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NEW YORK CITY-Cushman & Wakefield is signing a memorandum of understanding with the US Environmental Protection Agency–reportedly the first such agreement by a real estate services firm. The MOU, which seeks to green C&W’s offices and managed properties, was announced Tuesday morning by Joseph Harbert, COO of C&W’s New York metro region, at the company’s quarterly Manhattan market overview event.

“In the long run, this agreement has the potential to impact thousands of buildings, including their own offices,” an EPA spokesman tells GlobeSt.com. The agreement encourages several goals, which include the evaluation of energy saving opportunities, as well as beginning energy efficient pilot programs at several offices and an overall result of decreasing energy consumption at the company’s offices and managed properties by 30% by 2012.

Further, the MOU will work to track water usage, waste and recycling while fostering the use of reusable industrial materials along with the implementation of sustainable landscaping practices. The agreement also encourages the seeking of certification under the US Green Building Council’s LEED program, or a similar green building rating system for new corporate office space.

In a release, John C. Santora, president and CEO of the Americas for C&W, says the company is “committed to enhancing the environmental performance of its business operations and to proactively engage and support its clients on the efficient use of energy, water and materials and reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”

The agreement between Cushman and Wakefield came about through ongoing outreach from the EPA to public and private entities, the EPA spokesman says. “Through outreach, we seek to establish agreements with businesses and currently have several memorandums of understanding, but this is our first with a corporate real estate firm.” At this morning’s media event, Harbert pointed out that energy consumption in commercial buildings accounts for 17% of US greenhouse gas emissions.

The EPA spokesman tells GlobeSt.com that practices “like energy efficiency and sustainable design save money in the long run,” for all building managers and owners. Of the new MOU, he adds, “we hope this happens more in the future.”

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