A recently published report from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Greenprint Center for Building Performance suggests that progress is being made within the real-estate industry to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions for individual properties and portfolios.
Volume 3 of the Greenprint Performance Report, released at ULI’s Fall Meeting in Denver, includes building performance data on 2,703 property submissions representing 700 million square feet in 46 countries. The property data was submitted to the Greenprint Center by its 29 members and 12 affiliated participants, who comprise a worldwide alliance of leading real-estate owners, investors and financial institutions committed to reducing energy use and carbon emissions across the global property industry. Greenprint is aiming to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the overall building emissions from its property portfolio by 2030.
Year-over-year comparisons, between 2010 and 2011, were available for 1,628 properties in Greenprint’s database. For those properties, the report shows:
8.2 percent reduction in carbon emissions
4.4 percent reduction in energy use
The decrease in carbon emissions from those properties represents the equivalent of nearly 1.06 million barrels of oil not consumed, more than 89,100 cars taken off the road and nearly 11.7 million trees planted.
While the report’s results are specific to the property information submitted by Greenprint members, the sample is a promising sign that “the industry is moving toward more environmentally conscious building practices and policies,” said Greenprint Chairman Charles B. Leitner, III. “These findings reinforce the potential of Greenprint to catalyze industry behavior and have a positive impact on the environment while enhancing the value of property investments.”
The Greenprint Performance Report is unique in that it provides an open standard for measuring, benchmarking and tracking energy usage and resulting emissions on an asset class, portfolio and property 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. Currently, the database includes 1,783 properties in the Americas; 712 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and 207 properties in Asia Pacific. It includes all major investment property types: office, multifamily, retail, industrial and hotel space.
Greenprint started collecting building performance data in 2009, when it was established as the Greenprint Foundation. Volume 1 and Volume 2 of the report were released in 2010 and 2011. During the past three years, the number of properties in Greenprint’s database has more than tripled, the building area represented has more than quadrupled, and the number of Greenprint members has nearly doubled. “While the report is rich with information and potential, we’re still in the early stages of data collection and statistical relevance,” Leitner explained. “The expansion of our database is moving us closer to our goal of creating a useful set of performance-measuring tools for the industry that will benefit the environment.”
Earlier this year, ULI acquired the Greenprint Foundation and formed the ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance. Greenprint’s database—based entirely on voluntary contributions from its members—typifies ULI’s longtime tradition of information sharing to improve industry practices, said ULI Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. “We look forward to building on the collaborative spirit and effort that formed the basis for Greenprint,” Phillips said. “Through the center’s work, ULI aims to fill a void of information pertaining to the value of investments in techniques to save energy and reduce carbon emissions. As Greenprint evolves, it will have the ability to be a game changer by showing that environmentally sound building practices make economic sense.”
Currently, Greenprint’s members are: Aetos Capital; AvalonBay; Beacon Capital Partners; BlackRock; Blackstone Group; CalPERS; Commonwealth Pacific; Equity Office Properties; First Washington Realty; GE Capital Real Estate; GI Partners; General Investment and Development Advisors, Inc.; GLL Real Estate Partners; Grosvenor; Hines; Jones Lang LaSalle; LaSalle Investment Management; Miller Capital Advisory, Inc.; Paramount Group; PATRIZIA Immobilien; Prologis; Prudential Real Estate Investors; RREEF, a member of the Deutsche Bank Group; Silverstein Properties; Sonae Sierra; Thomas Properties; TIAA-CREF; and UDR. The center is guided by an advisory board that includes key industry leaders from Greenprint’s member companies.
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