The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) has announced a commitment and industry partnership to reduce energy use by the commercial real estate sector by boosting the market for energy-efficient commercial tenant space. The three-year project is a collaboration between CGI, Goldman Sachs, Greenprint Foundation, Johnson Controls, Jones Lang LaSalle, Malkin Holdings, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Vornado Realty Trust, and YR&G.

Through the project, the participating companies will work with a group of 12-15 major tenants who are signing or renewing leases for new or existing property to help them incorporate energy-efficiency measures into the design of their spaces, and to measure and document the economic benefits of the initiatives.

  • According to the NRDC, project partners will assist in the following ways:
  • Work with tenants during the design phase to suggestion indoor environmental quality and energy-efficient measures, providing ROI and payback period analyses; 

  • Develop a baseline energy-usage model and cost estimate for hypothetical BAU code-compliant buildouts; 
    Apply best practices for measurement and verification of energy savings, and tracking employee retention, health and productivity gains; 

  • Work with property owners to pursue an integrated building approach to incorporate retrofits to a building’s central systems; 

  • Develop replicable financing mechanism to fund capital costs of green retrofits; 

  • Produce case studies showing economic and environmental returns from green measures; 

  • Develop a marketing strategy to commercialize the business case for efficiency retrofits; 

  • Document job hours applicable to the buildouts.

More specifically, Jones Lang LaSalle will identify potential tenant and owner participants and will propose cost-effective efficiency measures. Johnson Controls will advise on potential efficiency improvements, and will help develop and implement measure to track energy savings. Goldman Sachs will identify financing options, and the NRDC’s Center for Market Innovation will ensure transparent measurement, verification, and reporting of energy savings generated by the efficiency improvements. Greenprint Foundation will also assist with the design of data collection methodology for demonstration projects’ measurement and verification protocols, and the NRDC also will work with project partners to develop a blueprint for replication. 

The overriding goal is to identify savings potential efficiency can offer and provide a roadmap other tenants can follow. Bloomberg LP, LinkedIn, and Jones Lang LaSalle have committed to participating as commercial tenants in the project. In addition, Vornado and Malkin Holdings have agreed to help identify project opportunities and provide data from their portfolios to demonstrate how efficiency upgrades to central building systems can enhance benefits to tenants. YR&G will assist in developing materials to support designers, facility manager, and executives in understanding the process and opportunity for high-performance build-outs.

For more information, visit nrdc.org/business/CGI.