Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency – Volume 2, Issue 11

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Volume 2, Issue 11

Greenest schools in Canada announced

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The winners of the Greenest School in Canada competition were recently announced by the Canada Coalition for Green Schools and the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC). St. Marguerite d’Youville Elementary School in Hamilton and Queen Elizabeth High School in Edmonton have been recognized as leaders in sustainable initiatives in the education community.

The second annual CaGBC Greenest School in Canada competition sought out schools with sustainability measures that reduce their environmental impact, use resources efficiently, and improve both student health and learning. Winning schools will receive $2,000 for use in a green activity and will be entered in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenest School on Earth competition.

With innovative recycling and composting programs, as well as a plastic water bottle ban, St. Marguerite achieved a 90 percent reduction in its annual waste production. Students and teachers also worked to reduce energy consumption, partly by having student monitors or ‘Busters’ look for unnecessary energy use throughout the school. The school also holds Health EcoFairs that promote local environmental leaders.

Queen Elizabeth High School launched a hands-on, project-based initiative, called INNOVATE, that integrates sustainability objectives into the curriculum and engages the greater school community in environmental issues. INNOVATE also provides opportunities for students to research and experiment solutions for real world problems in sustainable development.

Thinking about going green in your school? A good way to start is by energy benchmarking with NRCan’s Energy benchmarking for K-12 schools and Why benchmark performance?

For the full articles on the CaGBC greenest school awards, please visit:

TD only Canadian bank named to the DJSI

TD Bank Group’s sustainability efforts have once again been recognized, as the bank was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability (DJSI) World Index for the second year in a row. Since 2014, TD has been among the top 10 percent of leading companies in corporate sustainability in the world and was the only Canadian bank included in the short list of 27 out of 198 banks. It was recognized for its climate strategy, risk management, corporate citizenship and talent attraction.

The DJSI is a percentile ranking of companies’ environmental, social and economic performance. It is based on companies’ scores in areas including corporate governance, emerging risks, customer relationship management, environmental policy, and operational eco-efficiency.

In terms of eco-efficiency, TD uses a comprehensive approach that includes energy reduction, as well as renewable energy credits and carbon offsets. The company manages over 2.3 million square metres of real estate in North America, and was able to save 55 million kilowatts (KW) of energy with energy reduction initiatives in 2014.

Despite 24 percent growth in occupied space, TD’s total GHG emissions from energy have fallen by 11 percent since 2008, thanks to initiatives such as a switch to LED signage and increasing use of building-top solar panels. These initiatives saved 1,113 and 738 tonnes of CO2e per year, respectively. Additionally, 23 LEED-certified buildings were added to TD’s portfolio in 2014, bringing its total of certified buildings to 140, comprising just over 100,000 square metres.

Last year, TD fully adopted ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and became the first Canadian financial institution to use this online tool for its entire portfolio. The tool allows TD to track energy use, GHG emissions and water use for all of its facilities, as well as compare their performance to other similar buildings.

“Whether it's our focus on building an inclusive workplace, driving environmental leadership or investing in our communities, we continue to embed corporate responsibility practices across our businesses as an integral component of our strategy,” said Teri Currie, Group Head, Direct Channels, Technology, Marketing and People Strategies, TD. “We're honoured to receive this recognition.”

Energy benchmarking is a proven tool that helps companies, including financial institutions, identify energy saving opportunities. Visit NRCan’s detailed energy benchmarking resources: What is energy benchmarking?, Benefits of energy benchmarking, and Why ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager?

For the full articles on TD Bank’s sustainability drive, please visit the following links: http://3blmedia.com/News/TD-Only-Canadian-Bank-listed-DJSI-World-Index and TD Bank’s 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report: http://content.yudu.com/web/232ym/0A232ys/2014CRR/flash/resources/index.htm?referrerUr

Study confirms economic merits of green building certification

Green building certification can improve property performance, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Portfolio Management. The study provides strong evidence that investment in sustainable buildings results in long-term economic benefits. Such buildings outperform non-green buildings with respect to rental and occupancy rates as well as tenant satisfaction and energy consumption.

The international research team that authored the study analyzed 10-year financial data and other metrics across an office portfolio of 300 Bentall-Kennedy buildings totaling nearly 5.4 million square metres. In addition to looking at rental and occupancy rates, the study also reported on intangible benefits such as tenant satisfaction and lease renewals. In comparison to non-certified buildings, LEED-or BOMA BEST-certified buildings have the following key advantages:

  • Rent concessions for LEED and BOMA BEST buildings in Canada are on average 4 percent lower.
  • Net effective rents, including the cost of tenant incentives, are on average 3.7 percent higher in LEED-certified properties in the U.S.
  • Energy consumption per square foot was 14 percent lower in U.S. LEED-certified properties.
  • Occupancy rates during the study period were nearly 19 percent higher in Canadian buildings having both LEED and BOMA BEST certification.
  • Tenant renewal rates were 5.6 percent higher in Canadian buildings with BOMA BEST Level 3 certification.
  • Tenant satisfaction scores were 7 percent higher in Canadian buildings with BOMA BEST level 3 or 4 certification.

Since the study was conducted, BOMA BEST has rebranded its certification program. Level 3 certification is now known as Gold, and Level 4 certification is now known as Platinum.

These benefits show that green building certification has income and value implications. Cost savings from certified buildings are related to more stability in building operational costs and reduced tenant turnover. Researchers found that the trends in tangible and intangible benefits were similar in Canada and in the U.S.

“Investors want evidence to support the economic merits of investing in sustainable buildings, and this new academic research provides exactly that,” says Giselle Gagnon, senior vice-president, Strategic Resources Group at Bentall Kennedy.

Building managers and owners considering green certification, LEED and/or BOMA BEST will find the following NRCan resources useful in their journey toward environmental and responsible property investment practices: Energy management best practices for new buildings, Energy management best practices for existing buildings, Benefits of benchmarking, Advantages of energy efficiency.

For the full study, please visit the Journal of Portfolio Management.

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Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency is published by Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency and distributed monthly to 16,000 subscribers. Our goal is to deliver meaningful news and information about programs, services and events related to energy efficiency in commercial and institutional buildings and, as well, to share the success stories of organizations that have benefited from positive change. Help us spread the word by sending this link to your colleagues.

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