GLOBAL - The Investment Property Databank (IPD) today launched an environmental benchmarking service for commercial real estate occupiers.

The Eco-Ledger tool will use the IPD Environmental Code, launched a year ago to set out IPD's methodology for collecting environmental performance data, and offer users key performance indicators and benchmarks for their properties' energy consumption, carbon emissions, water use, waste and recycling.

Ian Jeffries, head of environmental occupier services at IPD, said: "An innovation to the market, I am positive Eco-Ledger will make a material contribution to the global environmental agenda, not just by helping organisations around the world to measure and manage their environmental impacts more efficiently, but also through its ability to deliver a step by step change in current levels of organisational and market transparency and accountability."

IPD, which created the service through work with Axa, designed the benchmarking service for all commercial property types from offices, retail, distribution warehouses and industrials to hotels and hospitals.

Jeffries said the Eco-Ledger is designed to satisfy occupiers' demand for performance measurement but "with a view to reducing environmental impacts, supporting a positive corporate responsibility strategy, and driving efficiency savings".

The United Nations 'Environment Programme, Buildings and Climate Change, estimated in 2007 that corporate buildings produced 20% of all global carbon emissions. 

IPD hopes Eco-Ledger measurements will be used to set targets for improvements and benchmarking among peers and encourage better management of utilities such as water, energy and waste companies and reduce their consumption commercial real estate, which in turn will see operators save money.

The Eco-Ledger is aimed mainly at commercial property occupiers, although Jeffries said he expected it will be more relevant to landlords and investors in the future.

IPD currently has over 6,000 UK properties in its data set, including retail bank branches and various office types but the organisation has already started collecting data for France and Germany and hopes to apply the benchmarking service globally, according to Jeffries.

"Our plan is to get it set up in the UK and then to apply that model to countries around the world. We will also have a global version that will enable us to compare performance country by country," said Jeffries. 

The first performance results for Eco-Ledger have already come in, although they have not been released to the general public. IPD currently publishes an annual performance statement that includes some of the benchmarking figures, which can be purchased, but might make the data more readily available in the future.
The fee for using Eco-Ledger is calculated on a building basis and starts from £2,500 (€2,804) although occupiers can download the IPD Environmental Code for free.

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