The City Energy Project: Making A Business Case For Sustainability Among Building Owners & Operators
The building sector is the single largest user of energy in the United States, accounting for roughly 40 percent of total energy consumption. In cities, that figure can be even higher: 60, 70, even 75 percent, and much of that energy is wasted.
The City Energy Project is a joint initiative of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) that aims to cut energy waste in large buildings and create healthier and more prosperous American cities by improving the energy efficiency of buildings. In 2015, IMT selected ten major American cities as initial sites for this effort.
IMT and the City of Orlando needed a partner who could help educate greater Orlando’s business community and its major building owners and operators about the business case for sustainable decision making specifically related to building efficiency and quickly rally them around the idea adopting a new, shared suite of policies at the municipal level with an end goal of reducing Orlando’s energy waste.
The ALIGN Solution:
Rather than utilizing a traditional government-to-business informational campaign that risked being met with resistance or apathy (for instance, companies that might be less receptive to and/or aren’t focused on sustainability programs), the Align team designed a strategy that leveraged the power of some of the worlds biggest brands “leading by example” and taking the business case for sustainable decision making directly to Orlando’s stakeholders.
Align brought in experts from some of the largest and most influential companies in the world to showcase what those companies are doing to reduce energy use in their own buildings, and then illustrate how Orlando’s building owners and operators could leverage those same strategies to save money and reduce energy usage at their own facilities.
The Align team designed a strategy that leveraged the power of some of the worlds biggest brands “leading by example” and taking the business case for sustainable decision making directly to Orlando’s stakeholders.
By showing Orlando’s business leaders how their contemporaries are making decisions that are both good for the environment and their bottom lines, the program empowered Orlando’s stakeholders to partner with their City government to lead out on the creation of this transformational initiative.
Moreover, our strategy for leveraging “real world” and “real dollar” examples has helped serve as a national best practice model for how cities can bring stakeholders together to move forward with adopting groundbreaking new energy policies.