Greening Greater Toronto Announces Commitment by Owners and Tenants to Green
the GTA's Largest Office Buildings

TORONTO, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - Greening Greater Toronto today announced that owners and tenants of the largest commercial buildings in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have made the formal commitment to work together to make office towers more energy efficient and reduce overall carbon output.

The commitment came at a meeting of Greening Greater Toronto's Commercial Building Energy Initiative (CBEI) Leadership Council, comprising major building owners, tenants and real estate professionals from across the GTA.

The meeting was co-hosted by Commercial Building Energy Initiative Co-Chairs Michael Thornburrow, Senior Vice President, Corporate Real Estate and Strategic Sourcing, BMO Financial Group, and Linda Mantia, Senior Vice President, Procurement and Corporate Real Estate, RBC Financial Group.

"We are delighted that the leaders of the real estate sector have come together to take cooperative actions to accelerate the energy efficiency of commercial buildings in the GTA," said Mantia. "By convening this group of building owners and tenants, we have an exciting opportunity to work cooperatively to make our workplaces more sustainable and reduce their environmental impact."

The CBEI Leadership Council members announced that its members had committed to promote greater energy efficiency by agreeing to the following four components:

    
    -  Building a catalogue of case studies and energy benchmarks to promote
       best practices of GTA tenants and building owners;
    -  Launching a "Greening our Workplace" series, where tenants will host
       other tenants of the same building to showcase recent tenant-led
       retrofit initiatives;
    -  Expanding and improving the effectiveness of the owner-tenant
       partnership model by identifying and facilitating landlord-tenant
       working groups at "high-priority" buildings; and
    -  Committing to measure Council members' energy usage, with the goal of
       launching a corporate challenge.
    

"Commercial buildings are one of the key drivers of the GTA's carbon emissions and one of the largest consumers of energy in Ontario," said Thornburrow. "It's vital for both owners and tenants to work together to make our office buildings more environmentally sustainable and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

As part of this initiative, Greening Greater Toronto announced that the Bank of Montreal and Brookfield Properties have committed to work together to reduce energy usage, and will be piloting this approach at First Canadian Place in downtown Toronto.

"This commitment marks an important step in overcoming the barriers to making the GTA's office towers more energy efficient," said Julia Deans, CEO of the Toronto City Summit Alliance. "The Toronto City Summit Alliance's Greening Greater Toronto initiative has identified commercial building retrofits as a key opportunity to tackle climate change and accelerate the development of a green economy and related jobs. By breaking the owner-tenant gridlock through collaboration and teamwork, we can combine commercial building retrofits with behavioural changes to produce a positive result for all."

The Commercial Building Energy Initiative, one of four identified by Greening Greater Toronto to address the region's environmental challenges, is aimed at breaking down the barriers to achieve greater resource efficiency in the GTA's existing commercial building stock.

About Greening Greater Toronto:

Greening Greater Toronto (www.greeninggreatertoronto.ca) is an initiative of the Toronto City Summit Alliance, a coalition of civic leaders who develop and launch solutions to pressing social and economic challenges in the Toronto region. More than 150 partners from corporations, industry, government, and the non-profit sector have joined the Greening Greater Toronto initiative, which aims to make the Greater Toronto Area the greenest city region in North America. They and others are engaged in four initial programs to address the region's environmental challenges, including: driving a large-scale retrofit of Toronto region commercial buildings; creating a local emissions reduction fund; developing a green procurement initiative; and building a network of public education/demonstration centres.

SOURCE BMO BANK OF MONTREAL

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Rebecca Geller, Communications and Events Officer, Toronto City Summit Alliance, rebecca.geller@torontocitysummit.ca, (416) 309-4480 x.509


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