Commercial Real Estate Working Group

The Green Ribbon Commission Commercial Real Estate Working Group (CREWG) is a group of leading Boston property owners who are working to help the City meet the aggressive goals of its Climate Action Plan.

The working group meets regularly to share best practices, develop strategic initiatives and advise the City on their climate programs. The CRE sector is actively pursuing emissions reductions through A Better City’s Challenge for Sustainability program and other initiatives. Major working group projects include:

  • Engage the Boston CRE Community on Climate Change Issues
    ABC works to engage the commercial real estate community in emerging issues related to climate change. Recent discussion topics include energy supply planning, and providing feedback and outreach around the implementation of the City of Boston’s Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO). The CREWG also coordinated input from the large buildings and institutional community for the City of Boston’s Climate Action Plan Update.
  • Engagement with the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) and State CRE Working Group
    The CREWG attended and participated in regular EEAC meetings, and the state CRE working group, which worked to develop a commercial real estate roadmap and strategy for expanding efficiency program savings. The CREWG provided feedback and input into the development of research studies and focus groups, and was actively engaged in the update of the three-year efficiency plans for the state.
  • Encourage participation in the Challenge for Sustainability
    The CREWG has embraced the Challenge for Sustainability program as a strategy to engage the broader commercial real estate sector in efforts to benchmark and track environmental impacts, develop action plans for sustainability and energy efficiency, and advance the implementation of actions to achieve significant greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the goals of the City of Boston. As of 2015, the Challenge for Sustainability works with over 100 facilities representing over 45 million square feet of commercial real estate.
  • Collaboration with the City of Boston
    The CREWG worked to develop a joint-account management process in collaboration with Renew Boston and Eversource Energy for energy efficiency projects in CRE spaces in Boston. The CREWG also provided feedback and comments on the development of the City’s Carbon Cup program, and collaborated with Greenovate Boston on research topics in behavior change, green leasing and virtual energy assessments. The CREWG is actively working to coordinate and collaborate with the City’s Climate Ready Boston planning process for adaptation through engaging the business community in resilience discussions. This began with a CEO Resilience Summit for the commercial real estate sector in late Fall 2015.
  • Fostering Resilience in the Commercial Real Estate Sector
    In response to growing interest from the CRE community, ABC worked to develop a guide for increasing the resilience of the built environment in response to requests from the City of Boston and Green Ribbon Commission. ABC launched an online building resilience toolkit as the beginning of its engagement in climate preparedness issues in Boston. The CREWG is actively collaborating with other adaptation projects in the Boston area, and the United Nations R!SE initiative to increase financing for risk and resilience.
  • Research on Emerging Energy Efficiency Topics
    The CREWG has conducted research on a number of emerging topics in efficiency, including green leasing, behavior-based energy efficiency and virtual energy assessments. The working group has developed pilots, held forums and provided case studies around these topic areas to foster conversation in the CRE community and drive implementation of projects.

Supporting organizations include:
Boston Properties
Beacon Capital
Nutter McClennen and Fish, LLP
The Colonnade Hotel
Colliers International

The Green Ribbon Commission’s CRE working group effort is coordinated by A Better City, a Boston-based non-profit dedicated to improving the economic competitiveness and quality of life of the Boston region by advancing significant transportation, land development and environmental policies, projects and initiatives.


From the Library: Commercial Real Estate