Energy and Sustainability
Judging from the second summit in Seattle, the 2030 District initiative is taking off! In addition to current established districts in Seattle, LA, Denver, Pittsburgh and Cleveland —several other 2030 Districts are emerging, or are about to declare the full membership. Among those are San Francisco, Toronto, Dallas, San Antonio, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Ithaca and Stamford. Focused typically on downtown areas, the objective of the districts is to reduce the combined impact of buildings within the district in terms of energy, water and transportation. Some districts are taking on other issues such as resiliency.
The annual reports produced by the districts already testify to the success of this effort. Nevertheless creating a standardized benchmarking is still a challenge. While ENERGY STAR is the norm among a number of benchmarking options, the ULI GreenPrint seems to offer the greatest opportunity to harmonize with real estate industry practice. With the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit on September 23 in New York City, Districts are refocusing on even longer term 2050 targets and possible initiatives abroad. With 40% of new global construction over next few decades predicted to take place in China, as compared to 15% in North America, this is likely to be the focus of significant carbon reductions.