CaGBC launches ‘Disclosure Challenge’ to champion building data transparency

QuadReal, Triovest and Concert Properties accept challenge to publicly disclose energy, carbon and water data from buildings

On March 27, 2019, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) launched the CaGBC Disclosure Challenge initiative to support and champion the importance of data transparency in the Canadian real estate market and encourage broader uptake of benchmarking programs across the country.

QuadReal Property Group, Triovest Realty Advisors Inc. and Concert Properties Ltd. have volunteered to participate in the Challenge and will be fully disclosing energy, water and carbon data across their building portfolios. These organizations are not only pledging to be transparent with their building data now, but they are also demonstrating a commitment to the responsible management of their assets and, ultimately, to energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Tracking a building’s performance over time and publicly disclosing the data is not new. Many European and American states and cities have been requiring building energy disclosure and benchmarking for years. However, public energy disclosure is in its relative infancy in Canada. Currently, Ontario is the only province that requires building energy data to be publicly reported. With the Disclosure Challenge, CaGBC aims to demonstrate the value of data transparency and remove barriers within the wider real estate community, which will enable more municipal and provincial jurisdictions to move forward with requirements for the public reporting of building performance data.

“When collected and shared, building performance data is a powerful tool propelling Canada’s retrofit economy. With the Disclosure Challenge, we hope to increase understanding of how buildings are performing and where they can be improved. This in turn will help governments identify the sectors and building types most in need of retrofit to achieve maximum emissions reductions,” said Thomas Mueller, President and Chief Executive Officer at CaGBC. “We know the real estate industry supports disclosure in terms of good business practice and smart decision making for investments, but also as part of their role in supporting the low-carbon economy.”

The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) in Washington, D.C. is a pioneer in the field of data disclosure. They endorse CaGBC’s Disclosure Challenge and encourage greater transparency when it comes to public energy disclosure.

“To voluntarily disclose is to boldly demonstrate that transparency is a core value and that a commitment to sustainability and continuous improvement is good business practice,” said Cliff Majersik, Executive Director of IMT.  “The IMT commends CaGBC for hosting the Disclosure Challenge, which shines a light on valuable building energy information that sets a baseline for progress, allows for occupants and investors to make smarter leasing and purchasing decisions, and makes it easier for governments, utilities, and businesses to target market offerings and programs that help those most in need of assistance.” 

The CaGBC will host a publicly-available interactive online mapping tool to enable the participants’ disclosed data to be available to designers, building operators and energy management professionals, municipalities, researchers and the public. Participants will be required to disclose data from their buildings, both good and bad performers, to complete the challenge.

“We understand what buildings mean to people and what they contribute to local communities,” said Jamie Gray-Donald, Senior Vice-President, Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety at QuadReal Property Group. “At QuadReal, we believe disclosing information about energy, water and carbon usage benefits owners, managers and tenants, and enables better decision-making leading to greater energy efficiency. There is also growing demand from tenants for this type of disclosure and access to environmental information. We are excited to participate in this challenge and look forward to seeing more organizations take part in the future.”

“Triovest supports the adoption of a harmonized approach to disclose building energy and emissions performance data in Canada,” said Philippe Bernier, Vice President, Innovation and Sustainability at Triovest. “Triovest is committed to transparency, energy and emissions reductions, and responsible management. We find that when we share our sustainability performance information and objectives publicly, it compels us to deliver outstanding results.”

“Concert Properties is an enthusiastic supporter of the CaGBC’s Disclosure Challenge,” said Brian McCauley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Concert Properties. “Our company is committed to transparency and recognizes the need for our industry to show leadership in the reporting and reduction of energy use and carbon emissions. Through our participation we hope to show that we are not only active partners in helping fight climate change, but also responsible asset managers and community builders.”

The results of the initiative will be made publicly available at CaGBC’s Building Lasting Change conference in May, and a final report will be released in the fall of 2019, with key findings and recommendations on next steps to drive greater energy disclosure adoption. The CaGBC Disclosure Challenge was made possible through financial contributions from the Government of Canada (Natural Resources Canada). Additional support was provided by QuadReal and the Real Estate Foundation of B.C.

CaGBC Media Contact – Joel Baglole, CaGBC Communications