On Jan 21, 2020 under Sustainability
Would you bare your energy, water usage and carbon emissions for all the world to see? That is what Concert and four other leading commercial real estate firms did as part of the Disclosure Challenge launched by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), a national non‐profit organization whose mission is to lead and accelerate the transformation to high‐performing, green building communities throughout Canada.
The urgent need for publicly available data prompted CaGBC to launch the Disclosure Challenge in March 2019, designed to support and champion the importance of energy benchmarking and data transparency in the Canadian real estate market. Since then, Concert and all participants disclosed available 2018 information, including greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), energy and water use data from over 700 building assets, representing over 11 million square metres (m2) of building space.
Joining the Disclosure Challenge drew attention to our recognition of climate change as a real and worsening issue. In Vancouver and Toronto, where Concert is most active, buildings account for more than half of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted. Disclosure is important because without it we do not have any visibility into where and how we need to make change. Concert’s aim is to be “a developer with a difference”, and the Disclosure Challenge was an opportunity for the company to demonstrate leadership while helping to influence this positive and long overdue change to energy data transparency.
The results in the Disclosure Challenge report, Full Disclosure: Industry Leadership on Transparency, reinforce the importance of having industry requirements for data transparency, reporting and standardization. Less than half (46%) of the buildings disclosed as part of the Challenge had complete data available. CaGBC aims to demonstrate the value of data transparency to enable provincial governments to move toward public reporting of building performance data from buildings of all types, coast to coast, and ultimately align data collection across the country.
“The Disclosure Challenge results demonstrate that without clear government mandates like those in Ontario, it is challenging to access enough data to enable policymakers and regulators to monitor how buildings across their jurisdictions are performing and assess the impacts of energy and GHG emissions reduction policies. We need that information in order to be able to ensure we are succeeding in lowering our GHG emissions,” says Brian McCauley, Concert’s President & Chief Executive Officer.
The Disclosure Challenge’s public reporting requirement is aligned with Concert’s 2019 Sustainability Framework, which includes an absolute emissions reduction target of 80% over a 2017 baseline by 2050 – with transparency as one of the key principles. The reported data now helps Concert make better decisions for future developments, identify opportunities for improvement and support our commitment to the communities we serve, which has inspired Concert to redouble its efforts toward reducing emissions through retrofits.
“We are already seeing the benefits of our approach,” says Dave Ramslie, Vice President of Sustainability at Concert. “By focusing on emissions reductions strategies backed by access to reliable, good quality data, Concert is well‐placed to become a force for positive change in Canadian communities.”
The full Disclosure Challenge report can be viewed on CaGBC’s website and includes a comprehensive review of the results and recommendations.