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AUSTIN, TX-In its effort to implement the environmentally friendly recommendations from Building Owners and Managers Association International, the local BOMA affiliate has launched its own sustainability task force. Using the international organization’s seven-point challenge as a guideline, the Austin chapter is encouraging its members, which own or manage 35 million sf throughout the metro area, to reduce energy and carbon emissions by 2010, two years sooner than BOMA International suggests.

While the strategy incorporates BOMA International’s Energy Efficient Program recommendations, John Sutton, assistant vice president of corporate services, Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corp., tells GlobeSt.com that the local chapter is going a couple of steps further. With help from Austin Mayor Will Wynn’s office and local utility Austin Energy, BOMA Austin will be able to meet its aggressive goal, says Sutton, who is chairing the affiliate’s Sustainability Task Force.

“Austin Energy has a model conservation program with generous incentives, rebates and guidance,” Sutton explains. Additionally, both Austin Energy and the mayor’s office will work with local BOMA members to develop the benchmarking component of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Program.

While each individual property owner or manager is responsible for going through the Energy Star application process, Austin Energy and the mayor’s office will help “complete the EPA building profile applications and the requisite confirmation by a registered engineer at no cost to our members,” Sutton says.

Sutton notes that BOMA International provided enough incentive for the local membership to form its Sustainability Task Force. But BOMA Austin members have additional incentive to go green within a quicker time frame. “The mayor’s office will be composing new ordinances requiring commercial building reduction of emissions over the next several years,” Sutton says. “The task force means we’re ahead of the curve, and it will give us a good foot up toward working within those ordinances.”

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