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Clean energy management is a corporate social responsibility
Submitted by: CoreNet Global
Posted: Feb 12, 2013 – 05:15 PM EST
ATLANTA, Feb. 12 /CSRwire/ - Multi-national corporations should strive for net-zero buildings as optimal outcomes of their long-term energy management and energy conservation strategies, according to a new public policy advocacy statement released today by CoreNet Global, the premier association for corporate real estate (CRE) executives who often develop and operate their companies’ energy management platforms.
In the statement opening, CoreNet Global says, “We support the principle that smart and responsible energy policies and practices reduce corporate carbon footprints and greenhouse gas emissions, (and) we encourage our members’ companies to drive energy efficiency to optimal levels with net-zero buildings as a top measure of long-term success.”
Net-zero buildings are commercial facilities that produce at least as much energy as they consume.
The same statement calls on federal governments around the world to incentivize building owners, investors and occupiers who proactively reduce their carbon footprints through the use of green energy development and retrofits.
“Office, industrial, retail and other types of commercial real estate account for 40 percent of the world’s annual energy consumption, making energy management and energy conservation socially responsible corporate practices,” stated CoreNet Global Chairman, Jim Scannell, Senior Vice President of Administrative Services at The Travelers Companies, Inc.
The statement emphasizes “tangible benefits for companies and management teams which prioritize energy efficiency and take steps to reduce the carbon footprint. They will realize meaningful return on investment financially, socially and environmentally – as is consistent with the principles of the Triple Bottom Line accounting model.”
CoreNet Global’s Issues Advocacy Focus Group coordinated the wide-ranging statement based on extensive input from subject matter experts and the extensive, long-term documentation of best-in-class energy management practices from among its more than 7,900 members worldwide.
It also marks the first time that corporate occupiers representing the demand side of the commercial real estate industry have spoken with a unified voice to advocate for public policy issues and corporate practices that impact business and society. In its 2012 Industry Leaders Opinion Poll, 90 percent of CRE executives who responded regard energy management as the most urgent issue facing the CRE industry.
“We’re beginning to see the huge environmental, social and economic benefits that energy-independent facilities are offering,” Scannell added.
A related finding from CoreNet Global’s new Corporate Real Estate 2020 research initiative identifies one key enabler of the migration toward net-zero, predicting that buildings will become energy-producing “micro-grids” that can share electric power across public and private distribution networks.
In its new policy statement, CoreNet Global encourages its members to adopt the following three key action steps it outlined in a previous joint study with the Rocky Mountain Institute, The Energy Challenge: A New Agenda for Corporate Real Estate:
CoreNet Global also encourages government incentives and financing programs to help real estate facility owners, investors and occupiers decrease the energy consumed by business and industry, and make buildings more energy efficient. Such incentives may include:
As the hub for thought leadership in corporate real estate, CoreNet Global continues to amass a growing body of knowledge and case studies from members whose companies are setting good examples by engaging in best-in-class practices.
To make a short- and long-term difference, companies can take these and other proven action steps as documented over the past 10 years by CoreNet Global:
CoreNet Global’s Corporate Real Estate 2020 research initiative forecasts “regulatory incentives for resource efficiency and market penalties for resource inefficiency will meaningfully increase.”
“Thus, it makes economic, environmental and social sense for companies to proactively set and seek energy efficiency goals as company cultures, industry sectors, financial resources, locations and other factors allow or dictate,” the policy statement summarizes.
CoreNet Global’s 7,900+ members make it the world’s leading association for corporate real estate and workplace executives, service providers, and economic developers. www.corenetglobal.org