The Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the Greenprint Foundation joined forces in January to create the ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance.

This venture between the ULI and the Greenprint Foundation, an alliance of real estate owners, investors and financial institutions committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, is geared toward promoting greenhouse gas reduction plans and measuring building performance.

The ULI Greenprint Center was established with the transfer of the activities and assets of the New York City-based Greenprint Foundation to the ULI in Washington, D.C. The new center, which will remain in New York City, is being incorporated into ULI’s broader Climate, Land Use and Energy (CLUE) initiative, and will assume the Greenprint Foundation’s existing research program and ongoing engagement with real estate owners regarding the use of value-enhancing carbon reduction strategies.

The center will also carry on the Greenprint Foundation’s mission to promote real estate industry strategies that support the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change goals for global greenhouse gas stabilization by 2030, and will continue to work toward the foundation’s goal of a 50 percent reduction in building emissions by that date.

Integral to the ULI Greenprint Center’s work is the Greenprint Performance Report, which includes the Greenprint Carbon Index (GCX), a tool used by foundation members to gauge relative progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions over time.

The first volume of the report, issued in 2010, featured results obtained from performance during 2009 as a baseline measurement. The second volume, issued in 2011, contained the results for 2010 for 1,623 properties located throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. That report covered 31 million sq. meters of commercial space and showed a 0.6 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the previous year on the like-for-like portfolio of submitted properties.

ULI Trustee Charles B. Leitner III, formerly the president and CEO of the Greenprint Foundation, is now the chairman of the ULI Greenprint Center and is serving as co-chairman of the advisory board for the CLUE initiative.

“Our basic belief is, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” says Leitner. “We saw Greenprint’s efforts as focusing on identifying the ‘what’—we created a quantifiable benchmark that helps the industry track performance and relate that performance to other more traditional financial metrics. [Now we’ll be] focusing on the ‘how’—once you can measure it, how do you prove building performance?”

Leitner says he hopes to grow Greenprint’s current membership—30 corporations, including 13 United Kingston Better Building Partnership participants—through “the higher profile association with ULI,” which has nearly 30,000 members worldwide. “We want to grow the organization and the center, double the size of participants in the near term and grow in terms of data,” Leitner says. “We want more participation, more data and more companies to join in … and see the benefit of what we’re doing for themselves, the industry and the environment.”