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Cushman and Wakefield to Green Real Estate Through Landmark Agreement with EPA

Release Date: 01/06/2009
Contact Information: John Senn (212) 637-3667, senn.john@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) The environmental impact of an office building may often be an afterthought, but office buildings are responsible for some 17 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions, about 1 billion tons annually. Cushman & Wakefield, Inc., one of the world’s largest commercial real estate firms, is planning to reduce environmental impacts of its offices and the buildings it manages through an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“Just like cars and smoke stacks, office buildings are responsible for significant quantities of carbon dioxide emissions as their electricity and heat is often derived from the burning of fossil fuels,” said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “By making modest, cost-efficient adjustments like increasing energy efficiency in plans for office buildings, Cushman & Wakefield stands to drastically reduce its carbon footprint at thousands of buildings across the country.”

The agreement, a memorandum of understanding, includes the following goals for Cushman & Wakefield:

  • Evaluating opportunities to conserve energy when selecting new corporation office spaces and beginning an energy efficiency pilot program at several offices.
  • Decreasing energy consumption at the company’s managed properties, currently more than 3,000 buildings, by 30 percent by 2012.
  • Helping building owners conduct energy analyses utilizing EPA’s ENERGY STAR benchmarking tool.
  • Encouraging its clients with data centers to participate in EPA’s Data Center Data Collection Initiative to help develop an ENERGY STAR rating for data centers.
  • Tracking water usage at properties the company manages using the EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool and promoting the use of water efficient fixtures and water conservation measures.
  • Joining EPA’s WasteWise partnership program, though which the company will conduct an assessment of waste reduction activities, document sustainable purchases, and provide an annual estimate on improvements in waste reduction and recycling at selected properties.
  • Joining EPA’s GreenScapes program and encouraging its clients to reuse industrial materials and implement sustainable landscaping practices.
  • Seeking certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, or a similar green building rating system for new corporate office space, where feasible.

Cushman & Wakefield will report the progress on its goals to EPA every six months. Based on the reports, EPA will quantify the benefits of the company’s environmental efforts. EPA has similar agreements in place with the New York Mets for the team’s new Citi Field stadium, the Destiny USA mall project in Syracuse, N.Y., Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J., and St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y.

For more information on EPA’s voluntary programs like the ones incorporated in the Cushman & Wakefield agreement, visit http://www.epa.gov/partners. For more information on sustainability in the New York metropolitan area, visit http://epa.gov/region2/sustainability.

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