The Greening Greater Toronto program from CivicAction recently challenged Toronto office building tenants and landlords to reduce their energy use through the Race to Reduce program.
The Race to Reduce program was developed and implemented through the Greening Greater Toronto Commercial Building Energy Leadership Council. The program brings both landlords and tenants together to ensure smarter energy use and reduce waste. The program is open and extended to all office buildings in Toronto.
The program itself lasts four years and aims to have office buildings reduce their total energy use by at least 10 per cent. In Toronto, office buildings make up close to 20 per cent of the GTA's carbon emissions, 17 per cent of its natural gas consumption and 37 per cent of its electricity consumption.
Linda Mantia, Head, Enterprise Services and Chief Procurement Officer for RBC and a voluntary co-chair of Greening Toronto's Commercial Building Energy Leadership Council says, "Office building landlords and tenants can save money, be more competitive and improve the region's environment by increasing the energy efficiency of their buildings. RBC is pleased to be participating in this unique program, as it will recognize and celebrate landlord and tenant collaboration, action and innovation in delivering economic and environmental benefits for the Toronto region."
At the start of the Race to Reduce program last week, there were already 33 buildings entered, representing 22 million square feet of office space throughout Toronto, which is a total of 10 per cent of the region's office building space.
A 10 per cent reduction in the buildings represented would reduce carbon emissions by 31,000 tonnes over four years, which is the equivalent of 20,000 cars taken off the road for a year.
The Race to Reduce is scheduled to run through to 2014, which matches the Ontario government's timeline for energy conservation targets.
"The Race to Reduce is a great way for any office building landlord or tenant to implement environmentally sustainable practices in their day-to-day operations," comments Senior Vice-President of Corporate Real Estate and Strategic Sourcing at BMO Financial Group, Michael Thornburrow. "The Race will give participants the tools and resources to set goals, improve their energy efficiency and save money," he adds.
There will be annual awards presented to those participants who have showcased outstanding engagement and innovative conservation measures.