The purpose of this project was to develop and implement a sustainable building standard that meets industry best practices and exceeds rigorous quality standards. This project was influenced by the EPA's decision to remove medical office buildings from their certification program. The company determined the importance of a certification program like Energy Star® and used this as the baseline for an enhanced system that takes into account sustainability topics that were important to tenants, employees, and other stakeholders.
The company’s approach started with identifying an internal team and to partner with a leading sustainability consulting group to evaluate our current programs and to guide the company through the development of the Green Arrow Building Certification (GABC) program. The company’s working group developed the system, trained the organization and rolled out the program. ENERGY STAR, which was previously used by Health Care REIT (HCN) to certify and recognize its medical office portfolio, considers only energy use for its benchmarks. While developing the GABC, HCN identified six facets of sustainability that promote healthful environments. Through a rigorous analysis of its medical office portfolio, HCN identified key performance indicators (KPIs) for each sustainability metric. These KPIs are used to benchmark properties within the portfolio.
During the launch of the GABC, the company was able to engage the entire property management team and train them on key sustainability topics. The program pilot had 13 buildings go through the GABC benchmarking system, and the company was able to recognize 9 of the 13 buildings as meeting performance certification levels. The program has been imbedded into corporate wide training system and is part of new hire training. As the company looks forward to the full implementation of the program, increased employee and tenant engagement on sustainability performance will be a key outcome.
“Our Green Arrow sustainability program is aimed at aligning and connecting the benefits of sustainability performance with health care delivery and outcomes. The Green Arrow Building Certification program serves to align our tenants and our property operations team to increase the positive impacts of a proactive sustainability program."
-Mike Noto, SVP Real Estate Services.