TIAA-CREF Sets 10% Energy Reduction Goal for Real Estate Portfolio by 2010
EPA Names TIAA-CREF an Energy Star® Partner of the Year
New York.-TIAA-CREF, one of America’s largest institutional real estate investors, announced today a goal to improve the energy efficiency of its real estate portfolio by 10 percent by 2010.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named TIAA-CREF a 2008 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for outstanding energy management and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, citing the company’s progress in improving energy efficiency.
“TIAA-CREF is committed to lowering the carbon footprint of the buildings that comprise our commercial real estate portfolio,” said Tom Garbutt, Managing Director and Head of TIAA-CREF Global Real Estate. “Our goal is to enhance our portfolio’s long-term value, which we achieve, in part, through prudent property management. We believe the best management practices today are defined, in part, by energy efficiency.”
TIAA-CREF’s Global Real Estate group has embarked on an energy benchmarking initiative across the 43 million square feet of office buildings and other properties within the company’s real estate portfolio, with the goal of identifying opportunities to reduce energy consumption. Thus far, the buildings that comprise the office portfolio have reduced energy use by 125 million Kilo British Thermal Units, which is equivalent to an estimated 37 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
These reductions were achieved through TIAA-CREF’s work with over 30 third-party property management companies charged with the day-to-day operations of its real estate assets to identify portfolio-wide and property-specific opportunities for improvement. Examples of portfolio-wide strategies for improving energy performance that are being implemented include replacing inefficient lighting with ENERGY STAR-qualified lighting, only operating buildings on Saturdays at the tenant’s request, and verifying that lights are turned off when the offices are unoccupied. Specific properties are realizing savings by implementing energy management action plans. One example is the 8300 Tower at Normandale Lake Office Park in Minneapolis, at which architectural elements and the building’s mechanical systems are being improved to reduce energy use. The investment made in these modifications is anticipated to be recovered in 18 months.
“Energy efficiency is a priority for our real estate operations, because we see the enhanced value it brings to us, our tenants, and our clients. We are proud of our work to maximize that value and continue to take steps to fulfill our environmental goals,” added Nicholas Stolatis, Director, Strategic Initiatives, TIAA-CREF Global Real Estate.
The next step in TIAA-CREF’s benchmarking initiative will target the 12,000-unit multifamily portfolio and will include collecting information on energy and water consumption, trash production and other areas for potential improvement. The program also will include purchasing ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances, replacing incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent lamps, and increasing heating, ventilating and air conditioning efficiency, with the goal of identifying additional actions as the program progresses.
TIAA-CREF, an ENERGY STAR partner since 2002, will be honored for strategic energy management that has resulted in significant energy and financial savings. Over the past six years, 43 of the nearly 200 office buildings in TIAA-CREF’s real estate portfolio have earned an Energy Star label one or more times, with 28 of those buildings doing so in 2007.
“TIAA-CREF and its clients can be proud of TIAA-CREF’s successes in climate stewardship demonstrated in its real estate investment portfolio,” said Stuart Brodsky, U.S. EPA Manager for ENERGY STAR, Commercial Property Markets. “TIAA-CREF’s improvements in energy efficiency are reducing the carbon footprint and increasing the value of their real estate assets to the benefit of their clients. TIAA-CREF’s actions serve as a model for the entire financial services industry.”
The ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award recognizes efforts to increase energy efficiency in property operations and to integrate superior energy management into an overall organizational strategy. The 2008 award winners were selected from more than 9,000 organizations participating in the ENERGY STAR program. Last year alone, with the help of ENERGY STAR, Americans saved $16 billion on their energy bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 27 million vehicles1. TIAA-CREF will be recognized by the EPA at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 1, 2008.
Other efforts to reduce TIAA-CREF’s environmental impact include:
* TIAA-CREF Global Real Estate is seeking the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for two new properties being developed this year in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Miami, Florida. LEED certification is a benchmark for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. By developing projects to achieve LEED certification standards, buildings benefit from the latest in environmentally sound construction and management that will reduce their environmental impact on their communities.
* On a corporate level, TIAA-CREF has teamed with the National Arbor Day Foundation to create the “Plant a Tree” program, which is focused on encouraging clients to receive e-delivery of quarterly statements in lieu of paper copies. TIAA-CREF will donate one dollar to the Arbor Day Foundation for every individual who elects to accept e-delivery. In turn, the foundation will use the donations to plant trees in a national forest, encouraging growth in areas that have been damaged by wildfires and other natural causes.
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