Clinton, Branson Launch Major Building Energy Efficiency Projects

by | Sep 21, 2011

President Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative and Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room have both launched partnerships with companies such as Lockheed Martin, Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs and Jones Lang LaSalle, aimed at increasing energy efficiency in U.S. buildings.

The Clinton Global Initiative’s three-year project is a collaboration between Goldman Sachs, Greenprint Foundation, Johnson Controls, Jones Lang LaSalle, Malkin Holdings LLC, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Vornado Realty Trust and YR&G.

It aims to build on the success the Clinton Climate Initiative had with the highly-publicized retrofit of the Empire State Building.

Through the new project, the partners will work with tenants who are signing or renewing leases for new or existing property to incorporate energy efficiency measures into the design of their premises – from lighting, to air distribution and energy management systems – and to carefully measure and document the economic benefits generated by the high performance measures, CGI says.

The goal is to lead by example and help other tenants throughout the nation identify the savings potential efficiency can offer.

Untapped, cost-effective efficiency improvements could save the building sector up to $33 billion per year by 2030, according to a study from McKinsey & Company, CGI says.

The Clinton Global Initiative was also the setting yesterday for 15 investors declaring an investment preference for funds and companies rated by its Global Impact Investing Ratings System (GIIRS).

Meanwhile, Carbon War Room’s PACE Commercial Consortium brings together Lockheed, Barclays Capital, Energi, HannoverRe and Ygrene Energy Fund in a project that aims to pump $550 million into retrofitting green building technology in Miami-Dade County, Fla., and $100 million into such projects in Sacramento, Calif.

The consortium says these cities’ programs could stimulate $2.3 billion in economic activity and create more than 17,000 jobs.

The Green Corridor group of cities, initiated by the Town of Cutler Bay in Miami-Dade, Fla., and Sacramento, Calif., are the first municipalities to sign contracts with the consortium’s California-based Property Assessed Clean Energy finance administrator, Ygrene Energy.

Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, legislation enables property owners to accept a voluntary tax assessment as a means of repaying upfront financing of energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. Twenty-six states in the United States, along with Australia and New Zealand, have enacted legislation enabling the PACE structure.

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