BOMA Toronto & Toronto Hydro: race2reduce

Building on the legacy of their CivicAction Award winning  program, which wrapped up in 2015, the Toronto Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA Toronto) teamed up with Toronto Hydro for race2reduce. The goal of the program is to do more to encourage energy conservation in commercial buildings by bringing landlords, property managers and tenants together around the issue.

race2reduce’s strategy is to help people who own buildings and people who live in those buildings make them more energy efficient. Participants are encouraged to access to a variety of helpful tools, specifically designed to enhance the impact of their energy management programs.

The race2reduce team, lead by Bala Gnanam, BOMA’s Director of Sustainability and Building Technologies, engages with tenants and landlords and building staff to help implement energy efficiency measures. Landlords are directed towards the partners they may need in order to make their buildings more sustainable. There are financial incentives available to building owners looking to save money and contribute to a more sustainable future by reducing water and energy consumption, race2reduce helps companies access them.

While keeping participants engaged is easier, engaging with tenants and employees on issues around sustainability on a daily basis can be challenging.  race2reduce works to help property managers and tenant representatives overcome these issues through cooperation aimed at reaching achievable goals and by creating events and material to help them maintain focus.

Extensive review and one-on-one consultations with industry stakeholders and key sustainability and operations individuals in potential partner organizations as well as CivicAction and other BOMA groups were conducted.  Awards were established for different types and sizes of buildings, allowing all to compete on a level playing field.

BOMA then reached out to influential property owners and operators, signing them up for the contest, and then used a snowball effect as building after building signed on, and competed hard in several different categories

As a result of race2reduce, in just the first year alone, an overall 4% reduction in energy use was achieved among participating organizations. In all 80 million square feet of space across the city inside over 500 buildings joined the race – and that sure looks like everyone winning.