Calling all office landlords, tenants to compete for first Race to Reduce awards

Energy conservation challenge heats up as 44.5 million square feet (20+ %) of
Toronto region's office space signs on

TORONTO, Sept. 28, 2011 /CNW/ - CivicAction's Greening Greater Toronto is on the hunt for shining examples of action and innovation in energy conservation and efficiency by Toronto region office building landlords and tenants for the first annual Race to Reduce awards program.

The Awards will be presented at a reception on November 30th as part of the Real Estate Forum, and will recognize landlord and tenant participants on their participation, performance, and action and innovation in energy conservation and efficiency.

Applicants, who need to sign on as participants in the Race to Reduce to be considered, have until October 31, 2011 to send in their submissions. To qualify for the Performance awards, Race to Reduce landlord participants need to submit their energy data and normalization information by September 30th to the Real Property Association of Canada (REALpac)'s 2011 Energy Benchmarking Survey.

"The goal of the Race to Reduce is to make landlord-tenant collaboration the 'new normal'," says Linda Mantia, Head, Enterprise Services and Chief Procurement Officer, RBC, and voluntary co-chair of Greening Greater Toronto and its Commercial Building Energy Leadership Council. "The Awards will showcase our participants' collaboration to date, and aim to inspire others to take action."

Open to buildings of any size or age, the Race to Reduce is enjoying huge momentum with more than 20 per cent of the region's office building space now in the challenge. The Race challenges Toronto region office building landlords and tenants to publicly commit to work together to reduce the total energy use in participating office buildings by at least 10 per cent over four years.

The number of participants has doubled since it launched in May 2011, with 74 major landlords and tenants now registered with 79 buildings representing 44.5 million square feet of office space. With the current participation numbers, achieving the 10 per cent collective energy reduction goal will be equivalent to taking 18,900 cars off the road*, and will save participants over $18 million in energy costs over the term of the challenge and annual savings of $9 million in perpetuity**.

"The Race has clearly struck a chord," says Michael Thornburrow, Senior Vice-President of Corporate Real Estate and Strategic Sourcing at BMO Financial Group and voluntary co-chair of Greening Greater Toronto's Commercial Building Energy Leadership Council. "Office building landlords and tenants are seeing value in working together to save money and energy, to be more competitive, and to improve the region's environment at the same time."

Greening Greater Toronto is grateful for the support provided to the Race to Reduce by sponsors Enbridge Gas Distribution, Oxford Properties, Cadillac Fairview, and Manulife Financial.

Awards will be given in the following categories:

Category Award Application Deadline
Participation Gold awards will be given to all registered buildings with >75% of tenant space signed on October 31, 2011
Silver awards will be given to all registered buildings with 50% - 74% of tenant space signed on October 31, 2011
Bronze awards will be given to all registered buildings with 20% - 49% of tenant space signed on October 31, 2011
Action & Innovation Building Team October 31, 2011
Landlord October 31, 2011
Tenant October 31, 2011
Performance Lowest energy use (ekWh/ft2 ) (REALpac normalized) for 2010. September 30, 2011
Greatest % reduction (ekWh/ft2 ) (REALpac normalized) from 2009 to 2010. September 30, 2011

The Race runs through to 2014, which parallels the Ontario government's timeline for energy conservation targets and supports the delivery timeframe for gas and electricity utilities' financial incentive programs that promote energy conservation and efficiency improvement projects in the office building sector.

For more on the Race to Reduce, or to join the challenge, visit www.racetoreduce.ca.

*Source: US Environmental Protection Agency
** Source: Halsall Associates and Enerlife Consulting

About Greening Greater Toronto:
Greening Greater Toronto (www.greeninggreatertoronto.ca) is an initiative of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance (www.civicaction.ca), a coalition of thousands of civic leaders acting collectively to tackle tough issues and big opportunities facing the Toronto region. More than 200 partners from corporations, government, and the non-profit sector have joined the Greening Greater Toronto initiative and support the vision of a flourishing region renowned for its environmental action and innovation.

SOURCE Greening Greater Toronto

For further information:

Media Contact:
Leslie Domenico
Work: (416) 309-4480 x506
leslie.domenico@civicaction.ca

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