CBRE Becomes First Commercial Real Estate Services Firm to Join the Climate Group
CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. (CBRE) became the first commercial real estate services company to join The Climate Group, the global, independent organization dedicated to accelerating action on climate change.
"The Climate Group is delighted to welcome CBRE to our coalition of companies leading on climate change issues," said Chris Walker, North American Director of The Climate Group. "As the world's largest commercial real estate services firm, CBRE is uniquely positioned to help slow climate change by working with its clients to increase energy efficiency in the commercial properties it manages.”
A recently released report by The Climate Group and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) called SMART 2020: enabling the low carbon economy in the information age, found that buildings are the second highest consumer of power in the world behind industry. Better design, management and automation of buildings could avoid 15 percent of total building emissions. Globally, better building management could save 1.68 gigatons of CO2 equivalent, worth US$340.8 billion. Commercial and industrial facilities account for half of all energy consumption in the US and likewise nearly half of US greenhouse gas emissions.
Sally Wilson, CBRE’s Global Director of Environmental Strategy, said, “Working with our clients to reduce energy consumption and curb GHG emissions is a cornerstone of our environmental commitment. Joining The Climate Group is a tremendous opportunity for collaboration with some of the world’s brightest environmental minds in developing practical solutions to carbon reduction.”
In May 2007, CBRE announced a commitment to become carbon neutral in its own operations by 2010 - making it the first commercial real estate services company to announce such a goal. In addition, CBRE is assisting its clients with energy efficiency programs at much of the 1.9 billion square feet of building space it manages around the world.
To help it achieve this goal, CBRE has established an international task force to aggregate and share best practices on a global basis, develop educational programs for clients and employees and develop internal policies and business practices.
In the United States, CBRE has instituted a wide range of programs for the commercial buildings it manages. These include the mandated adoption of EPA’s Energy Star program, and the adoption and use of the Building Owners and Managers Association’s (BOMA) Building Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP), an extensive education program that teaches commercial real estate professionals how to reduce energy consumption. This year the EPA named CB Richard Ellis an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for outstanding energy management and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Additionally, more than 150 buildings managed by CBRE’s Asset Services Group are undergoing current evaluation for inclusion in a pilot portfolio LEED EB program in conjunction with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). A recent survey by CBRE found that more than two thirds of the buildings it queried are taking proactive steps toward enhancing energy efficiency, reducing water usage and introducing paper recycling programs. More than 100 of the company’s professionals have received LEED AP accreditation.
In the EMEA (Europe Middle East Africa) region, CBRE has a team of engineers, sustainability consultants and energy managers dedicated to working with corporate occupiers, investors and developers to improve their energy performance and meet government policy and environmental legislation. Recent projects by CBRE in EMEA include:
• Singleton Birch, the UK's largest independent manufacturer of lime products: working as the retained consultant during the development of a new energy from municipal solid waste plant which is intended to produce energy for their lime works and the national grid.
• Omniyat Properties in Dubai: supporting project teams and architects to design and develop commercially viable schemes which achieve an internationally recognized environmental sustainability design certificate such as BREEAM or LEED.
Charlotte Eddington, Group Head of Energy and Sustainability at CBRE EMEA, said, “Using green technology in new and retrofitted buildings should help properties to hold their value and ensure that they are more aligned with market expectations.”
In the Asia-Pacific region, CBRE has also worked on wide range of energy reduction and sustainability initiatives. These efforts include forming a Environmental Sustainability Network (APESN) to promote best practices; building out CBRE’s new office location in Beijing using renewable materials and maximizing natural daylight and submitting it for LEED certification, and achieving NABERS (Energy Star) ratings for 20 client properties in Australia.