As an owner of commercial real estate, Franklin Street Properties recognizes its potential to have a beneficial impact on the environment. Office buildings affect the environment in many ways, from energy and water use to the materials consumed. We believe that reducing our environmental footprint and making smart choices about our actions can contribute to maximizing shareholder value by lowering property operating costs and contributing to higher levels of tenant satisfaction.
Energy is generally the second largest operating cost at our properties and is an area where we believe that we can have an important environmental impact. Tools utilized to manage our energy usage include real time energy monitoring software, energy audits and benchmarking. Our properties also participate in utility demand response programs where available, which provide regular payments in exchange for enacting an emergency energy curtailment plan in the event of a grid emergency.
Our portfolio includes buildings that are rated in the top percentile in the nation for energy efficiency. As of year-end 2020, more than 75% of our portfolio, both directly-owned and asset-managed by FSP, had earned the EPA's ENERGY STAR® label, signifying that their energy performance was among the top 25% of similar properties.
FSP is continually seeking to increase the sustainable performance of properties in its portfolio. Successful strategies employed have included:
- Plumbing fixture audits and enhancements to reduce water usage
- Lighting fixture and lighting control upgrades for energy reduction. In many instances, we have benefited from local utility rebates, which further accelerated our payback on investment
- Waste diversion from landfills of consumable and durable goods, as well as waste from facility alterations
- Green cleaning programs and high efficiency air filters for enhanced property air quality
- Water savings through landscaping with low water use plantings as well as utilizing efficient irrigation systems
- Sustainable building hardscape, exterior management and integrated pest management plans to minimize the impact of the buildings' operations on the surrounding areas
- Comprehensive energy audits and building systems commissioning to aid in identifying further areas for improvement
FSP endeavors to reduce its environmental impact. Our intent is to reduce our energy consumption through a mix of efficient building operations, select capital enhancements and the implementation of new technologies. We strive to achieve the EPA's ENERGY STAR® label at a minimum of 80% of the total rentable area of our directly-owned portfolio. In addition to our energy goals, we are focused on reducing our consumption of water through ongoing plumbing and HVAC enhancements and reduced water usage landscaping upgrades. Specifically, our goal is to reduce our energy, greenhouse gas, water and waste usage, on a like-for like basis, by 10% over the next five years using a 2017 base year. Finally, we are committed to achieving LEED® certification on any new property developments.