WASHINGTON - The Obama Administration announced today that
six new major U.S. companies are joining President Obama's
Better Buildings Challenge, which encourages private sector
leaders across the country to commit to reducing the energy
use in their facilities by at least 20 percent by
2020. Starbucks Coffee Company, Staples, and The J.R.
Simplot Company will upgrade more than 50 million square
feet of combined commercial building space, including 15
manufacturing facilities. Financial allies Samas Capital
and Greenwood Energy will also make $200 million in
financing available for energy efficiency upgrades through
this national leadership initiative. Utility partner
Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has also committed to
offering expanded energy efficiency programs for its
commercial customers, who are responsible for 30 million
square feet of commercial building space.
"By joining President Obama's Better Buildings
Initiative, these companies are helping to put Americans
back to work making our buildings more energy efficient,
cutting costs for American companies and American
consumers, and providing millions in energy savings every
year. This is a win for our economy, our environment, and
our energy security," said Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant
to the President for Energy and Climate Change.
"Investments in energy efficiency that save millions in
energy costs are making the American economy more
competitive, protecting our air and water, and creating
jobs," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "We applaud
these new partners in the Better Buildings Challenge for
leading by example and showing the savings that energy
efficiency makes possible while the U.S. positions itself
as a global leader in the clean energy race."
The Better Buildings Challenge is part of the Obama
Administration's comprehensive strategy to improve the
competitiveness of American industry and business, by
helping companies to save money by reducing energy waste in
commercial and industrial buildings. Under the
Challenge, private sector CEOs, university presidents and
state and local leaders commit to taking aggressive steps
to reduce the energy used in their facilities and sharing
data and best practices with others around the
country. With the addition of today's partners and
allies, nearly 70 organizations have now joined the Better
Buildings Challenge. Together, these organizations
account for more than 1.7 billion square feet of building
space, including more than 300 manufacturing plants, and
have committed almost $2 billion to support energy
efficiency improvements nationwide. For more information,
please visit the Better Buildings
The energy to operate the buildings where we work, shop,
and study costs the U.S. approximately $200 billion
annually. Last year, commercial and industrial buildings
consumed more than 40 percent of all the energy used by the
U.S. economy. The goal of the Better Buildings
Challenge is to support building upgrades to make America's
buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next
decade, while also reducing energy costs for American
businesses and local governments by more than $40 billion
and creating jobs for U.S. workers.
About the partners:
Starbucks Coffee Company
Starbucks joined the Better Buildings Challenge with a
commitment to reduce energy consumption in company-owned
stores - 14 million square feet - across the United States
by at least 25 percent by 2015. Starbucks is committed to
reducing the energy and water consumed by its stores and
facilities, as the energy used to power the Starbucks'
stores, offices, and roasting plants accounts for more than
80 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions.
Staples, the world's largest office products company,
joined the Challenge with 43 million square feet and a
commitment to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent by 2020
and reduce their carbon footprint by 50 percent by
2025. Staples' commitment builds on its
leadership in this space, including receiving the 2011
ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year award for Energy
Management and being recognized for an 11.3 percent
portfolio-wide reduction in energy intensity. Staples'
energy conservation and green power investments have
reduced carbon emissions 66 percent from a 2001 baseline to
2011, despite same period revenue growth of 220 percent.
Staples has identified its Orlando Fulfillment Center
as its showcase project.
The J.R. Simplot Company
The J.R. Simplot Company is one of the largest privately
held food and agribusiness companies in the country.
Simplot has committed to improving energy efficiency across
its 16 U.S. manufacturing plants by 25 percent over 10
years. Four of its facilities have already improved their
energy efficiency by 25 percent in the last three years.
The company is leading in energy efficiency and
conservation by driving waste from processes, training
employees in best practices, working with the community,
and partnering with suppliers to reduce energy footprints.
Pacific Gas and Electric
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), a subsidiary of
PG&E Corporation, is one of the largest combined natural
gas and electric utilities in the U.S. Based in San
Francisco with about 20,000 employees, the company delivers
some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people
in Northern and Central California. For more than 30 years,
PG&E has built a strong record of working with customers to
deliver cost savings and energy savings through energy
efficiency. Since 1976, PG&E's programs have avoided the
release of more than 168 million metric tons of carbon
dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, based on cumulative
lifecycle gross energy savings. As a Better Buildings
Challenge Utility Ally, PG&E will provide commercial
building energy efficiency multi-measure programs that will
reach 30 million square feet of the commercial customer
class by 2015.
Samas Capital is a program administrator and capital
provider for energy improvement projects via the commercial
buildings PACE financing platform. They partner with
local governments to establish a streamlined and
inexpensive PACE financings for commercial buildings, which
allows them to offer financing on energy efficiency,
renewable energy, and water conservation
improvements. Samas Capital uses the capital markets
for funding, which provides the most competitive pricing
mechanism for financial products. Samas Capital has
committed to executing $150 million worth of energy
efficiency projects within the next 18 months.
Greenwood Energy is a private investment fund, and
wholly-owned subsidiary of the Libra Group, that recognizes
the value inherent in clean, locally produced energy, and
its application to the building stock of the nation.
Directly investing in the upgrade of buildings through a
variety of new structures to maximize the benefits to the
building owner while ensuring a stable return to
themselves, Greenwood Energy is breaking outside of the
traditional definitions of asset classes. Greenwood
Energy has committed to closing $50 million for projects in
the next 18 months.