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Greater Toronto races to reduce energy use

CivicAction’s Greening Greater Toronto established Race to Reduce in 2011 to cut energy consumption in participating office buildings by 10 per cent by 2014. This friendly competition just keeps quickening its pace.

Energy management in tenanted office buildings is a complex subject, but Brad Henderson, co-chair of Greening Greater Toronto’s Commercial Building Energy Leadership Council and alliance director for RBC’s account at CBRE, uses a simple example to explain why landlords and tenants can achieve more significant savings by working together than they can by pursuing their energy goals separately. “In order to achieve successive and progressive savings, what you actually have to do is change behaviours,” Mr. Henderson says. “You can put in all the energy management systems you want, but if a tenant brings in a space heater and puts it under a desk because their feet are too cold, you’ll virtually blow all of those savings in a heartbeat.”

In May 2011, Greening Greater Toronto, an initiative of Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, launched Race to Reduce, which it describes as a “friendly corporate challenge” that aims to improve air quality throughout the region and improve the bottom line for its corporate landlords and tenants by reducing energy consumption in their buildings. Funded in part by Ontario Power Authority, Race to Reduce aims to reduce collective energy consumption in participants’ buildings by at least 10 per cent by the end of 2014. By several measures, the program is already a success. So far 171 buildings have registered 66 million square feet of space in the Race to Reduce; this represents about 32 per cent of the total office space in the Greater Toronto Area. Participants include the likes of Brookfield Office Properties and Cadillac Fairview Corporation on the landlord side and Royal Bank of Canada and TELUS on the tenant side. The goal for the first year was a one per cent reduction, but in fact a collective two per cent reduction was achieved.

View the full article here, courtesy of Canadian Facility Management & Design.


Pamela Young

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Canadian Facility Management & Design Magazine