Accelerating Investments in Energy Efficiency in Houston’s Building Market

DSC_7400 (1)

Houston / Geneva, October 10, 2014 – The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) and partners in the WBCSD’s Energy Efficiency in Buildings market transformation initiative convened a deep-dive workshop exploring ambitious and actionable strategies for reducing energy consumption in buildings by 30% or more in the Houston market.

This workshop, known as an “EEB Laboratory”, was timely following the announcement by Houston’s Mayor Annise Parker, at the occasion of the UN Summit on Climate Change on September 23, that by 2050, Houston – America’s energy capital – would cut CO2 emissions 80% from 2005 levels, the same as New York City’s pledge.

A 30% energy saving in the commercial sector alone could translate into replacing 10 mid-size power plants and adding almost a billion dollars to the Houston economy.

During three days, a committee of experts made up of representatives from the WBCSD member companies and partners discussed with developers, investors, designers, engineers, facility operators and tenants how to define the business case for investments in energy efficiency of buildings for different stakeholder groups in the building value chain. Four topics were at the heart of the debate:

Increasing value to stakeholders through energy efficiency

Investing and Financing

Verifying value and return on investments

Appropriate policy and regulation

The Laboratory identified ways to accelerate investments through awareness-raising, innovative financing approaches, improved operational performance to achieve energy savings, and the introduction of policies for increased market transparency.

DSC_7340The Laboratory also revealed there has been strong progress with the corporate sector driving demand for energy efficient Class A buildings. Meanwhile, the City of Houston is implementing energy efficiency programs for public buildings, developing progressive building energy codes and targeted incentive schemes are working well.

A detailed summary including a plan to foster the widespread uptake of energy efficiency in buildings in the Houston market will be published shortly.

“Houston has a tradition of private sector leadership – it is the ideal place to show that energy efficiency in buildings makes business sense”. – Andy Mangan, Executive Director, US BCSD

Roland Hunziker, Director Sustainable Buildings at the WBCSD, said: “The EEB Laboratory in Houston was the fourth such event led by the WBCSD after San Franciso, Shanghai and Warsaw. More Laboratories will be held in developed and emerging markets around the globe in order to surface good practice examples and foster learning between metropolitan and regional markets.”

With the Manifesto for Energy Efficiency in Buildings, the WBCSD provides the opportunity to any building owner, developer, investor or tenant to publicly state their commitment to enhance energy efficiency in their building stock, within a self-determined scope. An Energy Efficiency Toolkit is also freely available to help large owners, tenants and real estate management companies identify financially viable, yet ambitious, energy efficiency measures across a given building portfolio.

Other Press:
Houston Chronicle – October 10, 2014 – Energy Efficiency ‘Makes Business Sense’
Houston Chronicle – October 7, 2014 – Classy old buildings strive for modern energy efficiencies

ROC-Detroit September 30th Launch Event: Suppliers Needed

LANSING, Mich. – Pure Michigan Business Connect is partnering with General Motors, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, CXCatalysts, and the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development to launch the Reuse Opportunity Collaboratory (ROC) initiative on September 30 in Detroit. The event will bring together Michigan industries, institutions, small and medium sized businesses, and entrepreneurs to develop zero-waste partnerships in which one organization’s waste becomes another’s raw material.

“ROC Detroit is a groundbreaking effort to support sustainable manufacturing while growing Michigan’s economy and creating jobs,” said Michigan Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “The ROC Detroit summit will help Michigan’s small and growing companies connect with General Motors and other partner companies’ waste management officials to find ways to reuse waste byproduct materials to their fullest potential.”

The ROC-Detroit launch matchmaking summit, taking place at the GM Renaissance Center, will give participating businesses the opportunity to be matched to ROC partner companies centered on procurement or partnership prospects for byproduct materials reuse. The partner companies include Aevitas Specialty Services Corporation, Alpha Resins, DOW Materials, General Motors, Marathon Petroleum, and Walker-Miller Energy. Participating suppliers may include any manufacturing-based company or waste management company interested in zero-waste production, including energy companies, manufacturers, and waste reduction and recycling businesses.

“General Motors is enthusiastic about this partnership because we believe that waste is simply a resource out of place,” said John Bradburn, GM global manager of waste reduction. “This event will create by-product synergies by repurposing one company’s trash into another’s primary resource.”

The by-product materials needs and application information can be viewed at

Michigan companies interested in attending must complete the online application and identify their qualifications based on the needs listed. After each application is reviewed, invitations will be sent to companies whose intended purposes best match the available resources. Each invited company will have a private meeting to discuss potential opportunities with one of the procurement teams present at the summit.

The priority application deadline is Sept. 16, 2014. All applicants will be notified by Sept. 23 regarding participation eligibility. Applications received after the deadline will be considered if there are needs that have not been filled by the initial applicants.

Launched in 2011, Pure Michigan Business Connect is a public-private alliance of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, state agencies and major Michigan companies and organizations that connects in-state companies to business resources. Companies can find new ways to raise capital, get access to professional business services at little or no cost, connect with each other through a new business-to-business network, and identify potential supplier opportunities, while developing resources to improve their supply chains.

Circular Economy: the Holy Grail at the Corporate Eco Forum Annual Meeting


From left to right, PJ Simmons, President of the Corporate Eco Forum; Bill McDonough, Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Meta-Council on the Circular Economy; Andrew Morlet, CEO of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation; Tom Carpenter, Director, Sustainable Services, Waste Management; Andrew Mangan, Executive Director of the US BCSD; and Matt Rogers, Director, McKinsey & Co.

New Materials Marketplace Program Helps Austin Businesses Divert Materials from Landfill

Businesses and entrepreneurs in Austin and Travis County now have a new resource to help find uses for unwanted materials. The US Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), Ecology Action of Texas, and Austin Resource Recovery today announced the launch of the Austin Materials Marketplace, an initiative in which one company’s waste becomes another company’s raw material.

The new public-private partnership aims to reduce waste going to landfills by connecting businesses that generate unwanted materials with businesses that can use those materials.

“We are excited to introduce this resource to the Austin business community so that today’s waste products can become tomorrow’s new revenue source,” said Bob Gedert, director of Austin Resource Recovery. “The launch of the Austin Materials Marketplace is an important step toward achieving Austin’s Zero Waste goal.”

Since 1995, US BCSD has successfully implemented similar business-to-business material reuse projects in Houston, Chicago, Columbus, Seattle, Kansas City and Mobile, as well as the United Kingdom and China.

“Core to our approach is use of a regularly monitored online database and structured network meetings facilitated by technical experts that help companies understand each other’s material flows and identify materials matches,” said Andrew Mangan, executive director of the US BCSD. “This collaboration stimulates innovative and business-friendly solutions. As a 21-year member of the Austin business community, the US BCSD is excited to bring our work home to Austin,” he added.

The business council has teamed up with Austin-based Ecology Action of Texas on this project, a non-profit organization with significant experience in the Austin recycling community.

”Ecology Action is thrilled to be a part of bringing the practices and principles of landfill diversion that we have developed over the last 44 years into the mainstream of the Austin business community and business culture. This project is an incredibly significant milestone in our community’s path towards Zero Waste,” said Joaquin Mariel, executive director of Ecology Action.

Businesses and organizations interested in the program are encouraged to attend next week’s information session on the marketplace:

Austin Materials Marketplace Information Session
Where: Big Medium, Canopy Gallery, 916 Springdale Rd, Austin, Texas 78702
When: August 19th, 5:30pm-8:30pm
What: Introductory social event with a short presentation of the project, networking opportunities, and food and beverages.

For more information, visit


The US Business Council for Sustainable Development is a member-led nonprofit business association that harnesses the power of collaborative regional projects to develop, deploy, and scale sustainable solutions to materials, water, energy, and ecosystem challenges. It is based in Austin, Texas, and has projects located throughout the U.S.

Ecology Action of Texas is an Austin company with more than 40 years of experience in resource recovery operations, landfill diversion, advocacy, and zero waste education. EA has operated a recycling/hard-to-recycle/reuse drop-off center in partnership with the City of Austin for 15 years.

Austin Resource Recovery provides a wide range of services designed to transform waste into resources while keeping our community clean. Services include curbside collection of recycling, trash, yard trimmings and large brush and bulk items; street sweeping; dead animal collection; household hazardous waste disposal and recycling; and outreach and education. In December 2011, the Austin City Council approved the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan, which is the City’s roadmap to Zero Waste. The City of Austin is committed to keeping at least 90 percent of discarded materials out of the landfill by 2040 or sooner.

Announcing the Energy Efficiency in Buildings 2.0 Houston Laboratory


The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the US BCSD are hosting a deep-dive workshop this October to support the development and implementation of ambitious, practical strategies for reducing building energy consumption by 30% or more in the Houston market.

This initiative is also joined by the City Energy Project, which is supporting the City of Houston, along with nine other cities, to help cut energy waste in large buildings, make them healthier environments and more profitable investments through energy efficiency.

To achieve that goal, various stakeholders in Houston’s commercial building sector will convene to diagnose and tackle key barriers to energy efficiency, recommend practical action plans for achieving market transformation to improve energy efficiency, and establish clearly defined stakeholder commitments.

learn more

Flourish & Prosper: The Third Global Forum for Business as an Agent of World Benefit


We’re inviting all US BCSD members and colleagues to participate in Flourish & Prosper: The Third Global Forum for Business as an Agent of World Benefit. The focus of the forum is “the new spirit of business”—moving to flourishing and prosperity for the benefit of all.” Business leaders and management educators will come together to explore and embrace mindful management practices that will drive bold thinking, innovative problem-solving and profitability—for the benefit of business and the world.

Flourish & Prosper: The Third Global Forum for Business as an Agent of World Benefit
Leading the Shift from Sustainability to Full-Spectrum Flourishing
October 15-17, 2014
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, Ohio, USA

go to their website

The guiding aspiration of this conference is to harness the power of business for the good of society. It is no longer utopian to speak of witnessing the end of extreme poverty through profitability; or the emergence of a world of abundant, clean renewable energy; or access to water for all; or the spread of education to all of the world’s children. Business can be a pragmatic and dependable force for peace and progress—it can lead the way to a full spectrum sustainable economy where business can excel, people can thrive, and nature can flourish.

Hosted by the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, the Global Forum will take place October 15 – 17, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio and will also showcase the inaugural launch of a new Global Prizing process—a “more than Nobel Prize” for business—that will recognize and honor exemplars that embody the concept of flourishing for the benefit of all. For more information, visit

Logistics & Travel Information for Next Week’s Conference

We’re very much looking forward to welcoming you to Yale University next week, June 25-26, for our annual summer conference, organized in collaboration with the Yale Center for Business and the Environment. Below you’ll find a few notes on logistics and other last minute considerations. And if you haven’t registered yet, you can do so by clicking here now.


Dress code for the two-day event is business casual. Please note the slight chance of rain on Wednesday and plan accordingly. Our venue has a beautiful courtyard and a lot of great outside space for us to take advantage of, so hopefully that chance of rain stays low!


Public transportation is easily available if flying into La Guardia:

1) Get out of the terminal and walk to the bus stop (La Guardia transport information folks can point you in the right direction)
2) Get on the M60 bus (comes every 20 min, $2.50, need to prepay before you get on)
3) Take the bus to E 125 St/Lexington Av (about 30 minutes)
4) Walk to Harlem 125 St. (1 minute to the west)
4) Take a train to New Haven Union Station. ($16.50, ~2 hours)

New Haven train services run through Union Station:

Address: 50 Union Avenue, New Haven, CT 06519
Serviced by: Metro-North, with connecting service by Amtrak and CT Transit
There are a number of transportation options to get you from Union Station to the Yale campus, including the Yale shuttle, and a number of taxi services.

New Haven has a number of taxi services should you need a ride:

City Wide Taxi/Yellow Taxi/New Haven-Milford Taxi: 203.777.0007
Heritage Taxi: 203.466.6666
Horizon Cab Company: 203.777.5555
Metro Taxi: 203.777.7777
Quick Taxi: 203.777.7778
Yellow Taxi: 203.777.7770


Yale School of Management
Edward P. Evans Hall, Yale University
165 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511

We’ll be in Edward P. Evans Hall, the new home of the Yale School of Management, for the duration of our two-day agenda. Our registration table will be set up outside of Bewkes Classroom 2410. After entering through the main entrance of the building, head up the stairs to the second floor, and you should see us there.


Edward P. Evans Hall is within reasonable walking distance from most hotels in downtown New Haven. Click on the map for a more detailed look at walking directions.

Download the Agenda

Light breakfast foods and coffee will be available outside of Bewkes Classroom 2410 starting at 8:00am on both the 25th and 26th, so please feel free to come early and mingle with your colleagues. The agenda kicks off at 9:00am on both days of the conference.

If you have any other questions, feel welcome to contact Daniel Kietzer at the US BCSD at 512.981.5417.

Checking In from Beijing

Andy Mangan, US BCSD Executive Director, is in Beijing this week reporting on outcomes from the Bohai By-Product Synergy Project. Special thanks to US BCSD members ConocoPhillips, Holcim, Alcoa, and GM; representatives from the US DOE, LBNL, Yale, NDRC, and MIIT; and our project partner the China Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Back to Top