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ProLogis Offsets 100 percent of Carbon Footprint

ProLogis offsets 100 percent of its global operational carbon footprint to help mitigate the company’s impact on climate change, according to the company’s fourth annual Corporate Responsibility Report (PDF).

To directly reduce its carbon emissions, the global provider of distribution facilities also set a goal in 2009 to reduce its operational carbon emissions 10 percent per million square feet of global real estate by 2012, using 2007 as a baseline.

The company is also making some progress on several environmental goals established in 2006. These include: utilization of 20 percent recycled content in all new warehouse developments, diversion of 75 percent of construction debris from landfills and incinerators on all new projects, a 50 percent reduction of potable water use for landscape irrigation in all new warehouse developments, and installation of renewable energy sources with a combined generation capacity of 25 million kilowatt hours per year across the company’s global property portfolio.

Due to a significant decrease in the company’s new development activity in 2009, it will be a challenge for ProLogis to achieve all goals in all global regions by the end of 2010, according to the report.

ProLogis expects to resume its new development activity this year, which will also increase its 2010 materials use compared to 2009. Last year, the company used 964,000 cubic yards of concrete, 48,204 tons of concrete, 27,000 tons of rebar, 2.4 million linear feet of pipe, 21.4 million square feet of roof material and 508,000 tons of asphalt.

In 2009, the company formed a Renewable Energy group. At the end of the year, it completed or was in the process of installing rooftop solar panels on 20 buildings worldwide that will generate a total of 11 megawatts (MW) of solar energy capacity. These projects are expected to save nearly 9,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.

In 2010, ProLogis plans to install a 2.4-megawatt solar system in partnership with Portland General Electric (PGE) that will cover 900,000-sq.-ft. of rooftop across seven warehouses in Portland, Gresham and Clackamas, Oregon.

As part of its objective to reduce the environmental impact of its developments, all of ProLogis’s new facilities in the U.S. and the U.K. meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEM) standards as of 2008. It is also working to build in accordance with green building practices in all regions of operation including Japan’s Comprehensive Assessment System for Building Environmental Efficiency (CASBEE).

At the end of 2009, ProLogis had 55 buildings registered or certified worldwide, totaling 23 million square feet. These include 40 LEED registered or certified buildings in the U.S., one LEED registered building in Europe, 11 BREEAM certified buildings, and four CASEE registered buildings.

In the European Union, all buildings now must receive an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). ProLogis reports that its buildings are rated 25 to 50 percent more efficient than national baselines. At the end of 2009, the company had 72 buildings totaling 17.9 million square feet with an EPC rating. The estimated carbon savings achieved with these facilities is more than 210,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent, according to the report.

The company is also working to improve the energy efficiency of existing facilities. For example, ProLogis launched a lighting program in 2007 to install or upgrade the lighting systems in its North American portfolio with energy-efficient T5 and T8 fluorescent lighting.

As of the end of 2009, high-efficiency lighting had been installed in approximately 41.5 million square feet of warehouse space. This is projected to save more than 46 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year, compared to standard warehouse lighting systems.

Here’s a chart that shows how much electricity and carbon emissions is saved through the company’s high-efficiency lighting program.

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