2017 Sustainability Report


Letter to our stakeholders

In 2017 we continued to execute our sustainability strategy across our five regions by implementing policies, programs and projects that advance our commitment to sustainable development and operations. We remain focused on sustainable activities that benefit our tenants, shareholders, employees and communities we serve. By carefully considering the environmental and social impacts of our activities, we ensure that our investments in both new and existing properties support the long-term prosperity of our company, natural environments, and the vital centers of research, commerce and civic life where we operate.

While recent deliveries like 888 Boylston Street and Salesforce Tower have been recognized as the greenest office buildings in the U.S., we are equally proud of the regenerative investments we have made in our existing buildings. It’s often easier to build green from scratch, but over the course of the last five years, we have implemented over 100 significant energy and water conservation projects across our portfolio of existing buildings. At four specific properties (100 Federal Street, 200 Clarendon Street, 601 Lexington Avenue and 1330 Connecticut Avenue) we have reduced operating costs by proactively replacing equipment and lighting, retrocommissioning, and adding advanced controls to central HVAC systems for efficient operation. At these four buildings that average over 40 years of age, we invested $25 million in energy and water conservation measures that save $1.10/SF in annual utility expenses and have a combined 24% rate of return.

2017 was a tremendous year for our sustainability program.

  • For the sixth straight year, we ranked in the top quadrant of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) assessment, earning our sixth “Green Star” recognition and the highest GRESB 5-star Rating;
  • We placed 41st out of 823 companies internationally — among the top 5% of worldwide participants in the 2017 GRESB assessment;
  • We earned Nareit’s “Most Innovative” Leader in the Light Award, which recognizes companies that have developed truly innovative solutions to address sustainability challenges;
  • We reduced like-for-like energy and water use 4.1% and 6.1% respectively, saving approximately $4.5 million in annual recurring operating costs;
  • After exceeding our 2020 targets for reducing our energy, water and greenhouse gas emissions intensity three years early, we reset ambitious targets for the year 2025;
  • We increased our property area certified under the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program to 21 million square feet;
  • We maintained our ongoing commitment to volunteerism and philanthropy by donating over 2,800 service hours to more than 500 community events and charitable activities; We will continue to implement policies, programs and projects that complement sustainable development and operations. Our experience demonstrates that through our activities as real estate owners, developers and managers, we can contribute to environmental solutions as a positive force while improving our financial performance and becoming a stronger, more purposeful organization in the process.