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Office building landlords and tenants cross the finish line with ground-breaking results in CivicAction’s energy marathon Race to Reduce!

TORONTO (November 6, 2015) – Last night, participants in CivicAction’s smart energy office challenge took sustainability to new heights, celebrating a drop of close to 193 million ekWh or 12.1 per cent in collective energy use over four years, charging past the program’s four-year target of 10 per cent. That’s equivalent to taking more than 4,200 cars off the road and putting $13.7 million back into office landlords’ and tenants’ pockets.

“We set an ambitious target four years ago and last night, we exceeded it,” said Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO, CivicAction. “The Race to Reduce is a great example of what’s possible when people from opposite sides of the table come together and work towards a shared goal.”

With winning buildings located in Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, Vaughan, Markham and Toronto, the final Race to Reduce awards ceremony saw representation from leading office building owners, tenants, and workers from across the region and showed how little energy is needed to run a building while meeting tenants’ and their employees’ needs. CivicAction’s Race to Reduce is one of the largest regional energy challenges in the world, with 196 buildings participating representing more than 69 million square feet or 42 per cent of the commercial office space in the region.

Sixty-four buildings of various sizes and ages earned a Greatest Energy Reduction Award by achieving a 10 per cent or greater reduction across the four years of the Race (2011-2014). Twenty-one of these buildings reduced their energy use by more than 20 per cent, with Oxford Properties Group’s Richmond Adelaide Centre, HOOPP Realty’s AeroCentre 1 – 5600 Explorer Drive,  and the City of Toronto’s Toronto Archive Centre cutting energy use by a whopping 35, 39, and 59 per cent respectively, over the span of the Race.

RBC swept the Team Excellence awards that celebrate active and sustained landlord-tenant collaboration. They took home awards in each of three categories, with landlords Bentall Kennedy (Canada) LP, Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited, and Oxford Properties.

“The final results show what is possible and underscore the significant impact the commercial real estate sector can have on reducing the region’s carbon emissions and cleaning the air we all breathe,” said Roger Johnson, Senior Vice President, TD Bank Group and Co-Chair of CivicAction’s Commercial Building Energy Leadership Council, which created the Race.

The average Portfolio Manager EnergyStar score across the 17 Lowest Energy Use (2014) award winners was 95.5 (out of 100), an impressive 37 points above the Canadian national average for commercial office buildings. (See below for full list of award winners.)

The Honourable Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, was on hand to praise the innovation and collaboration showcased by the sector and to reinforce the need to continue the momentum.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings is key to the fight against climate change,” said Minister Murray. “CivicAction’s Race to Reduce challenges landlords and tenants to reduce their carbon footprints and recognizes great examples of private sector leadership, collaboration and innovation.”

The impact and scalability of CivicAction’s Race to Reduce program has captured national and international attention and awards, entrenching industry collaboration as the new normal. Among the multiple awards earned to date are the National Energy Globe Award Canada 2015, nominee for the Energy Globe World Award 2015, the Clean50 Top 15 Projects Award and a NAIOP Greater Toronto Chapter Green Award of the Year 2014.

The momentum from the Race will continue on a local and pan-Canadian scale, with BOMA Toronto committed to building on the momentum of the program and developing the next iteration of the Race to Reduce, and Manitoba Hydro announcing its support of a Race to Reduce in Winnipeg.

“The Race to Reduce demonstrated what we can achieve when landlords, tenants, service providers, and energy providers see the market benefits of smart energy use, and take an all-hands-on-deck approach to making it happen,” said Brad Henderson, former ‎Senior Managing Regional Director at CBRE Limited and Co-Chair of CivicAction’s Commercial Building Energy Leadership Council. “The successes we’ve seen will have a ripple effect in the industry.”

2015 Race to Reduce Awards:

Earning the Team Excellence Awards for excellence in energy reduction efforts that come with active and sustained landlord-tenant collaboration across the four years of the Race (2011-2014):

Graph 1

(Click here for descriptions of the work that earned recipients the awards.)

Earning a Building Performance Award for Lowest Energy Use in 2014:

Table 2
Earning a Building Performance Award for Greatest Energy Reduction (2011-2014):

Table 3
CivicAction would like to acknowledge our 2015 Race to Reduce Awards Presenting Sponsors CBRE Limited and Toronto Hydro, Supporting Sponsors Enbridge Gas Distribution, Union Gas and Yardi, Contributing Sponsors Armstrong Fluid Technology, BOMA Toronto, Energy Network Services and HH Angus, Major Media Partner the National Post, and Industry Media Partners Canadian Property Management and REMI Network.

CivicAction is grateful for the support provided to the Race to Reduce by 2014/2015 Program Sponsors Enbridge Gas Distribution, Union Gas, GWL Realty Advisors, Oxford Properties Group, TD Bank Group, Cadillac Fairview, MMM Group, and Stikeman Elliott LLP.

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Our thanks to CNW Group for sponsoring this announcement.

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Sarah Harris
Director, Communications
M (647) 267-4997

About CivicAction’s Race to Reduce: CivicAction’s award-winning Race to Reduce is one of the largest regional energy challenges in the world. Launched in 2011, the Race to Reduce challenges Toronto region landlords and tenants in office buildings of all types, sizes and ages to work together to collectively reduce energy use in their buildings and to decrease the total energy use in participating office buildings by at least 10 per cent over four years. 196 buildings are registered in the Race to Reduce – over 69 million sq. ft. or over 42 per cent of the Toronto region’s office space.  To read about initiatives Race participants have undertaken, click here.

For more information, visit: or follow us on Twitter @racetoreduce

About CivicAction: For over a decade, CivicAction has played the role of neutral sandbox, bringing together senior executives and rising leaders from all sectors to tackle challenges facing the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. CivicAction builds partnerships and takes action through campaigns, programs and organizations that transform our region. For more information, visit:, or follow us on Twitter @CivicActionGTHA.