Commercial Real Estate Working Group

The Green Ribbon Commission Commercial Real Estate Working Group (CREWG) is a group of leading Boston property owners accelerating leadership of Boston’s CRE organizations to help the City meet the goals of its Climate Action Plan.

The working group develops and executes strategies for furthering the goals of Climate Ready Boston and Carbon Free Boston. The group’s focus is high-level policy, advocacy, communication, and participation, supported by pertinent research, pilot projects, and demonstration models. Major working group projects include:

  • Engaging the Boston CRE Community on Energy Efficiency Topics  ABC works to engage the commercial real estate community on emerging issues related to energy efficiency. Recent discussion topics include opportunities for tenant efficiency improvements, green leasing, financing strategies for energy efficiency in different commercial property types, virtual energy assessments, and the feasibility and opportunities for net zero energy buildings in the New England climate.
  • Engaging with the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) and Program Administrators  The CREWG attends and participates in regular EEAC meetings, and participated in the state’s commercial real estate working group, which worked to develop a commercial real estate roadmap and strategy for expanding efficiency program savings in the 2016-18 Efficiency Plans. The CREWG remains engaged in partnering with Eversource and National Grid on education and outreach around new opportunities for commercial real estate sector efficiency investments.
  • Fostering Resilience in the Commercial Real Estate Sector   A Better City launched an online building resilience toolkit in 2015 in response to growing interest from the CRE sector. The toolkit provides properties with information on the benefits, projected costs and available vendors for resilient technologies, responsive to Boston’s Climate vulnerabilities.

The CREWG also supported outreach efforts to the CRE sector for the City’s adaptation planning process, Climate Ready Boston, by holding a series of presentations with different stakeholder groups, and 2 focus groups. As a culmination to these outreach efforts, A Better City held Boston’s Climate Vulnerabilities and Solutions Symposium and Expo. With over 300 attendees and 14 technology vendors from the building resilience toolkit, this half day event featured in-depth panel discussions in coordination with the City of Boston.

  • Encouraging participation in the Sustainable Buildings Initiative  The CREWG has embraced A Better City’s Sustainable Buildings Initiative (formerly the Challenge for Sustainability) as a strategy to engage the broader commercial real estate sector in sustainability efforts to reduce energy, water, waste and transportation emissions, and prepare for climate impacts. Through annual action planning with facilities in the program, the Sustainable Buildings Initiative aims to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare the city for climate impacts in accordance with the goals of the City of Boston. As of 2017, the program works with 66 facilities representing 33 million square feet of commercial real estate.

Supporting organizations include:

Avalon Bay Communities, Inc.

Boston Properties

Beacon Capital

Equity Residential

Nutter McClennen and Fish, LLP


The Colonnade Hotel

Turner Construction

The Green Ribbon Commission’s CRE working group effort is facilitated 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