Five Canadian real estate firms have called on federal and provincial governments to implement consistent building regulations and requirements for disclosing energy and carbon data.
The call follows the participation of real estate firms QuadReal, Triovest Realty Advisors, Concert Properties, Colliers International, and the Minto Group in an initiative organized by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) designed to “champion the importance of energy benchmarking and data transparency in the Canadian commercial real estate market.”
Launched in March, CaGBC’s “Disclosure Challenge” has seen the five companies publicly disclose information across their property portfolio – including energy use, GHG emissions, and water use data from over 700 buildings. Collectively, the five portfolio-owners and managers oversee upwards of $50 billion in managed real estate assets which is approximately 10% of the estimated value of the large real estate holdings held by private and public entities in Canada.
According to CaGBC, energy benchmarking and data transparency programs are already being successfully implemented by owners and operators in cities across the United States, along with jurisdictions in Europe and Australia. Governments and owners use this data to set performance baselines, identify efficiency opportunities, reduce GHG emissions, and meet environmental targets.
While energy benchmarking regulations are in effect in Ontario, CaGBC said that its initiative marked the first time Canadian real estate owners have voluntarily disclosed their Canada-wide portfolio data.
“Canada clearly needs to catch up quickly when it comes to benchmarking, reporting, and disclosing data,” said Thomas Mueller, president and chief executive officer of CaGBC. “Access to building performance data has enabled owners in other jurisdictions to make more informed choices about investing in retrofits. Canadian markets require data transparency to drive investment in efficiency programs and create demand for higher performing buildings.”