Environmental Management Policy
Piedmont Office Realty Trust is dedicated to sustainable practices that enhance our commitment to provide highest quality office properties while responsibly managing our impact on the environment. We strive to own and manage workplaces that are environmentally conscious, productive, and healthy for our tenants and employees by:
• Setting performance targets that demonstrate our commitment.
• Empowering our property teams with the data and tools they need to sustainably manage their buildings.
• Leveraging industry partnerships with BOMA, ENERGY STAR, and U.S. Green Building Council, to verify and advance the environmental performance of our assets.
• Implementing processes that continually improve our environmental performance and manage our climate change risk.
Environmental & Social Steering Committee
The Environmental & Social Steering Committee includes the Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Accounting Officer, SVP of Human Resources, SVP of Property Management, Vice President, Sustainability and National Initiatives, and consultants as needed. The purpose of the Environmental & Social Steering Committee is to support our on-going commitment to environmental, health and safety, corporate social responsibility, and other relevant public policy matters. The Committee is a cross-functional team that meets quarterly and assists Piedmont’s executive leadership team in:
• Setting general strategy relating to environmental and social matters,
• Developing, implementing, and monitoring initiatives and policies based on that strategy
• Overseeing communications with employees, investors and stakeholders with respect to environmental and social matters
• Monitoring and assessing developments relating to, and improving the Company’s understanding of environmental and social matters,
• Efficient and timely disclosure of environmental and social matters to internal and external stakeholders, and
• Identifying and creating processes to manage risks and opportunities associated with climate change.
Energy & Sustainability Committee
The Energy & Sustainability Committee is comprised of the SVP of Property Management, Director of Property Management Operations, Vice President, Sustainability and National Initiatives, Director of Engineering, all Regional Managers, and consultants as needed. The Energy & Sustainability Committee meets bi-weekly and focuses on the environmental impact of our operations by determining the best initiatives to put in place to achieve our targets.
We have committed to performance targets for energy intensity, water intensity, waste diversion, and Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
– Energy Intensity (kBtu/SF): Achieve a 20% reduction in portfolio energy use intensity from 2016 by 2026.
– Water Intensity (gallons/SF): Achieve a 20% reduction in portfolio water use intensity from 2018 by 2028.
– GHG Emissions Intensity (Scope 1 and 2): Achieve a 20% reduction in portfolio GHG emissions intensity from 2018 by 2028.
– Waste Diversion Rate We strive to be able to calculate the landfill diversion rate of the waste streams of 100% of our properties by 2025. We strive to divert 50% of our waste from the landfill by 2030.
We released our inaugural Sustainability Report in 2019 (2018 data) and will publish a report annually that shows progress towards our performance targets.
Performance Metrics and Data Management
We are committed to providing our property teams with accurate, timely, and actionable performance metrics to understand how their property performs over time and compares to others in our portfolio. We have partnered with Schneider Electric (SE) to collect and manage our data. Monthly invoices for electricity, natural gas, district steam, district chilled water, domestic water, sewer, waste, organic waste, and recycling are collected and stored by SE, and relevant cost and consumption data is made available in the Resource Advisor software platform for reporting purposes. All data undergoes rigorous quality assurance checks.
Aggregation of this information enables us to track performance metrics on the property, regional and portfolio level such as:
– Energy use intensity (kBtu/SF)
– Energy cost intensity ($/SF)
– Water use intensity (gal/SF)
– Water cost intensity ($/SF)
– Greenhouse gas emissions intensity (kgCO2e/SF)
– Waste diversion rate (% diverted from landfill)
We recognize that monthly data enables us to track our performance over time, but more granular data is vital for our property teams to manage their building’s energy use on a daily basis. Access to 15-minute interval energy use provides deeper insight of how a building uses energy throughout the day and night. We are partnered with iesMACH to provide this service and all Piedmont-managed buildings utilize the platform and receive regular training.
We leverage industry partnerships including BOMA, ENERGY STAR, and U.S. Green Building Council, to confirm and advance the environmental performance of our assets.
We certify all eligible properties to ENERGY STAR every year.
– Ineligible properties include those that are tenant-managed, have low occupancy, or have a score under 75. We continue to make our best effort to achieve the highest scores feasible for each of our assets.
– ENERGY STAR scores are available to tenants upon request.
We certify every eligible property to BOMA 360 every three years.
– Ineligible properties include those that are tenant-managed or have low occupancy.
We will re-certify our LEED O&M assets upon expirations and continually evaluate other assets for certification opportunities.
We will explore other 3rd party certification opportunities that further demonstrate our commitment to providing healthy, environmentally and socially conscious workplaces as they arise.
We continue to identify, plan, and implement initiatives that will enable us to achieve our performance targets.
Property-Level Action Plans
Action plans have been created for each property based on conversations between the Energy & Sustainability Committee representatives, the property manager, and building engineer. These action plans are used regularly by the property teams to track progress on identified action items and ultimately ensure progress towards environmental improvement across the portfolio. Representatives from the Energy & Sustainability Committee re-visit these plans with the teams on an-annual basis.
Annual Energy Competition
Our building management and engineering teams are provided an incentive to reduce energy use via our annual energy-savings competition. Monthly reports are provided via email and are also available in real time in our iesMACH platform so that teams can consistently track their progress. At the end of the year, the team with the most energy savings receives an extra paid day off and a dinner with the Officers of Piedmont.
Best Practice Guide
Some of our teams have made tremendous progress with their energy efficiency plans. In order to spread those best practices across our other properties, we summarized the most impactful strategies into a list of Best Practices. This guide includes recommended actions for improving the building envelope, lighting, and building control system. The guide is updated as new actions are identified.
We believe it is critical to engage with our tenants to achieve our environmental goals. Tenant engagement can contribute to or hinder our success and it is our responsibility to engage with them to ensure we can partner to be successful. We track the energy and water usage of all Piedmont-managed buildings and enter it into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager monthly. This information as well as each building’s ENERGY STAR score is available to tenants upon request.
Our property teams engage with our tenants in many ways throughout the year. Every two years we collect and analyze feedback via our Kingsley Survey and additionally share information with tenants via email communication and newsletters on an ongoing basis. Content may include:
• Achievements such as ENERGY STAR, LEED, or BOMA 360 recertification
• Information for local community events such as bike-to-work day,
• Tenant events such as on-site e-waste collection day, or
• Resources provided by the local utility company featuring energy-saving recommendations
Our Vice President Sustainability and National Initiatives, Jon Kuskie, is available as a resource to our tenants and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To stay up to date on technology, but also thoroughly vet new technologies before deployment at multiple properties, we’ve adopted a Technology Review process that helps us test new opportunities and leverage them when and where appropriate. Our Director of Sustainability follows a vetting process to determine if a technology is appropriate and then works with the Energy & Sustainability Committee to identify a property that is a good candidate for a pilot. If the pilot is successful, the Committee will plan for a larger implementation.
LED Upgrade Program
All our properties have proactively pursued LED upgrades throughout common areas, back-of-house spaces, parking lots and garages and anything controlled by the landlord. In addition, we have begun working with tenants to upgrade their spaces where possible. All lighting projects are reviewed by the Vice President, Sustainability and National Initiatives and the Director of Engineering to ensure we are making quality choices with the best long-term results.
We understand the value of periodic commissioning to ensure our buildings are operating within optimal designed parameters to meet the needs of our tenants. Every year, the Energy & Sustainability Committee reviews performance metrics of all buildings and takes any operational changes into consideration, then identifies the properties that should undergo commissioning the following year. This process enables us to keep our buildings running efficiently.
We have recognized a lack of standard waste stream tracking across our portfolio. Access to waste stream data is available at some properties because of LEED practices and/or vendors whose processes enable us to access detailed data. However, we have some vendors who are not able to provide waste stream data. We strive to be able to calculate the landfill diversion rate of each of our properties by 2025. We intend to do this by either requiring vendors via contracts or by performing regular waste stream audits to classify and quantify our waste streams as outlined in the following table.
|General non-hazardous, non-recyclable waste that is sent to the landfill
|General recyclables including paper, cardboard, glass, plastics that is sent to a recycling facility
|Waste such as HVAC system chemicals and lightbulbs that are disposed of according to special protocols
|Organic waste collected from retail vendors or tenant kitchens that is composted
|Confidential paper waste that is shredded and serviced by a company that ensures privacy and security
|Computers, printers, and other office electronics that are recycled
|Most properties hold E-waste events at least once per year, some properties have E-waste containers available along with trash and recycling
Renewable Energy Certificates
We will work with our energy supply partner, Schneider Electric, to price renewable energy alternatives in our supply contracts as they renew. The renewable energy component will be considered by decision makers on a case-by-case basis. Incorporating renewable energy into our energy supply will provide an additional method to reduce our market-based GHG emissions and make progress towards our environmental goals.