This report is an outcome of a roundtable convened in late 2010 by the IMT and senior policy implementers from 10 states and cities,  national building energy efficiency experts, and leaders from the commercial real estate industry. The purpose was to discuss best practices for implementing commercial building benchmarking and disclosure policies. Many of these approaches have broad applicability both to current policy implementers and to those that may implement rating and disclosure policies in the future.

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This study, by the Institute for Market Transformation and the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, analyzes the potential of a national building energy rating and disclosure policy to create jobs and reduce energy-related expenditures in commercial and multifamily residential buildings.

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This study, co-authored by Co-Star and Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, provides some comparison data on ENERGY STAR and LEED certified buildings versus non-ENERGY STAR or Non-LEED certified office property from the entire United States using the CoStar data base. The results show the financial benefits of investing in sustainable real estate.

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This paper from Maastricht University compares certified green buildings with nearby buildings and determines that buildings with green ratings command substantially higher rents and selling prices than otherwise comparable buildings. According to researchers, ENERGY STAR certified buildings command a rental premium of about 3%, have higher occupancy, and bring in a 16% premium on selling prices.

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This paper from Duke University focuses primarily on the development of an updated ENERGY STAR industrial Energy Performance Indicator (EPI) for the cement industry and the change in the energy performance of the industry observed when the benchmarking system was updated from the original benchmark in 1997 to the new benchmark in 2008.

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Read this report from New York City to learn about its benchmarking ordinance, which requires all large buildings in the city to measure and disclose energy consumption annually. This report is the first analysis of New York City benchmarking data and provides comprehensive recommendations to improve the quality of energy benchmarking and the ease of compliance for building owners.

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This paper from the Institute of Business and Economic Research explores the effect that sustainability improvements in buildings have on the economy. The paper discusses the measurements and data sources documenting the energy efficiency of U.S. buildings, analyzes short-run price dynamics based on a panel of green commercial buildings, and presents new evidence on the economic returns to the investments in green buildings.

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This report from Maastricht University discusses the effects of the sustainability of commercial properties on their operating and stock performance. Investors considering incorporating the environmental performance of a building into investment decisions may benefit from this report. Using a sample of U.S. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), the report estimates that an REIT's sustainability is positively related to return on assets, return on equity, and the ration of funds from operations to total revenue.

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According to this landmark study by McKinsey & Company, energy efficiency is a huge untapped energy resource in the United States. How big? They estimate the country could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 23 percent through cost-effective investments in energy efficiency. This is like taking the entire U.S. fleet of passenger vehicles and light trucks off the roads. The study also highlights the important role benchmarking plays in unlocking the barriers to efficiency.

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This report from the University of Illinois at Chicago defines responsible property investing (RPI) as including facets such as investing in ENERGY STAR certified properties, transit-oriented development, and redevelopment areas. It shows that investors could have purchased a portfolio consisting solely of RPI office properties over the past 10 years and had performance that was better, at less risk, than a portfolio of properties without RPI features.

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