The Urban Land Institute’s net zero mission has received a boost with a USD $1 million donation from Owen Thomas, the chief executive officer of U.S.-based Boston Properties Inc.. The gift will help underwrite technical assistance panels, which will work with select portfolios of buildings worldwide to develop decarbonizing strategies.
“Real estate is responsible for 40 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. We must take immediate action to mitigate emissions and stem the devastating impacts of climate change,” asserts Thomas, who is also a past global chair of the Urban Land Institute (ULI). “I have every confidence that ULI will effectively execute on the goals of the gift and help lead the global conversation about how we can decarbonize the built environment.”
As envisioned, panels drawn from ULI’s roster of expertise will be established in multiple global locations every year to develop net zero roadmaps for the host portfolios. Institutions and organizations that oversee large building portfolios — including local government, universities and business improvement districts — are invited to apply for the technical assistance. Strategies and experiences from the efforts will also be compiled into how-to guides for building owners/managers in general.
“Owen made tackling climate change a focus of his tenure as our global chair, and we look forward to continuing that work in the years to come, thanks to his generosity,” says Ed Walter, ULI’s global chief executive officer.