Written by Alia Dharssi
Published in the National Post
A chatty crowd, including Ontario’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, landlords and executives from businesses across the Greater Toronto Area, gathered Thursday for an award ceremony in downtown Toronto to celebrate a 12.1 per cent drop in collective energy use — the equivalent of taking 4,200 cars off the road — between 2011 and 2014.
“We’ve got to do something. It’s the right thing to do. It’s not only good for our business, but it’s good for our tenants,” said Tullio Capulli, vice-president of property management at Morguard Investments, of the four-year initiative dubbed the Race to Reduce. It asked GTA offices to cut down on their total energy consumption by 10 per cent.
The Race to Reduce was launched in 2011 by Civic Action, an organization that brings business executives together to respond to challenges facing the GTA and Hamilton. Office space accounted for 20 per cent of the GTA’s carbon emissions at the time, according to research by Chris Kennedy, professor of civil engineering at the University of Toronto.
Between 2011 and 2014, businesses and landlords of 196 buildings covering more than 69 million square feet — or 42 per cent of commercial office space in the GTA — participated in the challenge. Toronto City Hall and the TD Bank Tower were among 21 buildings that reduced their energy use by 20 per cent or more over the three years by upgrading heating systems, installing more efficient lighting and other conservation measures.
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