Real Estate Industry Making Progress In Reducing Energy Consumption And Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Posted by Heidi Schwartz

Data Source: International Energy Agency, 2012 Key World Energy Statistics.

Volume 4 of the Greenprint Performance Report™, which measures and tracks the performance of 3,232 buildings owned by Greenprint’s members, demonstrates a year-over-year reduction of 3.2 percent in energy consumption and 3.4 percent in carbon emissions. The report finds that the reduction in carbon emissions equates to nearly 268,400 barrels of oil not consumed, 24,044 cars taken off the road and over 2.9 million trees planted in the past 12 months. The report also found a 21.4 percent increase in recycling, and only a modest 0.5 percent increase in water consumption.

The property data was submitted to the Greenprint Center by its 31 members and affiliated partners who comprise 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 is aiming to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the overall building emissions for its property portfolio by 2030.

“The reduction in both energy consumption and carbon emissions is a very encouraging sign and a clear indication that the global real estate sector is moving in the right direction,” said Greenprint’s Chairman Charles B. Leitner, III.

The Greenprint Performance Report™ provides an open standard for measuring, benchmarking and tracking energy usage and resulting emissions at a property, fund and portfolio level. The global scope and size of the report make it the industry’s largest, most verifiable, transparent and comprehensive benchmark of energy use and carbon emissions.

The 3,232 buildings in the Greenprint portfolio are located across 44 countries and accommodate more than 1.1 million people. Currently, the database includes 2,021 properties in the Americas; 1,022 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and 189 properties in Asia Pacific.

“The annual performance report provides the real estate industry with a useful indication of the progress being made in cutting resource consumption and reducing carbon emissions and provides Greenprint members with an invaluable benchmark against which to measure their existing portfolios. Most importantly, it shows the positive environmental impact resulting from a solid commitment by Greenprint’s members to make a difference,” said ULI Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips.

In addition to working closely with its members, Greenprint continues to collaborate with its innovation partners Arup, Deutsche Bank, Gensler, Johnson Controls and Lutron. It also is strengthening its ongoing collaborative efforts with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the London Better Buildings Partnership.

Over the past year, Greenprint has established new alliances with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Program, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and the Downtown (Washington) D.C. ecoDistrict program. These relationships are creating opportunities for Greenprint to harmonize and scale standards and tools across the global real estate industry, while addressing the specific needs of individual markets.