The Urban Land Institute (ULI) is enhancing its commitment to environmentally conscious development with the transfer of the activities and assets of the Greenprint Foundation into the newly formed ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance. With this action, ULI is continuing the operation of a unique industry-to-industry initiative through which leading real estate professionals exchange information and measure individual building and portfolio performance on the basis of energy use and carbon emissions.
The announcement of the transfer of the Greenprint Foundation’s activities and assets to the institute was made Friday at ULI’s headquarters office in Washington, D.C. The ULI Greenprint Center will be incorporated into ULI’s broader Climate, Land Use and Energy (CLUE) initiative. The center will carry on the Greenprint Foundation’s mission, which is to lead the global real estate community in the use of greenhouse gas reduction strategies that support the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) goals for global greenhouse gas stabilization by 2030. The ULI Greenprint Center will continue to advance the Greenprint Foundation’s goal of a 50-percent reduction in building emissions by that date. Currently, the energy used in buildings represents one-third of all global energy consumption.
ULI, with nearly 30,000 members worldwide — including 850 in Arizona — is a 75-year-old research and education institute dedicated to leadership in the responsible use of land and building sustainable, thriving communities. The Greenprint Foundation, currently based in New York City, was founded in 2009 by longtime ULI member Ronald P. Weidner as a worldwide alliance of real estate owners, investors, financial institutions and other industry stakeholders committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the global property industry. To date, the Greenprint Foundation’s member organizations are: Aetos Capital; AvalonBay; Beacon Capital Partners; Blackstone Group; DEXUS Property Group; Douglas Emmett; Equity Office Properties; GE Capital Real Estate; GLL Real Estate Partners; Hines; Jones Lang LaSalle; LaSalle Investment Management; Paramount Group; PATRIZIA Immobilien; Prologis; Prudential Real Estate Investors; RREEF, a member of the Deutsche Bank Group; Sonae Sierra; and TIAA-CREF.
“With the support and resources of ULI, the ULI Greenprint Center will lead the global property markets in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in a meaningful and measurable way. More importantly, it can help change the behavior of the population at large,” said Weidner, the founder of the Greenprint Foundation.
The flagship product of the Greenprint Foundation is its Greenprint Performance Report™, which includes the Greenprint Carbon Index (GCX), a tool used by Greenprint Foundation members to gauge relative progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions over time. The first volume of the report, issued in 2010, contained results obtained from performance during 2009 as a baseline measurement. The second volume, issued in 2011, had results for 2010 that included 1,623 properties in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and which covered a total of 31 million square meters of commercial space. It showed a 0.6 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the previous year on the like-for-like portfolio of submitted properties.
The international scope and size of the report, including the GCX, make it one of the real estate industry’s largest, most verifiable, transparent and comprehensive energy benchmarking tools. It is unique in that it provides an open standard for measuring, benchmarking and tracking energy usage and resulting emissions on a building or portfolio basis.
Carbon-equivalent emissions are measured in kilograms per square meter of space per year, and the analysis is conducted for each building or group of buildings, and then reported in the aggregate for each property asset type: office, industrial, retail, multifamily and hotels.
“The voluntary information exchange between Greenprint Foundation members that informs the report reflects ULI’s time-tested tradition of sharing knowledge for the benefit of the industry. We look forward to building on the collaborative spirit and effort that has formed the basis for the Greenprint Foundation and its Carbon Index,” said ULI Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. “Through the ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance, we are aiming to fill a void of information on the value of investments in energy conservation and greenhouse gas reductions. We are extremely excited about the ability of this new center to demonstrate that environmentally sound building practices make economic sense.”
The ULI Greenprint Center is an extension of ULI’s long involvement in environmental issues. Since its establishment in 1936, ULI has played a decisive role in the formation of industry best practices regarding land use, green buildings, sustainable communities, smart growth, transit-oriented development, land conservation and green infrastructure. The ULI Greenprint Center will assume the Greenprint Foundation’s existing research program and ongoing engagement with owners of real estate toward value-enhancing carbon reduction strategies. ULI Trustee Charles B. Leitner III, formerly the president and chief executive officer of the Greenprint Foundation, will be the chairman of the ULI Greenprint Center and will serve as co-chairman of the advisory board for ULI’s CLUE initiative.
“The creation of the center will enable both organizations to jointly leverage their resources to keep the Greenprint Foundation’s momentum going,” Leitner said. “I see the ULI Greenprint Center’s work as becoming the global real estate industry’s diary of its efforts to dramatically lower the impact of buildings on the environment. We will continue to promote increased awareness of innovative technologies and best operating practices to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. Through this center, ULI can help position the land use and real estate industry as part of the solution to climate change.”
The ULI Greenprint Center will join ULI’s existing dedicated centers of research and programs, which include the ULI J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing, the ULI Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use, and the ULI Center for Capital Markets in Real Estate. Together, these centers of research and program excellence form dedicated components of ULI’s broader research and education activities.
The ULI Greenprint Center’s work will be guided by an advisory board, to be chaired by Leitner, which will include key industry leaders from Greenprint’s founding member companies. Among other members, the advisory board will include Weidner; ULI Trustee and first Greenprint President Kenneth W. Hubbard, executive vice president of Hines U.S. in New York City; Fred A. Seigel, president and chief operating officer, Beacon Capital Partners, LLC, Boston; Colin Dyer, president and chief executive officer, Jones Lang LaSalle, Chicago; Gerd Kremer, managing director, GLL Real Estate Partners, Munich; and Ron Herbst, global head of energy management and sustainability, Deutsche Bank AG London in London. Patrick and ULI Senior Vice President for Initiatives Uwe Brandes will also serve on the advisory board. The ULI Greenprint Center Advisory Board will work with the center’s staff to build on recent accomplishments and further develop the center in accordance with its mission.