energy-saving achievements

Cresting a year of energy-saving achievements

Friday, October 25, 2019

Commercial real estate industry trailblazers (CREST) were honoured for energy-saving achievements last night, marking another year of progress in Toronto’s race2reduce. Frontrunners emerged from 650 buildings now pursuing the target to collectively reduce energy consumption by 10 per cent compared to 2017, and were recognized for leadership, innovation and collaboration in devising and delivering on conservation initiatives.

With still more than 14 months to the finish line, landlord-tenant teams have already saved an estimated 19 gigawatt-hours (19 million kilowatt-hours) of electricity. Waste Reduction Week, occurring Canada-wide October 21-25, provided fitting timing to bestow the second slate of CREST awards since race2reduce launched in January 2018.

“Waste Reduction Week encourages all of us to make sustainable changes and choices,” Susan Allen, president and chief executive officer of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Toronto, observed in opening remarks.

However, expansion is equally a theme of celebration for the program that BOMA Toronto sponsors jointly with Toronto Hydro. There has been a nearly threefold increase in commercial space coverage — from 33 million square feet to 95 million square feet — since the unofficial kick-off in June 2017. Perhaps even more impressively, the field of competitors has grown from 88 to 650 buildings, indicating that many more smaller and mid-sized players have signed on to track down energy savings.

“I think it’s in our DNA because the commercial real estate industry is enthusiastic and it’s competitive by nature,” theorized Joe Bilé, Toronto Hydro’s business development manager.

The distinctive race2reduce moniker also signifies that this challenge is the second iteration of the program that Toronto CivicAction first introduced in 2011 under the name Race to Reduce. That initial friendly rivalry surpassed its target as 200 buildings, including some located in the 905 regions neighbouring Toronto, collectively curbed energy use by 12.1 per cent over a four-year period. It also served as a model for programs like the Manitoba Race to Reduce and Quebec’s Building Energy Challenge.

This year, teams representing buildings in five different size categories received CREST awards for energy management leadership, including:

< 50,000 square feet

  • 2973 Islington Avenue, CIBC (Managed by BGIS)
  • 3940 Keele Street, CIBC (Managed by BGIS)
  • 1 Fort York, CIBC (Managed by BGIS)

50,000 to 150,000 square feet

  • 5 Park Home Avenue, Colliers International
  • 111 Wellesley Street East, City of Toronto
  • 180 Bloor Street West, Greenrock Property Management Limited

150,000 to 250,000 square feet

  • 2 Berkeley Street, Berkeley Castle Management
  • 20 Carlson Court, Crown Property Management Inc.
  • 3381 Steeles Avenue East, Centrecorp Management Services Ltd

250,000 to 500,000 square feet

  • 90 Sheppard Avenue East, Crown Property Management Inc.
  • 901 King Street West, Crown Property Management Inc.

> 500,000 square feet

  • 55 John Street, City of Toronto
  • 200 Bay Street, RBC (Managed By Oxford Properties Group)
  • 200 Bay Street, Oxford Properties Group

Landlord-tenant teams from 390 Bay Street, managed by Crown Property Management, and 155 Wellington Street West, managed by Cadillac Fairview, were CREST award winners for innovative excellence. The two-building Commerce Court complex on King Street West, managed by QuadReal Property Group, was named the CREST collaborative excellence winner.

Photo of CREST winners courtesy of BOMA Toronto.

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