CB Richard Ellis achieves carbon neutrality goal

CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. (CBRE) announced today that it has achieved carbon neutrality for its 2010 global operations. In 2007, CB Richard Ellis adopted a companywide Environmental Stewardship policy, which included the goal of becoming carbon neutral. CB Richard Ellis is the first global commercial real estate services firm to achieve carbon neutrality.

The company achieved neutrality by implementing carbon mitigation programs, such as green leasing standards and sustainable operation protocols, and then offsetting the remainder by investing in carbon mitigation projects, such as conservation-based forest initiatives, landfill methane destruction and sustainability projects in emerging economies. For 2010, the company offset more than 50,000 metric tons of emissions.

“Sustainability has become fundamental to our client service offering,” said Brett White, chief executive officer of CB Richard Ellis. “As the world’s largest third-party manager of commercial property, with a 2.9 billion square foot global portfolio, we can have an outsized impact on the environment by helping our clients lower energy consumption, improve efficiency and reduce emissions. One of the best ways we can demonstrate our expertise is to lead by example in our own operations.”

CB Richard Ellis measures its carbon footprint annually using the internationally accepted standard known as the World Resources Institute’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol. The 2010 carbon measurement included all global emissions from sources controlled or owned by CB Richard Ellis, including its global fleet of vehicles, and direct electricity consumption. In Australia, where carbon neutrality is defined by federal legislation, the measurement also includes emissions resulting from company activities that the firm does not directly control, such as corporate travel.

In line with internationally accepted carbon market and government standards, CB Richard Ellis has purchased carbon offsets from socially responsible projects around the globe. These projects were purchased through either JP Morgan Climate Care or 3Degrees and are certified according to the most stringent carbon industry standards. Projects include:

- a conservation-based forest management project that increases sequestration and storage of carbon in a native redwood forest in Mendocino County, California, in the U.S.
- methane capture and destruction projects in the U.S.
- the replacement of traditional wood and coal burning stoves in developing Cambodian and Ugandan communities with higher efficiency stoves, which minimizes mining and deforestation in those areas
- technology that allows a fertilizer production facility run by co-op farmers near Uttar Pradesh, India to replace naphtha (a toxic petroleum byproduct) with natural gas
- a biomass project in near Novodvinsk, Russia that converts the wood waste generated by a local paper mill to energy that supplies heat to neighboring communities

The firm’s efforts were led by its global Toward a Greener Tomorrow Committee under the guidance of Sally Wilson, global director of environmental strategy, and Dave Pogue, U.S. director of sustainability. The process was supported and the results validated by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers and ICF International.

Since 2007, CB Richard Ellis has implemented programs and practices to mitigate carbon emissions in its global occupancy. These programs include sustainable operations standards, employee education and awareness programs, and green leasing standards that have resulted in LEED® certified offices in Beijing, Denver, Madrid, Minneapolis, Mumbai and Washington, DC.

CBRE is ranked #30 in Newsweek’s Green Rankings, which ranks the 500 greenest big companies in America. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has named CBRE an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year for the past four years, including recognition for Sustained Excellence. The USGBC has awarded CB Richard Ellis its Leadership Award for Organizational Excellence and the industry group, CoreNet, recognized CBRE with a special commendation for Sustainable Leadership and Design – Development.

For more information about the company’s process, measurements and offset purchase, please visit www.cbre.com/sustainability.

CB Richard Ellis achieves carbon neutrality goal