Green Light for Minneapolis as City Shines Bright

Green Light for Minneapolis as City Shines Bright

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 8:00am

CAMPAIGN: CBRE Environmental Sustainability


Written by Rebecca Pearce 
EMEA Head of Sustainability 

It’s official, Minneapolis is the ‘greenest’ city in the US, with more than three quarters (77%) of its commercial property certified as green.  San Francisco (67.2%), Chicago (62.1%), Houston (54.8%) and Atlanta (54.1%) make up the top five, with each city very respectably registering over half of its buildings as ‘green’. Furthermore, since 2005, the growth of sustainable building space in the US has rapidly accelerated, with LEED-certified buildings now accounting for almost 20% of office stock measured.

Digging beneath the figures, these results become more impressive.  Not only are the headline stats hugely encouraging for all stakeholders connected with real estate and sustainability, but more broadly the fact the research was commissioned is testament to the growing velocity of sustainable property. The data born out of an initiative between  Maastricht University, the  U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and CBRE enabled the industry to quantify the growth of green building space in US office markets for the first time. The research analysed over 34,000 buildings in 30 markets, spanning more than 3.5bn sq ft of central business district office space using Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star and USGBC LEED statistical data between 2005 and 2013.

Overall, LEED-certified sustainable property in the US accelerated by over 1000% from a mere 0.5% in 2005 to 5.0% today and energy star* labelled buildings increased by almost 600% across the same period. This marks a fundamental shift in the importance of green buildings as the move towards a sustainable built environment has been on corporate real estate agendas for some time without the validation. In essence, this impacts the entire real estate industry and all associated stakeholders from developers through to investors, occupiers and employees as it advances the argument for positive change. 

We now have evidence that sustainable property is a core part of the US market, essentially 1 in 5 buildings are certified, and this lends weight to more research and ultimately an improved environment for all.
 *Read more about energy star labelled buildings here