Star Performance by CBRE

Apr 7, 2016 8:10 AM ET

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognised CBRE, for the ninth consecutive year, for its continued leadership in protecting the environment with the honour of 2016 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award.


ENERGY STAR® is America’s ‘go-to’ benchmark program for guidance on how to save energy, save money, and protect the environment. Behind each award is either a company, product, building, or a home that is independently certified to use less energy and cause fewer emissions that contribute to climate change. Today, ENERGY STAR is the most widely recognised symbol for energy efficiency in the world, helping consumers and businesses save $362 billion on utility bills, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2.4 billion metric tons since its inception in 1992.

Interestingly, there is a significant gap between large and small office buildings in achieving sustainability certification. Green building adoption is primarily a big building-first tier city phenomenon in the US. 62.1% of office buildings, greater than 500,000 square feet, are considered “green”, compared to just 4.5% of smaller buildings – spanning less than 100,000 square feet. This figure was drawn in a recent  joint  CBRE  and Maastricht University project coined the 2015 Green Building Adoption Index.

Since 2007, at CBRE:

  • We have successfully improved our average ENERGY STAR score, achieving a cumulative increase of 10%, finishing in the top quartile of performance in 2015
  • We represent 1,619 buildings spanning more than 262 million square feet which participate in the program – more than any other third-party management firm
  • We experienced a 2.5% reduction in average normalised site energy intensity during 2015, including a saving of 15,980 metric tons of CO2 –  the equivalent of reducing 38,047,143 passenger vehicle miles driven in a year
  • We have 246 ENERGY STAR buildings under management which represent nearly 4% of the total U.S. office buildings labelled

At CBRE we assist owners and occupiers with energy efficiency programs at properties we manage around the world. Since CBRE first developed its sustainability program in 2006, ENERGY STAR has remained the operational framework for advancing energy efficiency practices across our portfolio.  Part of our offering includes global commitments in 11 key areas of environmentally sound performance, in the categories of resource management, occupancy, communications and training, public policy and procurement.

The success of the Energy Star label in the US, and NABERS in Australia and New Zealand, provides owners and occupiers with a greater level of insight into operational energy performance of commercial properties. At present, European insight in this context is largely missing due to Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs, or BERs in Ireland) predominately assessing design performance, rather than actual energy usage. The positive news, is that several initiatives are being investigated to address this including the “Enabling the European Common Voluntary Certification Scheme for non-residential buildings (VCS)” – second workshop to be held in Brussels in April 2016 and the Better Buildings Partnership’s “Design for Performance”. The aim of these projects, as with Energy Star and NABERS, is to provide greater visibility of actual performance and therefore allow investors, purchasers and occupiers to use energy efficiency to inform their acquisition and location choices. Ultimately, by creating more transparency we hope to encourage competition and building improvements to reduce the carbon intensity of our built environment.