Improving the energy efficiency of our building stock presents a vast untapped potential to increase our bottom lines, better our workplaces and protect our environment. Commercial buildings account for nearly 20 per cent of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the GTA, and consume 37 per cent of the electricity and 17 per cent of the natural gas. There is a well documented “efficiency gap” between the potential investments in cost-effective energy efficiency and the low levels of investment that are actually occurring. Barriers to broader adoption of commercial building energy efficiency include:
The lack of a measurement standard for energy performance
Difficulty in acquiring data to build business cases
Ineffective communication between tenants and building owners
Lack of broader education about energy efficiency
Greening Greater Toronto has launched the Commercial Building Energy Initiative to address these barriers and improve the energy efficiency of the building stock in the GTA and beyond.
Provide Champions: The Commercial Building Energy Leadership Council
The Leadership Council will identify stakeholders, develop implementation plans and champion commitments to reduce their own organizations’ carbon footprints.
Bridge the knowledge gaps between stakeholders by developing the business case for energy efficiency and building a “living library” catalogue of case studies and energy benchmarks to promote best-practices for energy efficiency.
Greening Our Workplaces Tenant Series
Hosting building-specific events to showcase recent commercial tenant-led energy efficiency initiatives for neighbouring tenants of the same building.
Owner/Tenant Working Groups
Identifying and facilitating landlord-tenant working groups at commercial buildings that have started to undertake energy efficiency initiatives.
Encouraging building owners, with the support of their tenants, to commit to establishing energy use baselines and track progress in energy reduction with a friendly corporate challenge - the Race to Reduce.
Significant reductions in the energy consumption of the GTA building stock
Ontario becoming a North American centre for energy efficiency with significant exports and a number of leading energy efficiency-related companies based here
Support the development of jobs in the energy efficiency industry across Ontario
Progress to date
Greening Our Workplaces Tenant Series:
At these events, Greening Greater Toronto and The Boston Consulting Group present the business case for energy efficiency, tenants give compelling accounts of their experience and results with energy efficiency initiatives, landlords share their initiatives and how they could support tenant efforts, and BOMA Toronto share highlights of its Conservation and Demand Management program which provides financial incentives to undertake electricity conservation projects.
March 26, 2010: Brookfield Properties, with CIBC, Gowlings and other tenants from First Canadian Place, Exchange Tower and Lombard Place.
May 27, 2010: Stikeman Elliott LLP and GWL at Commerce Court West.
October 14, 2010: Brookfield Properties, Oxford Properties and Cisco Systems Canada at Brookfield Place.
Greening Greater Toronto announced that BMO Financial Group and Brookfield Properties have committed to work together to reduce energy usage, and are piloting this approach at First Canadian Place in downtown Toronto.
Commercial Building Retrofit Summit (September 29, 2009):
In partnership with BOMA Toronto, Greening Greater Toronto hosted the first Commercial Building Retrofit Leadership Council meeting and Summit. Members of the Leadership Council and other industry leaders participated in an open dialogue about solutions for increased energy efficiency and environmental sustainability in the city’s existing building stock. Click here to view the Summit backgrounder.
Greening Greater Toronto has convened a Leadership Council of 48 senior executive members that formally committed to work together to make office towers more energy efficient and reduce overall carbon output. Representatives include:
Owners of over 40 percent of the GTA commercial office building stock
Tenants occupying almost 40 million square feet of commercial space