The Better Buildings Challenge is part of the Better Buildings Initiative that President Obama launched in February. The initiative aims to use tax breaks, grants and loan guarantees, and other programs to catalyze private sector investment in commercial building upgrades and make America’s commercial buildings 20 percent more efficient over the next decade.
Under the challenge, private sector companies and local governments commit to taking actions to make their facilities more efficient, and are eligible for technical assistance.
The challenge partners announced yesterday have made commitments including a pledge by Lend Lease to retrofit 40,000 homes for military families and by Transwestern to upgrade energy efficiency in 78 million square feet of commercial real estate.
The Green Sports Alliance – a collaboration of 25 sports teams across 17 North American cities – has committed to reduce the aggregated energy use of member facilities by at least 20 percent by 2020. And Best Buy is focused on reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020, using its 2009 levels as a baseline.
Cities and communities signing up yesterday include Los Angeles, Atlanta and Seattle’s 2030 District – an alliance of more than 40 civic leaders from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to construct the first large-scale, high-energy performance building district in the country.
The challenge partners will work with the Department of Energy in the coming months to further develop the details of the challenge in advance of another round of partnership announcements in the fall.
The Better Buildings Initiative is co-led by the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and former president Bill Clinton. Earlier this month, the council recommended that Obama prioritize the Better Buildings Initiative as a way to support job creation.
“Improving building energy efficiency on a large scale is a challenge we can’t afford not to take,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. “It will create jobs, reduce energy waste, save our businesses and institutions money, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”
The full list of partners is as follows:
- Best Buy
- Green Sports Alliance
- Lend Lease
- USAA Real Estate Company
- Abundant Power
- Green Campus Partners
- Metrus Energy
- Renewable Funding
- Transcend Equity
- City of Atlanta
- City of Los Angeles
- Seattle 2030 District