The story of Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) begins the day after the 2008 Presidential election, when the global recession is at its worst.
Charlie Cichetti and Jason Kiefer show up to work only to find they’ve been laid off, along with the whole construction team at their Atlanta-based real estate development company.
It’s a sobering moment, but Charlie and Jason, who’ve already built a strong LEED skill set, look beyond the recession and see opportunity.
While the economy is crumbling, the USGBC is accelerating the green building movement. A diverse array of new specialties and standards is now in place, which leaves contractors, architects, engineers and real estate developers in need of training to get them up to speed.
Charlie, still in his native Georgia, and Jason, who’s by then moved to Colorado, start SIG to meet that need. By tapping into resources from partner company Green Business Education Services, they offer training materials and LEED classes.
They form relationships with contractors across the country who are eager to create a competitive advantage in a tough market by building a credentialed team. But Charlie realizes that training is just one part of what they’re able to bring to the greening of American real estate.
Soon their start-up enterprise is staffed with full-time construction and real estate and professionals, engineers, and architects. And their consulting clients are the same building professionals they help earn LEED credentials.
In short order, the SIG team – with Charlie at the helm now – is known as a start-to-finish resource for energy-efficient, healthy-living building. They partner with chapters of AGC and BOMA and win their lasting trust as the go-to sustainability training provider. And they become an award-winning partner for the US EPA’s ENERGY STAR program.
SIG distinguishes itself as a company able to furnish clients with a trifecta of training, consulting, and engineering. They’re helping to green everything from skyscrapers in New York City to stadiums in the Midwest. They ensure their clients’ buildings are LEED certified, and that those certifications are updated and renewed.
From 2012 on, SIG really grows. The launch of LEED v4 means their clients rely on SIG for continued sustainability updates. Fortune 500 companies with REIT portfolios entrust SIG with their projects. SIG incorporates LEED O+M, which helps clients boost efficiency, reduce waste, and create all-around healthy and sustainable environments.
Now a true one-stop shop for clients’ sustainability goals and their current and future ESG needs, SIG expands into the tech world. Its innovative software business unit, Blue Ocean Sustainability, offers tools that more accurately measure clients’ carbon footprints.
COVID brings new challenges, but SIG is ready to meet them. Team members, now numbering several dozen, are already adept at working remotely. Through new venture Aetos Imaging, SIG offers clients “digital twin” capabilities, which let them experience their projects in the emerging ‘metaverse’. When the CDC releases guidelines for safer and healthier spaces through its WELL and Fitwel programs, SIG is ready to put them in place.
To create leaders internally, SIG partners with a dedicated professor to mentor young professionals. Its long-standing corporate philanthropy program ensures that SIG staff works together to serve and give back to the communities in which it works.
While SIG continues to draw bigger and more influential clients in the U.S. and beyond, its partners say their favorite projects are the ones that build community as well as sustainability.
Examples include the historic but neglected retail space that SIG helps transform into the New Orleans Jazz Market. Now a music venue as well as a recording studio, the 2015 project achieves LEED Gold certification and numerous awards.
And then there’s the First Congregational Church. in downtown Atlanta, founded in 1867 by freed slaves and missionaries, whose congregation hires SIG to green its historic space.
Charlie recalls asking its pastor why a church – which as a non-profit is less beholden to LEED standards than for-profit businesses – is devoting resources and energy to sustainability. “We want to protect God’s green earth,” the pastor told him.
We invite you to visit our projects page for more examples of our work in action. And we invite you to join us in our mission to leave the planet a better place than we found it.
Who we are
Sustainable Investment Group LLC (SIG) was founded to deliver sustainability services and education to the building and real estate industry. Today we serve the entire A.E.C. (architecture, engineering and construction) marketplace, with not only Environmental and Engineering Consultancy, but a suite of Technology and Corporate Sustainability services. From LEED and ENERGY STAR to Fitwel, WELL Building and a host of sustainability reporting formats, we provide Consulting, Training, and Technical services across the globe from our offices in Atlanta, GA, Boulder, CO, Minneapolis, MN, Los Angeles, CA, and New York, NY.
Sustainability is not a side-line for us, it is our primary focus. It is the core of our mission. We believe that sustainability is the only way forward. In today’s world, leading companies know that environmental risk is financial risk. We reduce that risk.
At SIG, we are in the business of Better: Better Buildings and Better Solutions, for a Better World. Our clients are industry leaders who believe that too.
Just ask them. They know that making green improvements is good for the environment and good for business. All of our clients have become repeat customers.
Making your buildings more sustainable in their operations, and telling your green building story well will help you qualify for more contracts and attract better tenants. SIG is a dedicated and experienced team, including design, construction, property management, and real estate professionals. We approach every project with an eye to how we can improve it for the people who use it, the efficient use of resources and capital, and the impact it will have on the community and the world.
We offer LEED training nationally and internationally, so we are always up to date on the latest sustainability developments and requirements. We are industry leaders because sustainability is all we do, and we live it everyday. Our energetic and passionate team delivers a wealth of knowledge and experience, and really believes in the work we do. We’re inspired about our role in the green building movement and we’re fun to work with too!
SIG’s Core Values
Quality of life
Support happiness and excellence
Promote sustainability through global education and local community involvement
Create win-win opportunities that bring value through honesty
Develop enduring ties and bring enthusiasm to everyone we know