2014 Sustainability Report


Sustainability Strategy

As one of the largest owners and developers of office properties in the United States, Boston Properties continually seeks ways to promote our growth and improve our performance by attracting and retaining tenants and controlling our costs. We believe that by embracing sustainability principles we promote our growth as responsible owners, developers, and managers of healthy and productive workspaces.

Our sustainability strategy is broadly focused on the material economic, social, and environmental aspects of our activities. We strive to create healthy and productive workspaces while simultaneously mitigating operational costs and potential external impacts of energy, water, waste and greenhouse gas emissions. As a company with a core strategy of long-term ownership, we develop properties with high quality building materials and efficient mechanical systems to reduce utility demand, replacement and repairs, and to ensure our buildings remain flexible, competitive, and resilient for the long term. We focus our efforts on the areas we can control and where we can make significant impacts. These include the design and construction of our new developments and the operation of our existing buildings.

This report is focused on the aggregate performance of our occupied and actively managed office building portfolio. Occupied buildings have less than 50% vacancy. Actively managed buildings are buildings where we have operational control. Our occupied and actively managed office buildings represent 85% of our portfolio gross square footage1 . By concentrating on similarly situated buildings we are able to meaningfully benchmark performance and judge the effectiveness of our sustainability measures. Unless otherwise noted, energy, water, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions data presented in this report relate to these types of office buildings. Over time we will continue to assess available data and determine when to expand this report to address other property types and information.

Boston Properties is committed to measuring, managing, and reporting sustainability performance indicators. Since 2012 we have participated in the annual Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (“GRESB”) survey. The GRESB survey is uniquely designed for commercial real estate and provides a dynamic benchmark used by institutional investors interested in sustainability performance. The survey disclosure covers a broad range of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) data, including energy and water consumption, green building and energy certification, sustainability risk assessments, and stakeholder engagement.

The success of the Boston Properties sustainability program is demonstrated by our GRESB results. Every year we have participated we have ranked in the top quadrant and were awarded the highest Green Star rating. In 2014 Boston Properties ranked 2nd among U.S. office companies, 3rd among North American Real Estate companies, and 17th out of 637 global companies – among the top 3% of all participants. We also received the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) Leader in the Light ‘Most Improved’ special recognition award for year-over-year sustainability indicator performance. Our Board of Directors supports our efforts to implement our strategy through our sustainability program. Our Chief Financial Officer and our General Counsel, who oversee a Sustainability Committee with representatives from all of our regions, formally discuss our sustainability program with our Board of Directors annually and obtain their input.

The Sustainability Committee has the following goals:

  • to identify and execute new strategies for promoting sustainability in new construction, existing buildings and corporate operations;
  •  to enhance the Company’s processes for collecting and reporting sustainability performance information;
  • to promote communication across the Company and share “best practices;”
  • to assess the cost effectiveness of small and large scale projects and programs; and
  • to follow new regulatory requirements and cooperate with regulators to make new requirements meaningful.

This report reflects our ongoing commitment to the transparency of our sustainability program and its achievements. While we are proud of the results of our efforts to date, we will continue to assess where risk and opportunity lie in order to most effectively focus our sustainability initiatives.