottom line matters to clients and they’re shifting their priorities and investments because of it.

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