Archive for June, 2010

Mayors’ Green Wish List

June 22, 2010

Posted by:
Peter Belisle
President of Energy and Sustainability Services

U.S. mayors from Michael Bloomberg to Gavin Newsom to Richard Daley have focused strongly on ways to improve energy efficiency and promote sustainability in their cities.  It’s not surprising that real estate plays a big role in those initiatives, given that buildings can be responsible for up to 75 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in some cities. 

So when the U.S. Council of Mayors issued its energy and climate agenda at its annual conference last week, real estate issues were naturally a part of the mix.  Some items on their wish list:

  • Allocation of federal funds from carbon allowances and auction proceeds to cities to fully fund the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program
  • Support for adoption and enforcement of local building efficiency standards and codes
  • National targets for building energy reduction, and funding to help cities meet the targets
  • Elimination of federal barriers to local efficiency financing programs such as the popular PACE program
  • Federal help for cities to retool vacant industrial sites as clean-tech businesses
  • Strong national energy efficiency and renewable energy standards

Getting federal funding for local initiatives is easier said than done. But if the U.S. government is serious about reducing greenhouse gases, achieving energy independence and improving the competitiveness of U.S. businesses,  cities—and particularly commercial buildings—have to be a major part of the plan.

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Dust off your bike and ride it to work!

June 14, 2010

Bob BestPosted by:
Bob Best
Environmental and Sustainability Services

This week is “Bike to Work Week”. If your bicycle is still in winter storage, we want you to take it outside and bike to work or your nearest commuter station. Over 250 Chicagoland companies have registered to forgo motor vehicles and public transportation in favor of bicycles.

For one short week:

  • Get out of that comfy car seat
  • Stop getting jostled on the train
  • Leave those bus fumes for others to breathe

Remember your New Year’s resolution to get in shape? This week is a great chance to launch the effort. Join millions of other commuters next week, pedaling their way to a cleaner and healthier America.  Click here for more information.

Oil Spill Reaches Far Beyond the Gulf

June 10, 2010

Bob BestPosted by:
Bob Best
Energy and Sustainability Services

While the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is having obvious effects on the environment, the accident is spurring actions in the sustainability movement that could have far-reaching impacts.

President Obama said recently during an address at Carnegie Mellon University, that the oil spill has influenced his thinking toward a price on carbon emissions as a way to divert private investment from fossil fuels to clean energy.

As a result of the spill, the debate over off-shore drilling has taken a new turn. Senators opposed to off-shore drilling are pointing to the spill as support for their positions. 

“This sad event demonstrates that the senators concerned about the impacts of offshore drilling have real concerns, not hypothetical ones,” said Dan Weiss, Director of Climate Strategy at the Center for American Progress.

I’m not suggesting the increased sustainability debate caused by the oil spill constitutes a silver lining to a dark, oily cloud; but nothing gets attention faster than a disaster.  People who never thought much about sustainability before are realizing that the issue is inescapable.

What’s your print strategy?

June 9, 2010

Posted by:
Cindy Hill
Sustainability Portfolio Manager

Double-sided printing is only the beginning!  What office managers want to think about is a strategy for printing.  A complete solution for reducing office paper waste, energy use and cost may require collaboration between facilities, IT and your equipment supplier, but it will be well worth it.  Here are four things to consider as part of your print solutions strategy:

  1. Right-size equipment.  In some cases this can mean a technology upgrade, adding features the old equipment didn’t have, like double-sided printing, scanning, and faxing. 
  2. Right-place equipment.  Providing strategically placed multi-functional units is critical and makes it easier for employees to give up personal printers.  There may still be an adjustment period, but removing small personal printers off desks will save energy, ink, paper and cost.
  3. Green equipment.  Energy saver modes, no-cartridge inks, and more efficient operation overall means a smaller ecological footprint for today’s technology devices.
  4. Secure print.  Many of the newer models enable employees to hold off printing until they get to the copier and enter a PIN code. This feature makes it easier for professionals to give up personal copiers by assuring them that their printed documents can remain confidential. If the PIN number is never entered, the job eventually is deleted without printing; a feature which saves thousands of pages from being printed because users didn’t really didn’t need them after all!

Cool Roofs In Philly

June 3, 2010

Posted by:
Michael P. McCurdy
Market Director

When Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed a new law on cool roofs earlier this month, the rooftop 1515 Market Street provided the perfect location, with an excellent view of City Hall in the background and a great example of the type of reflective roofing surface the law encourages under our feet.

The owners of 1515 Market Street—1515 Market Street Acquisition Partners, LP, represented by James Paterno and Doug Veasey of Stockton Real Estate Advisors—decided to install a cool roof as part of an overall sustainability program at the building.  Cool roofs are highly reflective and emissive materials that deflect the sun’s light and heat. This benefits the building’s tenants by minimizing the need for air conditioning, thus reducing energy cost and enhancing tenant comfort. Even though they are white, cool roofs are often considered ‘green roofs’ along with more expensive vegetated roofs.

The Philadelphia bill mandates cool roofs only on newly constructed buildings, not existing buildings. When organizers for Councilman Kenney, who sponsored the bill, found out that a cool roof was being installed at 1515 Market Street, they asked if the bill signing ceremony could take place on the rooftop.

Councilman Kenney’s folks made this discovery in a meeting with officers of BOMA Philadelphia, including Deanna Ballinger, who serves as General Manager of 1515 Market Street as an executive at Jones Lang LaSalle. Deanna got approvals from the owners, managed the logistics of holding the rooftop event, and said a few words at the ceremony on behalf of the owners and BOMA Philadelphia. That’s pretty cool.