"Green Leases" Reduce Energy and Water Use in Investment Property Portfolios
NEW YORK, June 30, 2015 – TIAA-CREF, a leading financial services provider, was one of 13 organizations named a 2015 Green Lease Leader at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Summit in Washington, DC recently. The recognition was established by the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and the DOE Better Buildings Alliance to recognize property owners, tenants, and brokers who are effectively using leases to drive energy and water savings in commercial buildings—offering substantial business and environmental benefits.
A green lease encourages collaboration between tenants and building owners to improve efficiency and generate cost savings. A study released by IMT showed that green leases could deliver nearly $3 billion in annual savings for the U.S. office sector alone. According to IMT, Green Lease Leaders signed leases representing 415 million square feet this year, with the cumulated square footage now totaling 800 million square feet.
“We place a high priority on responsible investment and believe that green leases can help us improve efficiency across our portfolio,” said Nicholas Stolatis, Senior Director of Global Sustainability and Enterprise Initiatives for TIAA-CREF. “More markets and tenants are becoming amenable to green leases, and we’ve had great success in some of the largest markets, including New York City, where many tenants understand and demand energy-efficient space. As a Green Lease Leader, TIAA-CREF will be able to promote the inclusion of these provisions into more leases, further engaging our tenants to improve overall energy efficiency.”
TIAA-CREF’s energy management program has helped boost the energy efficiency of the firm’s real estate portfolios by approximately 17.6% since 2007. The energy saved in 2014 through these efforts is equivalent to $14 million in avoided energy costs and over 47,500 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the company benchmarks energy and water use in all of its office, multifamily and wholly-owned retail portfolios and has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for eight consecutive years.
Those selected for Green Lease Leader designation use lease clauses that improve sustainability on several key fronts such as allowing for sharing of the costs of energy-saving improvements, ensuring spaces are built out to green or energy-efficient standards, and increasing transparency by obtaining and sharing access to energy consumption data and ENERGY STAR scores between tenants and landlords—a factor that will assist the growing number of buildings that must comply with energy benchmarking and transparency laws around the U.S. and abroad.
Historically, real estate owners and tenants have had difficulty integrating sustainability into the lease process due to tension between owners and tenants over responsibilities and cost-sharing arrangements. The Green Lease Leaders program is helping to shine a light on replicable solutions that can be employed by others to get past this split incentive.
“I’m pleased to announce the continued success of the Green Lease Leaders program,” said Dr. Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency at DOE, during a presentation at the Better Buildings Summit. “This effort is showing that cooperation on energy efficiency is no longer just a niche practice.”
TIAA-CREF Global Real Estate is the real estate investment and management business of TIAA-CREF. As the nation’s largest manager of U.S. institutional tax-exempt real estate assets* with approximately $56 billion in assets under management, investment vehicles include directly owned properties, joint ventures, mortgages, REITs and funds. TIAA-CREF originated its first commercial mortgage in 1934 and began direct investment in commercial real estate in 1947 and has deep exposure in the office, retail, industrial and multifamily sectors. The global platform also includes the London-based wholly-owned subsidiary TH Real Estate, a leading investment management company specializing in real estate equity and debt investment worldwide. TH Real Estate has $26 billion in assets under management across approximately 50 funds and mandates, bringing the combined worldwide assets under management for TIAA-CREF Global Real Estate and TH Real Estate to over $82 billion (as of 3/31/2015).
TIAA-CREF (www.tiaa-cref.org) is a national financial services organization with $866 billion in total assets under management (as of 3/31/2015) and is the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.
*According to Pensions & Investments, Real Estate Managers ranking, October 27, 2014
TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., and Nuveen Securities, LLC, Members FINRA and SIPC, distribute securities products.