Green Office, a program launched last year by Houston-based Hines that scores tenants in categories ranging from energy efficiency to LEED certification, has grown to include more than 400 tenants. Together these tenants occupy more than 19 million sq. ft.
The big-name companies that have signed on include Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Deloitte & Touche, GE Healthcare, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Shell, TIAA-CREF, Verizon and Wells Fargo, among others.
First implemented on Earth Day 2009 to augment the sustainable features and operation of space Hines itself occupies, the program was later extended to Hines’ office tenants, which occupy 120 million sq. ft. in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Panama, Brazil, China and Russia. About one-sixth of Hines’ tenants have gone through the Green Office program, according to the company.
“While we have a good handle on how to design, build and operate buildings in a sustainable manner, the base building represents only a portion of an office building’s energy profile,” says Jeff Hines, president and CEO of Hines.
“What happens in the tenant space can have a huge impact on expenses, the environment and employee productivity. Our green office program offers tenants a way to enhance the management of their own space,” adds Hines.
When Hines speaks, the commercial real estate industry listens. The privately owned company has offices in more than 100 cities in 17 countries, and controls assets valued at approximately $22.2 billion.
Green Office is promoted through a tenant guide distributed by building managers. The guide encourages tenants to identify and implement no-cost and low-cost alternatives to operating in a standard indoor office environment.
Scored on a scale of 100, offices are evaluated in seven categories: energy efficiency, people and atmosphere; travel and commuting; reduce, reuse and recycle; cleaning; remodeling and construction; and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
When a specific strategy or improvement has been implemented, participating tenants earn so-called “leaf credits”. If an office achieves 70 leaf credits, it earns the Green Office designation by Hines.
“The Green Office program helped us find practical ways to improve our operations and further engage our employees,” says Tyler Kerps, director of health, safety and environmental affairs for Rowan Companies, which provides contract oil well drilling services and rigs.
“Plus, when visitors come to our office and see the Green Office crystal on our lobby desk, they ask questions, giving us an opportunity to engage them on a topic that is important to us,” adds Kerps of Rowan Companies.
In 2010, Hines was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency for the third time with the Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award. A dozen Hines development or redevelopment projects representing more than 6 million sq. ft. are in line to earn the Energy Star label. What’s more, Hines has labeled more than 147 buildings, representing approximately 75 million sq. ft., through the Energy Star program since its inception.