Earth Day 2018
Today is a chance for us to pause and take stock of what we as a society are doing to preserve and rebuild our natural environment. On this day we at CodeGreen celebrate the leaders in the private and public sectors who have recognized environmental sustainability as core to the long-term health and success of their organizations. From city and state governments to private and public investors and real estate managers of all sizes, organizations have made bold public commitments in the past year to reduce energy and resource use, prioritize renewable energy and use their influence to ensure their stakeholders do the same.
In 2018, CodeGreen joined over 2,700 business and government leaders representing over 127 million Americans in signing the "We Are Still In" pledge to support the carbon reduction targets outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement. This is the largest consortium of leaders in the US dedicated to climate action and we are proud to be a part of this historic initiative.
We are also proud to receive the US EPA's Energy Star Partner of the Year Award this year - the second year in a row - for our dedication to supporting energy efficiency throughout the real estate sector and working in partnership with policymakers across the country. This award is a great honor and recognizes the hard work of our dedicated team of energy and sustainability professionals.
In the past year more than 100 global companies have joined the RE100 and committed to use 100% renewable energy. The collective energy use of these organizations totals over 146 terawatt-hours per year, the equivalent of taking the entire state of New York off the grid.
In the real estate sector, investors, managers and developers have made impressive strides to build more efficient buildings and, even more importantly, to improve the efficiency of the existing building stock, which represents 40% of the country’s carbon footprint and 72% of its electricity consumption. Institutional real estate investors with long-term capital are at the forefront of this effort and are driving asset and property managers to prioritize sustainability. GRESB, the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, which ranks real estate firms for environmental, social and governance performance, has seen rapid growth since 2010 and now represents over 850 funds totaling over $2 trillion in gross asset value across the globe. And this global portfolio of properties recently reported a 2.2% annual reduction in carbon emissions, on track for reductions of over 20% over 10 years.
Commercial tenants have also recognized the value of sustainability for their organizations and in their office spaces, which is driving demand for green buildings and for sustainable and energy efficient fit-outs. Numerous programs around the country have been developed to support this growing market. In addition, many large tenants purchase their own energy and have joined the RE100 renewable energy initiative.
And on the legislative front, more cities and states are developing and expanding codes that require responsible management of energy, water and waste. Over 25 cities and jurisdictions now require annual energy use disclosures, which are the first step toward widespread improvements in efficiency and reducing our impact on the environment.
And closer to home, we are proud of our amazing clients, totaling over 330 million square feet of property across the country, that have undertaken energy saving initiatives ranging from education and training, operational improvements all the way to onsite renewable energy and major building retrofits.
We are encouraged by the impressive progress we have seen recently, but know there is still much work to be done. We look forward to partnering with our clients, partners and legislators to continue to improve the sustainability performance of the built environment and demonstrate the value this brings to all stakeholders.
Wishing you an inspiring Earth Day.
-The CodeGreen Team