As the world's largest commercial real estate services company with operations in more than 30 countries and more than 2.4 billion square feet of commercial space under management, CBRE is keen to spot opportunities for itself and its clients to generate returns and savings through sustainability.
The company sees sustainability as an essential part of its operations, and entirely consistent with its core values of Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence (RISE). It believes that the biggest contribution it can make to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is through being as environmentally sustainable as possible, and advising its commercial clients in doing the same.
In 2007, CBRE became the first commercial real estate services company to announce a commitment to become carbon neutral in its own operations. In addition, CBRE is assisting property owners and occupiers with energy efficiency, recycling and sustainability programs at building spaces it manages around the world.
Specifically, the organization engages every one of its property and facilities management and brokerage clients in proactive discussions about environmental issues, with the understanding that the majority of such clients will implement energy-saving technology and practices at their locations. This will help them reduce their green house gas emissions and energy costs at the properties and corporate facilities that CBRE manages.
CBRE’s Energy and Sustainability practice supports reduction of corporate impact on the environment through sustainable design and fit-out, energy cost savings, legal and regulatory compliance, benchmarking and bespoke carbon reduction initiatives. Smart grids and building control systems are an important part of this.
CBRE is the number one provider of real estate services in China. It works with The Climate Group on the China Redesign program, which will unlock the enormous potential for sustainable construction in China’s rapidly developing and expanding market.
Earth Hour Switch-off
In March 2011, 414 million square feet of CBRE-managed properties participated in WWF’s Earth Hour 2011. In addition, CBRE influenced an estimated 1.6 million of those properties’ occupants to participate in the event. CBRE joined a diverse group of leading businesses in supporting this global initiative, which raises awareness of individual actions and their consequences for climate change.
In 2007, the CBRE mandated that all office buildings over 5,000 square feet managed by its U.S. Asset Services Group be registered with US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Energy Star scheme. In the UK, the company adopted ISO14001 for the accurate monitoring of carbon emissions.
Today, more than 1,500 CBRE-managed buildings, or more than 260 million square feet, are participating in the program, significantly more than any other third-party management company.
At year end 2011, more than 300 of these properties had been recognized for exemplary performance by Energy Star through the award of the Energy Star plaque. The EPA has named CBRE an Energy Star Partner of the Year for the past four years, including recent recognition for Sustained Excellence.