Reducing Buildings’ Energy Consumption and Emissions

The latest performance report published by the Urban Land Institute’s Greenprint Center for Building Performance demonstrates that some of the world’s leading real estate investors are making significant progress in reducing energy consumption, carbon emissions, and water usage in their existing buildings.

Volume 5 of the Greenprint Performance Report™, which measures and tracks the performance of 4,001 buildings owned by Greenprint’s members, demonstrates a year-over-year reduction of 1.9 percent in energy consumption and a decline of 4.6 percent in carbon emissions. The report estimates that the reduction in carbon emissions equates to 486,581 barrels of oil not consumed, 44,048 cars taken off the road, or more than 5.3 million trees planted in the past 12 months. The report also found a 1.7 percent decrease in water consumption.

The data used in the report were submitted to the Greenprint Center by its 34 members and affiliated partners, who constitute an alliance of the world’s leading real estate owners, investors, and financial institutions committed to improving environmental performance across the global property industry. Greenprint’s objective is to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the overall building emissions for its property portfolio by 2030.

The past 12 months have seen strong growth in the portfolio of buildings monitored, as the Greenprint Center continues to expand both its membership and the building data collected from members. A 24 percent increase in the number of properties covered in this year’s report has resulted in a 27 percent increase in floor area that now extends to over 1 billion square feet (95 million sq m) of office, multifamily, industrial, retail, and hotel properties. The 4,001 buildings are located across 50 countries and accommodate more than 1.14 million people. Greenprint members hold over $690 million (€540 billion) of real estate assets under management.

In order to help other real estate organizations follow the leadership demonstrated by Greenprint’s members, this year’s report includes seven case studies of buildings and portfolios around the world that help explain the changes and best practices being used to improve environmental performance. It is hoped that this sharing of knowledge will encourage other property owners to examine what they can do to improve the performance of their buildings.

“Aligning how energy and environmental data are used around the world enables Greenprint’s members and partners to manage properties and collect metrics that present a more holistic view of property performance,” says Greenprint Chairman Charles B. Leitner III. “The five-year milestone marks an important time in Greenprint’s evolution. As an organization with a diverse range of global stakeholders, we strive to understand and report on a range of risks and opportunities that are driving the real estate industry toward more responsible property management and operations. Greenprint is not thinking about the past five years, but rather about collaborating with our stakeholders to develop strategies for the real estate industry for the next century.”

“Greenprint continues to be an important catalyst for change, helping its members take meaningful and measurable action to advance environmental performance,” comments ULI Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. “This year’s annual performance report shows that for the fourth consecutive year, Greenprint members have managed to reduce both their energy consumption and carbon emissions. We hope these achievements will inspire a broader movement within the real estate sector to improve building performance.”

Greenprint’s members include the following: Aetos Capital Real Estate; AvalonBay; Beacon Capital Partners; Bentall Kennedy; Berkshire Communities; BlackRock; Blackstone Group; CalPERS; CommonWealth Partners; Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management; Equity Office Properties; First Washington Realty; GI Partners; General Investment and Development Advisors Inc.; GLL Real Estate Partners; Granite; Grosvenor; Hines; Invesco; Jamestown Properties; Jones Lang LaSalle; LaSalle Investment Management; Miller Capital Advisory Inc.; Paramount Group; Parkway Properties Inc.; Prologis; Prudential Real Estate Investors; Rudin Management Company; Silverstein Properties; Sonae Sierra; Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc.; TIAA-CREF; and Tishman Speyer. The center is guided by an advisory board that includes key industry leaders from Greenprint’s member companies.[UR]

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