AMB Property Corp., a leading global owner, operator and developer of industrial real estate, reports that approximately 62 percent of its employees commute to work on mass transit, by bicycle or on foot, driven by the company’s employee transit pass reimbursement program, according to its online sustainability report. In the San Francisco headquarters, the number of employees using public transportation, walking or riding bicycles to the office is approximately 85 percent and in Japan offices, virtually 100 percent of employees use public transportation for their commute.
A key strategy at AMB has been to invest in systems and policies that promote energy conservation at its offices. The company’s global offices typically use efficient fluorescent lighting with dimming controls and occupancy sensors and are designed to maximize natural daylight-open-plan offices.
In the San Francisco headquarters, for example, building systems are monitored on a daily basis and adjusted to optimize performance based on seasonal weather and building occupancy conditions. This building also uses extensive skylights and operable windows to let daylight into office and meeting areas.
At all offices, AMB uses Energy Star-labeled computers, LCD monitors and high-volume copier equipment where feasible, and promotes double-sided printing and electronic document management to reduce paper consumption.
In 2007, AMB installed reverse osmosis water filtration systems in the Pier 1 office and the Boston office, reducing bottled water consumption by 75 percent.
AMB is also actively evaluating renewable energy opportunities and are expanding its audit and retrofit efforts at its properties to help tenants reduce their energy consumption and minimize the associated environmental impacts. In 2008, AMB retrofitted more than 3.5 million square feet of property with new high-efficiency lighting systems, which will result in tenant electricity savings of millions of kilowatt-hours per year, according to the report.
AMB also specifies the reuse and recycling of demolition and construction debris on development projects. For LEED-registered projects, construction waste recycling rates have often exceeded 75 percent, according to the report. AMB also specifies recycled and recycled-content materials for construction activities to reduce demand for raw material extraction and processing. As an example, the AMB Morgan Business Center project exceeded 20 percent of construction materials by cost. In addition, 45 percent of the construction materials by cost for this project were sourced regionally (within 500 miles).
Currently, AMB said it has limitations in precisely determining its energy use and emissions for offices occupied but not owned by AMB due to limited metering equipment to record electricity and gas usage. According to the report, AMB’s corporate office activities resulted in direct emissions of 214 metric tons of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) from natural gas usage and indirect emissions of 1,135 metric tons of CO2e from electricity usage.
Indirect carbon emissions from employee business travel and commuting totaled approximately 3,570 metric tons of CO2e. This includes emissions from business air travel, rental car use, and daily commuting.
The company is looking at ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions including high-efficiency lighting with dimming and occupancy controls, videoconferencing, Energy Star-labeled office equipment, consolidated office supply orders weekly, employee commuter transit pass deduction programs, bike to work days, and car-sharing services for local trips.