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Administrator Whitman to Commend the Real Estate Investment Industry for its Commitment to the Environment

Release Date: 12/13/2002
Contact Information:




Contacts:
At EPA Headquarters: Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7824/milbourn.cathy@epa.gov
At EPA Region IV: Carl Terry 404-562-8327/terry.carl@epa.gov



(12/13/02) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christie Whitman today recognized two partners for their commitment to the ENERGY STAR® program. Two organizations, Lend Lease and Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF ) are being honored for their leadership role in environmentally responsible management of their real estate investment portfolios.

“Today, I call on the entire real estate investment industry to follow in the footsteps of these two companies. I ask you to partner with EPA and to use ENERGY STAR tools to identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption, reduce greenhouses gases, improve your bottom line, and demonstrate the environmental leadership of these organizations,” said Administrator Christie Whitman.

EPA estimates that the companies’ adoption of ENERGY STAR’S energy efficiency strategies benefitting tenants and the environment have affected more than 35 million square feet of office space combined, saved about $14 million in operational costs, eliminated carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to 15,000 automobiles and influenced operations of their business partners.

The largest single operating expense for buildings owned by the commercial real estate industry is energy costs. EPA offers the ENERGY STAR label for commercial buildings in order to recognize and promote excellence in strategic energy management, smart business practices and environmental responsibility.

Industry leaders were present to respond to the Administrator’s challenge. "All the real estate assets in which we invest must meet tough standards for performance in a variety of areas,” said Mark Wood, managing director for TIAA-CREF's real estate portfolio. “Coupled with the new financial tools developed by the EPA, I'm proud to say that our management partners have done an excellent job incorporating more efficient technologies into existing buildings to improve their energy and environmental performance. As a result, we've been able to advance the important goals of the EPA's ENERGY STAR program."

David Ross, CEO of Global Real Estate, Lend Lease added, "We applaud the ENERGY STAR program. It works for our properties, our investors, our environment and our country.”

“The fact that two prominent members of the commercial real estate community Lend Lease and TIAA-CREF are embracing ENERGY STAR partnerships is indicative of a broader trend in our industry”, said Roger Platt, senior vice president and counsel, Real Estate Roundtable.” In the last few years, participation by real estate companies in this energy efficiency partnership with EPA has begun to grow exponentially. High-performance buildings are not only producing bottom-line benefits for tenants and investors, but are also contributing positively to the environment.”

The ENERGY STAR program is a partnership between business, government and others united by a common goal: to help protect the environment for future generations by changing to more energy-efficient practices today. ENERGY STAR currently partners with the owners, investors, and managers of over eight billion square feet of office, industrial, retail and hospitality properties.

Last year alone, Americans – with the help of ENERGY STAR – saved $6 billion on their energy bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 12 million cars off the road. Businesses are using ENERGY STAR tools and resources to improve efficiency, enhance profits, and create competitive advantages recognized by shareholders and customers alike. Investment property managers are using ENERGY STAR to maximize operating profits by targeting energy and cost performance improvements that increase net operating income and asset value.

Information about EPA’s ENERGY STAR is found at: http://www.energystar.gov. Information about Lend and Lease and TIAA-CREF is available at: http://www.rer.org



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