New Program Seeks To Drive Green Rentals

According to a recent study from McKinsey & Company, cost-effective efficiency improvements have the potential to save the building sector up to $33 billion per year by 2030. The Clinton Climate Initiative wants to help commercial building owners tap that potential while cutting costs for tenants and driving demand for energy efficient commercial real estate across the nation with a new partnership that brings together a diverse array of stakeholders in the commercial building industry.

This three-year project has a mission 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.  It is a collaboration between Goldman Sachs, Greenprint Foundation, Johnson Controls, Jones Lang LaSalle, Malkin Holdings LLC, the Natural Resources Defense Council(NRDC), Vornado Realty Trust and YR&G — leaders across the financial, commercial building and environmental sector. 

Empire State Building

image via Empire State Building

Through this program, 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.  These improvements will then be carefully measured and documented in order to illustrate the economic benefits generated by these high performance measures.

The goal of this program is to help other tenants around the country identify where they could be saving cash through similar measures, and provide a roadmap they can follow in working with building owners, thereby boosting the market for energy efficient commercial building space. And while there are many efforts out there right now to accelerate the growth of this market, the NRDC sees this project as unique for two reasons: It focuses on tenant demand for green buildings as the driver for increasing the energy efficiency market, and it brings together the expertise of industry leaders from every aspect of that market.

This program comes hot on the heels of the Empire State ReBuilding project, which partnered with the Clinton Climate Initiative to green the New York City high-rise icon by incorporating energy efficient improvements through a transparent process, with known costs and returns on investment. That project, too, sought to serve as a roadmap for similar efforts worldwide, and has already inspired similar efforts elsewhere.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.