Boxer Property is a company that fully embraces the concept of sustainability. There is growing awareness that greenhouse gas emissions, declining resources and increasing waste volumes must be addressed by all members of society, public and private. While new technologies hold great promise for improvements in all these areas, the best way to be ‘green’ now is to better use what we have. Facing this challenge is how we define our approach to sustainability.
Reducing Waste and Increasing Efficiency
It is well known that a kilowatt of energy saved is more valuable than a kilowatt generated by ANY means, including renewable; and that goes for a gallon of water, a cubic foot of natural gas, etc. Boxer believes that the first, major step to a sustainable future is to reduce waste streams in the present through efficiency of use. Our main targets for efficiency improvements are electricity, natural gas and water. From the moment a light switch is turned on to the moment it’s turned off, and all the moments in between – we see the opportunity to decrease our consumption.
Over two years ago, Boxer began a program to put this concept into practice within the large population of commercial and retail properties under our management. That early effort gathered momentum as details were worked out with all aspects of the company, and BEST was born. BEST stands for “Boxer Energy & Sustainability Tracking,” and it is a continuous improvement process with many goals, but they all come down to knowing how well a property performs relative to a set of standards defined by Boxer as well as industry-accepted engineering best practices.
Sustainability Impacts the Bottom Line
We take on both sides of the energy efficiency model from an economical perspective: Supply and Demand. Supply Side Management works to minimize commodity costs through load aggregation and extensive utility contract negotiations. This effort endeavors to clarify all cost drivers within a contract and bound each line item without having to pay a premium. Think of this as conserving funds in a “buy smart” approach: We believe that is as green as any renewable technology because it frees resources for investment in other areas that improve building operation. Demand Side Management emphasizes reduced consumption through preventive maintenance, responsive corrective maintenance, energy management systems and demand-altering policies via education & training. Note this is also not the sole realm of technology; policy and people play key roles in this regard as we all learn to “use smart.”
Boxer now has an Energy & Sustainability directorate that crosses all company business lines with a charter to fully implement BEST across all our properties. Future blog posts will outline how this organization carries out their roles and responsibilities, and summarize results to date. Just as a teaser, we have developed a BEST audit that inspects each property relative to a set of standards, and we number close to 300 completed audits to date. This is what the “T” means in BEST – “Tracking.” So, keep an eye out for a more detailed description of the BEST audit.
Buy Smart, Use Smart
The moral of the BEST story? Boxer truly believes that to “buy smart, use smart” is to be green and sustainable. By adding “Tracking” to the program, we are not only setting up each property to be an efficient energy user, we are also monitoring it to ensure it remains a good steward of our valuable resources.