At BOMA Intl.'s North American Commercial Real Estate Congress®, held in New York City in July, BOMA's Executive Committee unanimously approved a bold leadership strategy aimed to assist and encourage building owners and managers to take voluntary steps to improve energy efficiency across their portfolios by as much as 30 percent by 2012.
Current research estimates that energy consumption in commercial buildings accounts for 18 percent of U.S. greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. Responsible building operating and management practices can significantly reduce energy consumption, diminish a building's carbon footprint, and, thus, lower GHG emissions.
BOMA Intl. Chairman Brenna Walraven, executive managing director, national property management, San Antonio, TX-based USAA Real Estate Co., explains: "Commercial real estate owners and operators understand the triple bottom line value to reducing energy consumption and implementing high-performance and sustainable management practices; these efforts not only have dramatic environmental benefits, but also have tremendous financial benefits."
BOMA Intl. calls upon its members and the commercial real estate industry to accept this 7-Point Challenge and achieve the following goals:
- Continue to work toward a goal to decrease energy consumption by 30 percent across portfolios by 2012, as measured against an "average building" measuring 50 on the ENERGY STAR® benchmarking tool in 2007.
- At least once a year, benchmark energy performance and water usage through EPA's ENERGY STAR benchmarking tool and share the results with BOMA.
- Provide education to managers, engineers, and others involved in building operations to ensure that equipment is properly installed, commissioned, maintained, and utilized.
- Perform an energy audit and/or retro-commissioning of each building, and implement low-risk, low-cost, and cost-effective strategies to improve energy efficiency with high returns.
- Extend equipment life by improving the operations and maintenance of building systems, and ensure that equipment is operating as designed.
- Through leadership, positively impact the community by helping to reduce the industry's role in global warming.
- Position their company and the industry as leaders and solution providers to owners and tenants seeking environmental and operational excellence.
BOMA is firmly committed to ensuring the success of its members in achieving these goals. As part of the 7-Point Challenge, BOMA Intl. also challenged its network of 92 federated local associations to help facilitate market transformation. Specifically, BOMA local associations have been asked to partner with local government, other industry groups and associations, and utilities to identify voluntary energy-efficiency strategies with proven results and application to existing buildings; partner with local government to share education and case studies on no- and low-cost building operating and management practices to assist in efforts to transform state and municipal buildings; work with policymakers to enact voluntary, incentive-based programs to accomplish their goals of implementing green communities; and work cooperatively with state and local government to update, at a reasonable frequency, its model building and energy codes.BOMA has pledged to:
- Continue to develop education programs.
- Join forces with relevant groups and industry leaders to conduct research and share knowledge and best practices.
- Participate in building codes and standards development efforts for energy efficiency and green building standards that promote aggressive (but attainable) and cost-effective results.
- Work with the United States Congress, Administration, and federal agencies to implement a responsible energy policy that encourages voluntary action and resorts to mandates only with commensurate and offsetting incentives.
- Promote documentation and benchmarking, through the EPA ENERGY STAR benchmarking tool (for energy and water), of the measurable contributions resulting from implemented sustainable operation and management approaches.
- Communicate the benefits of environmentally responsible management practices, including higher occupancy rates, rental rates, asset value, and tenant satisfaction, to both the public and private sector.
Work with utilities to encourage voluntary demand-side management and rebate programs to encourage energy efficiency.
- Assume a global leadership role as an advocate for sustainable operations and management practices in the built environment and share knowledge and promote sustainable practices throughout the world.
BOMA encourages the commercial real estate industry to share its commitment and endorse this challenge today.
For information on this and other issues, call BOMA Intl. at (202) 408-2662 or visit (www.boma.org).