Toronto region office building landlords, tenants earn Race to Reduce Awards for leadership in reducing environmental impact
TORONTO, Dec. 1, 2011 /CNW/ – Last night, CivicAction‘s Greening Greater Toronto presented the first annual Race to Reduce Awards to office building landlords and tenants who are participating in the Race to Reduce smart energy office challenge and are reducing their buildings’ energy use. Awards were given in the categories of Participation, Performance, and Action & Innovation. Over 200 senior leaders – building owners, managers, tenants and employees – attended the event to recognize Race participants.
Launched in May 2011, the Race challenges Toronto region landlords and tenants from office buildings of all types, sizes and ages to publicly commit to work together to reduce energy use in their buildings and to reduce the total energy use in participating office buildings by at least 10 per cent over four years. The aim is to improve air quality in the Toronto region and achieve sustained carbon emission reductions in the office building sector, which now contributes close to 20% of the region’s carbon emissions.
“The inaugural Race to Reduce Awards event celebrated some of the region’s best examples of landlord and tenant collaboration to achieve energy and financial savings,” said Linda Mantia, Head, Enterprise Services and Chief Procurement Officer at RBC and voluntary Co-Chair of Greening Greater Toronto and its Commercial Building Energy Leadership Council, which created the Race to Reduce. “The entries we received are a real testament to how we can reduce our collective energy footprint, and they give us confidence that we will achieve our goal of reducing our collective energy use by ten per cent over the Race‘s four years.”
A surge in Race participation was also announced last night, with 25 per cent of the Toronto region’s office space now registered in it. More than 380 landlord and tenant participants have signed up 117 buildings, representing 51.6 million square feet of office space. When these participating buildings reduce their energy consumption by 10 per cent collectively over four years, it will equate to 30,443 tonnes of carbon emissions saved, or nearly 22,000 cars off the road. Participants will see a collective savings of $21 million in energy costs over four years, and $10.5 million annually in perpetuity.
“Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s Race to Reduce Awards, and to all Race participants for committing to reduce energy consumption in their office buildings,” said Michael Thornburrow, Senior Vice-President of Corporate Real Estate and Strategic Sourcing at BMO Financial Group and voluntary Co-Chair of Greening Greater Toronto’s Commercial Building Energy Leadership Council. “Everyone’s a winner at these awards – landlords, tenants, employees and the residents of the Toronto region will be working and living in a healthier, more financially and environmentally sustainable region.”
Action & Innovation Award winners were selected by a panel of judges drawn from the commercial real estate and environmental sectors: Michael Brooks from the Real Property Association of Canada (REALpac); Monica Da Ponte from WWF-Canada; Sean Foley from Canadian Property Management Magazine; Andrew Mandyam from Enbridge Gas Distribution; and Chris Tyrrell from Toronto Hydro Energy Services.
The Race to Reduce Awards event was made possible by presenting sponsor CBRE, and event sponsors Enbridge Gas Distribution, Toronto Hydro, and Canadian Property Management Magazine. Greening Greater Toronto is also grateful for the support provided to the Race to Reduce by program sponsors Enbridge Gas Distribution, Cadillac Fairview, Manulife Financial, and Oxford Properties.
For more information, visit www.racetoreduce.ca/awards.
Race to Reduce 2011 Award Winners
Congratulations to all Race to Reduce participants and to winners in the following categories:
Performance – Lowest Energy Use
Awards were presented based on building performance data submitted to REALpac for its 2011 Energy Benchmarking Survey. Each winner has achieved impressive results well below the 2009 REALpac national average of 28.7 ekWh/ft2/yr*.
- 191 The West Mall, Whiterock REIT (17.6 ekWh/ft2/yr); and
- North York City Center, 5160 Yonge Street, GWL Realty Advisors (17.6 ekWh/ft2/yr)
- Bell Trinity Square, 483 Bay Street, BTS Realty Limited Partnership (15.8 ekWh/ft2/yr)
- Menkes Union Tower, 25 York Street, Menkes (16.9 ekWh/ft2/yr)
Action & Innovation
Awards recognize participants who have demonstrated leadership and superior commitment to energy reduction or efficiency through their actions and/or innovative excellence.
Building team: Cadillac Fairview and TD Centre Green Council
The Cadillac Fairview and TD Centre Green Council team won for their Occupant Engagement Program at the TD Centre. The program demonstrates a strategic approach to occupant engagement that focuses on driving a cultural change within the building community that will have a long term, continued impact. In tackling human behaviour – one of the biggest barriers to energy reduction – the team realized energy savings of 2.4 million kilowatt hours (kWh) during its 2011 Energy Campaign.
Landlord: Oxford Properties Group (Royal Bank Plaza)
As the owner of one of the first buildings to receive a LEED Existing Building designation in Toronto, Oxford Properties showed great leadership and innovation with a very progressive and challenging project. Oxford was a pioneer in educating the marketplace on LEED Existing Building, and overcame many barriers to make this project happen. In undertaking the challenge, Oxford reduced Royal Bank Plaza’s use of electricity (25%), steam (48%), and chilled water (43%), amounting to over $1.8 million saved in 2010 alone. Its subsequent education programs will ensure this impact is sustainable.
Tenant: RBC and Stikeman Elliott LLP
RBC has utilized many tools, technologies, and platforms to engage and empower employees. Using a grassroots approach, RBC built a diverse and dedicated team, generated awareness, and understanding of the company’s impacts, and made employees a part of the process and journey.
Stikeman Elliott LLP stood out for its ongoing initiatives that represent a long-term commitment to a robust and multi-faceted sustainability program. The firm’s GoingGreen program is comprehensive, and demonstrates proactive tenant leadership with employees and with their landlord GWL Realty Advisors. The firm’s office light sensor installation project resulted in an annual savings of 450,000 kWh, and its second lighting retrofit of more than 2500 light fixtures and removal of 630 fixtures resulted in an annual savings of 350,000 kWh.
Sixty-one buildings earned participation awards. Award levels were determined based on the percentage of tenant space registered in the Race to Reduce (Gross Leasable Area). A full list of award recipients can be found at http://racetoreduce.ca/awards/2011-winners/.
Gold: 26 awards were given to buildings with over 75 per cent of tenant space signed up.
Silver: 19 awards were given to buildings with 50 – 74 per cent of tenant space signed up.
Bronze: 16 awards were given to buildings with 20 – 49 per cent of tenant space signed up.
About Greening Greater Toronto:
Greening Greater Toronto (www.greeninggreatertoronto.ca) is an initiative of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance (www.civicaction.ca), a coalition of thousands of civic leaders acting collectively to tackle tough issues and big opportunities facing the Toronto region. More than 200 partners from corporations, government, and the non-profit sector have joined Greening Greater Toronto and support the vision of a flourishing region renowned for its environmental action and innovation.
For further information:Rebecca Geller
Communications and Events Officer, CivicAction
(416) 309-4480 x509 (work)
(416) 992-4966 (cell)