FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Race to Reduce office energy challenge bursts out of gates in Peel as landlords, tenants, politicians pass the baton
5.8 million sq ft [19%] of Peel region’s office space already participating
Mississauga, May 28, 2012 – Businesses, employees, landlords, and tenants in Peel region will TODAY kick off the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance’s Race to Reduce smart energy office challenge in Peel with a commitment to reduce collective energy use by at least 10% by the end of 2014.
The formal Peel launch of the office energy reduction initiative will take place at 6:00pm as part of the Region of Peel’s 2012 Energy Matters Summit at the Toronto Congress Centre.
Landlords and tenants already participating in the Race will join Peel politicians to make the economic and environmental case to reduce energy use in office buildings. Speakers include:
Says John Tory, Chair, CivicAction, “This Race is creating a new norm for landlord-tenant collaboration on the environmental front, and shows what we can accomplish when the ‘unusual suspects’ come together and successfully tackle the tough issues facing the Toronto region.”
The Race to Reduce was launched on May 19, 2011 by CivicAction and its Leadership Council of the Toronto region’s major office building landlords and tenants as a way to inspire collaboration to reduce operating costs, energy use, and carbon emissions while improving the quality of the air we breathe.
According to the Living City Report Card, office buildings account for close to 20 per cent of the Greater Toronto Area’s carbon emissions, consuming 37 per cent of its electricity and 17 per cent of its natural gas. The goal of the four-year Race is for landlords and tenants to work together to collectively reduce the total energy use in participating office buildings by at least 10%. The Race is open to all sizes of office building landlords and tenants in the Toronto region, and participants may join at any time.
Already almost 60 million square feet [28%] of Toronto region’s office space is participating, including 5.8 million square feet in Peel: There is incredible momentum underway for the Race. Forty major landlords and 400+ tenants have registered 143 buildings, representing 28% of the Toronto region’s office building space. In Peel, 70 organizations have registered 5.8 million square feet [19%] of office space, including landlords Bentall Kennedy, GWL Realty Advisors and Morguard, and tenants Bell, Rogers, RBC, InterContinental Hotels Group, TD, Century 21 and Air Canada.
Over four years, a 10 per cent reduction in these 143 buildings alone will reduce carbon emissions by 34,733 tonnes – equivalent to taking 24,988 cars off the road for a year - and produce $24 million in energy cost savings and $12 million annually after that.
Says BMO’s Michael Thornburrow: “The Race to Reduce is tapping into an appetite in the commercial office sector to show leadership on energy reduction and broader sustainability initiatives by both landlords and their tenants.”
“Landlords and tenants often have competing objectives, which is a significant barrier to energy reduction when tenants are responsible for up to half of a building’s energy use. The Race to Reduce provides a unique opportunity for landlords and tenants to work together toward a shared and measureable energy reduction goal that is beneficial to both on so many fronts.”
Great potential in Peel: The Peel Region has close to 200,000 residents working in close to 30 million square feet of office space and includes Canada’s fifth largest office market in Mississauga, so the launch represents a key opportunity to bring more landlords, tenants, and their employees on board.
Says Peel Regional Chair Emil Kolb, "Competition brings out the best in the business community and I'm confident that the smart office challenge will be embraced in Peel. Reducing energy consumption is always the right thing to do and Race to Reduce will benefit our entire municipality."
Says Mayor of Brampton Susan Fennell, “I’m proud of Peel’s leadership and the role we are playing in the Race to Reduce energy challenge. By reducing energy and becoming more efficient in our buildings and office buildings, landlords and tenants can have significant impact on reducing operating costs and improving our region’s environment.”
Says Mayor of Caledon Marolyn Morrison, “The Town of Caledon is pleased to join the many progressive businesses and municipalities in the Race to Reduce. The sustainable businesses and municipalities of the future are the ones that are entering the Race to Reduce today.”
Says Mayor of Mississauga Hazel McCallion, “It has been said that, ‘We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children’ and therefore the efforts we undertake today to help preserve our environment for future generations is vital. I commend CivicAction on the launch of their Race to Reduce smart energy office challenge and for providing outstanding leadership in regard to the promotion of energy conservation.“
The Race to Reduce is a project of CivicAction’s Greening Greater Toronto initiative. CivicAction is grateful for the support provided to the Race to Reduce by program sponsors Enbridge Gas Distribution, Toronto Hydro, Cadillac Fairview, Manulife Financial, Oxford Properties Group, CBRE, BLJC, and media sponsors Canadian Property Management Magazine and Building Strategies and Sustainability.
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The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance convenes civic leaders from across all sectors and the region to catalyze change on the tough issues and big opportunities facing the Toronto region. Using its model of collective leadership, CivicAction is advancing the agenda on its newest priorities for action: transportation, regional economic development, jobs and income and immigration. CivicAction's current initiatives are aimed at: connecting and supporting rising city-builders (the Emerging Leaders Network); making the Toronto region flourish through environmental action and innovation (Greening Greater Toronto); and creating a leadership landscape that better reflects the region's diversity (DiverseCity: the Greater Toronto Leadership Project in partnership with Maytree). For more information, visit www.civicaction.ca.