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Several companies operating in, investing in or serving senior living and care recently were honored by the federal government for their energy efficiency improvement efforts. 

Chicago-based real estate investment trust Ventas and Windy City-based commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield were two of 15 organizations that earned the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star certification for more than 150 commercial, multifamily or industrial buildings each in 2022. Cushman & Wakefield had 194 buildings certified, and Ventas had 154 buildings certified.

“By certifying the most Energy Star buildings last year, these companies are helping lead the way to a clean energy future and are demonstrating that building efficiency isn’t just good for the climate but also good for our economy,” EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said in a statement.

To earn EPA’s Energy Star, a building first must measure its energy performance using the EPA’s online energy management and tracking tool. The building then receives an Energy Star score of 1 to 100, signifying how it performs relative to similar buildings nationwide. If the building both earns a score of 75 or higher and a professional engineer or registered architect verifies that its energy data and operating characteristics are correct and meets indoor air quality standards, then the EPA awards the Energy Star to that building.

Energy Star certified buildings are verified to perform better than 75% of similar buildings nationwide, they use an average of 35% less energy, and they are responsible for 35% fewer carbon dioxide emissions than typical buildings, according to the EPA.

Ventas and Cushman & Wakefield’s accomplishments earned them Elite level status in the EPA’s Certification Nation program, held to celebrate the program’s 30th anniversary. Organizations certifying five or more buildings were recognized at some level of the program.

“Our commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable returns benefits our stockholders, our company, our industry and our planet,” Ventas Vice President, Corporate ESG & Sustainability Kelly Meissner said. “With industry-leading energy management practices and prudent capital investment, we are able to improve performance while also accelerating progress toward our ambitious goal of achieving net-zero operational carbon emissions by 2040.” Ventas was the only REIT named at the Elite level.

Among companies recognized at the Executive level (50 or more buildings certified in 2022) of the Certification Nation program were JLL (135 buildings certified), Hines (113), The RMR Group (77), Healthpeak (67), PGIM Real Estate (69), Atria Senior Living (56) and Welltower (55).

Recognized at the Premier level (15 or more buildings certified) were Sunrise Senior Living Management (42), Yardi Energy (28) and Diversified Healthcare Trust (25), among other firms.

Among companies recognized at the Member level (five or more buildings certified) was AlerisLife (5).

See the complete Certification Nation program lists here.

The EPA also recognized 221 companies for “outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements in partnership with Energy Star,”  including more than 170 organizations that were recognized for their year-over-year commitment to energy efficiency with the program’s highest honor: Energy Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence winner.

Among those firms honored as Energy Partners of the Year – Sustained Excellence in the Energy Management category in 2023 were Hines (16 years in the program), JLL (12), Cushman & Wakefield (9), The RMR Group (3), Welltower (3) and Ventas (1). Named in the Service and Product Provider category was Yardi Systems (3). Additionally, Healthpeak Properties was named a Partner of the Year in the Energy Management category. A complete list of Energy Star award winners and their accomplishments is here.

“These Energy Star designations reflect our ongoing efforts to empower clients to achieve increasingly ambitious sustainability targets, actualizing our vision of creating a world of healthy buildings that have a meaningful impact on people and the planet,” Cushman & Wakefield President of Americas Services Marla Maloney said in a statement. “We are proud that our U.S. Energy & Sustainability Services team is being recognized for their expertise in goal setting, asset optimization and certification management.”