CaGBC launches energy disclosure challenge

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) is challenging property stakeholders to be more open about their energy, water, and carbon usage. On March 27, the organization launched the CaGBC Disclosure Challenge Initiative to promote data transparency within the Canadian real estate market and encourage benchmarking programs.

“When collected and shared, building performance data is a powerful tool propelling Canada’s retrofit economy. With the Disclosure Challenge, we hope to increase understanding of how buildings are performing and where they can be improved. This, in turn, will help governments identify the sectors and building types most in need of retrofit to achieve maximum emissions reductions,” said Thomas Mueller, President and Chief Executive Officer at CaGBC. “We know the real estate industry supports disclosure in terms of good business practice and smart decision making for investments, but also as part of their role in supporting the low-carbon economy.”

Several real estate players are answering the call. QuadReal Property Group, Triovest Realty Advisors Inc., and Concert Properties Ltd. have agreed to fully disclose energy, water, and carbon data across their building portfolios.

“We understand what buildings mean to people and what they contribute to local communities,” said Jamie Gray-Donald, Senior Vice-President, Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety at QuadReal Property Group. “There is also growing demand from tenants for this type of disclosure and access to environmental information. We are excited to participate in this challenge and look forward to seeing more organizations take part in the future.”

CaGBC says public energy disclosure is relatively new in Canada, with Ontario being the only province that currently mandates buildings to report their data. Herein, the organization hopes to expand the practice to jurisdictions across Canada to demonstrate the value of data transparency and industry benchmarking.

“To voluntarily disclose is to boldly demonstrate that transparency is a core value and that a commitment to sustainability and continuous improvement is good business practice,” said Cliff Majersik, Executive Director of the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), a Washington, DC firm specializing in data disclosure. “The IMT commends CaGBC for hosting the Disclosure Challenge, which shines a light on valuable building energy information that sets a baseline for progress, allows for occupants and investors to make smarter leasing and purchasing decisions, and makes it easier for governments, utilities, and businesses to target market offerings and programs that help those most in need of assistance.”

Results of the CaGBC Disclosure Challenge Initiative will be presented at CaGBC’s Building Lasting Change conference in May 2019 with a final report to follow in 2019.

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