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Building Operating Management

Some Companies Taking Action to Cut Greenhouse Emissions





Not all companies are waiting for the election to take action to reduce their organization’s carbon footprint. In May 2007, CB Richard Ellis announced that it would promote energy efficiency to tenants and owners in the space it manages and go carbon neutral in its own space by 2010.

The program was created partially because the company believes that reducing energy use in its own space, and that of clients, is a sound management practice.

But the world’s largest real estate services company also realizes that if it starts now, it can have a more credible voice when it comes to shaping future policies to regulate greenhouse gases.

“The message people need to understand is that this is what’s coming,” says Karen Penafiel, vice president of advocacy for the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International. “You need to understand your building’s carbon footprint, and you need to take these issues seriously now.”

By the end of the year, CB Richard Ellis hopes to have the carbon footprint of its own space — which includes 400 locations worldwide — finalized, says Dave Pogue, director of sustainability, institutional and corporate services. Once that’s done, the company will begin identifying ways to become more efficient.

“Something is going to happen. We would like to be at the table determining what that is,” says Pogue. “If you’re not at the table, there is a chance you are on the menu.”

Separately, the company is continuing to benchmark properties occupied by clients using the ENERGY STAR program. “People have been very enthusiastic and supportive,” Pogue says.
To date, the company has benchmarked more than 100 buildings, covering 200 million square feet of space, he says.


posted on 10/1/2008

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