NEW YORK (September 20, 2011) -- The Clinton Global Initiative today announced a commitment to reduce energy use, create jobs, and provide significant savings for the commercial real estate sector by boosting the market for energy-efficient commercial tenant space. The three-year project is a collaboration between financial, real estate and environmental industry leaders -- Goldman Sachs, Greenprint Foundation, Johnson Controls, Jones Lang LaSalle, Malkin Holdings LLC, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Vornado Realty Trust and YR&G -- to undertake energy efficient improvements that provide value for tenants and owners.
“By making commercial buildings more energy efficient we can not only reduce harmful air pollution, we can save property owners and tenants serious cash,” said Yerina Mugica, Associate Director for NRDC’s Center for Market Innovation. “By bringing together the right mix of stakeholders -- building owners, managers, occupants, financiers, and efficiency experts -- we can clear the roadblocks that are keeping the building sector from taking advantage of major savings in energy costs. The Clinton Global Initiative is connecting the dots to provide more access to these economic benefits within the commercial real estate industry.”
Through this project, the partners will work with tenants who are signing or renewing leases for new or existing property to incorporate energy efficiency measures into the design of their premises -- from lighting, to air distribution and energy management systems -- and to carefully measure and document the economic benefits generated by the high performance measures.
The goal is to help other tenants throughout the nation identify the savings potential efficiency can offer, and provide a roadmap they can follow, in order to boost the market for energy efficient commercial building space. While many people are trying to accelerate the growth of this market, the project is unique for two reasons: It focuses on tenant demand for green buildings as the driver for increasing the energy efficiency market. And the expertise in the project team includes industry leaders from every aspect of the market.
Untapped, cost-effective efficiency improvements could save the building sector up to $33 billion per year by 2030, according to a study from McKinsey & Company. Buildings are responsible for 40 percent of carbon dioxide pollution nationwide, and 80 percent in New York City.
“The Empire State Building's groundbreaking work with the Clinton Climate Initiative proved we can integrate energy efficiency into buildings with known costs and returns on investment. Tenant installations offer a similar opportunity, and with tenant spaces consuming between 55-60% of total office building energy consumption, there are huge opportunities to save money, improve competitiveness, increase profits, and create local jobs. Just as the Empire State Building/CCI project has proven to be a useful blueprint which others have followed, the Center for Market Innovation project will create a model which can be replicated around the world,” said Tony Malkin, President of Malkin Holdings.
Several commercial tenants have already committed to participating, including Bloomberg LP, LinkedIn and Jones Lang LaSalle.
“Bloomberg's commitment to sustainability is central to our values and retrofitting our space with a focus on energy efficiency makes strong business and environmental sense,” said Dan Doctoroff, Bloomberg President and CEO. “We have nearly fifty percent of our employees working in LEED certified buildings around the globe and our strategic approach has driven operation costs down, growth revenue up and ultimately encouraged greater sustainability awareness for our employees and customers alike.”
This collaborative effort will benefit from each organization’s strengths: Jones Lang LaSalle will identify potential tenant and owner participants, and will propose cost-effective efficiency measures for these participants. Johnson Controls will also advise on potential efficiency improvements and will help develop and implement the measures to track actual energy savings, while Goldman Sachs will identify financing options for these efficiency projects. And NRDC’s Center for Market Innovation will ensure robust and transparent measurement, verification and reporting of energy savings from the improvements, as well as work with project partners to develop a blueprint for replicating successes from the initiatives.
Additionally, Vornado and Malkin Holdings will help identify project opportunities, and provide data from their portfolios that demonstrate how efficiency upgrades to building central systems can enhance the benefits that accrue to tenants from green tenant installations. YR&G will assist in the development of materials that support a broad range of designers, tenant facility managers and executives in their respective understanding of the process and opportunity for high performance build-outs. And Greenprint Foundation will assist with the design of data collection methodology for the demonstration projects’ measurement and verification protocols, integrating these with existing Greenprint data collection and reporting procedures.
“Energy efficiency is an important component of meeting our environmental and energy security goals, but market barriers make financing challenging,” said Kyung-Ah Park, Goldman Sachs Managing Director in the Environmental Markets Group. “This partnership will help address the challenges of financing the conversion of commercial buildings to be highly energy efficient by providing a clear business case.”
“Every owner of real estate wants to save costs and increase the value and competitiveness of their buildings,” said Clay Nesler, Vice President, Global Energy and Sustainability, Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls. “This initiative will apply our long-standing experience in designing, implementing, measuring and tracking energy savings to scale demand for both tenant build-outs and whole building retrofits for the billions of square feet of commercial buildings around the world.”
“Greenprint Foundation is pleased to commit to the Commercial Building Retrofit project along with our esteemed partners, and we look forward to providing comprehensive and transparent reporting to measure the participating properties' progress in lowering their energy usage and carbon emissions,” said Charles B. Leitner, Greenprint Foundation's Chief Executive Officer.
“Jones Lang LaSalle is excited to partner with the NRDC and our demonstration project teams to develop energy efficient solutions that deliver savings for high performing tenant spaces. The more successful business cases we develop, the more we can drive broader market adoption of efficient spaces that perform for the people who occupy them,” said Dana Schneider, Vice President, Sustainability Services Market Lead at Jones Lang LaSalle.
This project is made possible by the generous support of Goldman Sachs and Rockefeller Foundation.
For more information, please visit our website on the commitment at http://www.nrdc.org/business/CGI/.