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LOS ANGELES-The Environmental Protection Agency has named CB Richard Ellis as a 2008 Energy Star Partner for its efforts toward improved energy management and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. CBRE, which is the only commercial real estate services firm designated as an Energy Star Partner this year, will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, DC on April 1.

Among the actions and policies that have led to the Energy Star recognition are CBRE’s commitment to become carbon neutral in its own operations by 2010, making it the first commercial real estate services company to announce such a goal. In addition, the company is assisting its clients with energy efficiency programs at the 1.7 billion sf of building space that the Los Angeles-based company manages around the world.

The EPA honor recognizes CBRE’s “commitment to being a leader in changing the way buildings operate,” according to Dave Pogue, San Jose, CA-based senior managing director of CBRE’s Asset Services Group and head of the company’s green initiative for its 635 million-sf US property management portfolio. Pogue says that the EPA designation underscores CBRE’s realization that “Now is the time to act to decrease energy consumption and increase environmental sustainability.”

CBRE’s green efforts in the US include a wide range of programs for the commercial buildings it manages. Among them are a recycling pilot program, in conjunction with Georgia-Pacific and the EPA, for office buildings; adopting the BOMA Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP) for teaching commercial real estate professionals how to reduce energy consumption; establishing the Green Knights, a nationwide team of sustainability advocates; developing “101 Tips for Successful Sustainability;” introducing a 12-step “Standards of Sustainability” for all managed office assets; and the pending enrollment of a minimum of 100 major US office properties from the firm’s asset services portfolio in the US Green Building Council’s Portfolio Program. The USGBC program enables owners to integrate the LEED green building rating system into existing buildings without sacrificing the technical rigor and integrity of LEED.

Those named by the EPA for 2008 Partner of the Year Awards are selected from more than 9,000 organizations that participate in the Energy Star program. Robert J. Meyers, principal deputy assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air & Radiation, comments that the participation of the commercial real estate industry is crucial to the success of the agency’s green efforts “because commercial and industrial facilities account for half of all energy consumption in the US and are responsible for nearly half of US greenhouse gas emissions.”

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