Chicago Green Office Challenge Winners Recognized by Mayor and ICLEI

Mayor’s Press Office, (312) 744-3334

Don Knapp, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA,
(510) 844-0699 ext. 315

Friendly competition to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions saves Chicago businesses 124 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and more than 85,000 metric tons of carbon emissions Equal to removing more than 16,000 cars off Chicago streets


Today Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City of Chicago, in collaboration with ICLEI—Local Governments for Sustainability USA, announced the winners of Chicago’s second year of the Green Office Challenge, a friendly competition to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from commercial buildings.

The Green Office Challenge offers an opportunity for Chicago businesses and property managers to gain recognition for their green achievements. The Challenge also helps them save energy and money and provides them with a competitive advantage in green innovations. The program was co-developed by City of Chicago and ICLEI in 2009.

“Chicago’s efforts in sustainability have created economic opportunity throughout our neighborhoods and dramatically improved the overall quality of life for residents,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The Green Office Challenge is a great example of the private sector working with government to reduce costs and create jobs while protecting the environment.”

Nearly 150 property managers and tenant companies located in Chicago’s downtown business district participated in the Challenge. These participants worked to set and achieve specific green goals over the course of 2011. Strategies to achieve these goals were put in motion and supported primarily through monthly training events and crucial program sponsors, especially Office Depot.

Participating tenants were evaluated through a “Green Office Scorecard” developed by ICLEI, which included 50 green strategies that related to five key office-related sectors: waste and recycling, energy, transportation, outreach and education, and property manager engagement. Property managers utilized the US Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and other tools to demonstrate their achievement in four key sectors: energy, water, and waste diversion, as well as tenant engagement.

Some of the most noteworthy achievements of the 2011 Challenge include:

  • a reduction of more than 124 million kilowatt-hours of electricity — equivalent to the energy used by 45,000 homes or using 125,000 barrels of oil
  • keeping more than 85,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere — equal to removing more than 16,000 cars off Chicago streets
  • 17,503,891 millions of dollars were saved by Property managers who reduced electricity use
  • 53 business district buildings diverted an average of over 43% of waste from landfills in 2011

“Congratulations to Mayor Emanuel, the City of Chicago, and Chicago’s downtown businesses for another successful year of the Green Office Challenge,” said Michael Schmitz, ICLEI USA Executive Director. “ICLEI is proud to help drive such an innovative program. We are working to share Chicago’s success and experience with local governments around the country, who are launching their own Green Business Challenge programs that will lead to incredible energy and resource savings for their local businesses.”

Chicago has been a global leader in sustainability, and the world continues to take notice and look to the city for leadership. Recently, Chicago won the Siemens and U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Sustainability Large Community award, as part of a trio that beat out 132 other cities from 40 states.

“Today’s event is not only about recognizing the Green Office Challenge participants for all their hard work, but also underlining the positive effects sustainability has on Chicago’s economy,” said Karen Weigert, chief sustainability officer for the City of Chicago.

ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability is the leading nonprofit membership association of cities and counties committed to climate action, clean energy, and sustainability, with more than 500 U.S. members and 1,100 worldwide. ICLEI provides comprehensive resources, networks, trainings, and technical guidance to help local governments meet their goals.

Green Office Challenge Award Winners

Below is a list of award winners in their respective participant category:

Tier 1 Tenants:

  • Active Transportation Alliance
  • Anti-Cruelty Society
  • Chapman and Cutler LLP
  • Chicago Gateway Green
  • Crowe Horwath LLP
  • dbHMS Engineering
  • Environmental Law & Policy Center
  • Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.
  • GATX Corporation
  • Goldman, Sachs & Co.
  • Goldman Sachs Execution & Clearing
  • HOK Inc.
  • Jones Lang LaSalle-550 W Washington (Tenant)
  • Jones Lang LaSalle-Hyatt Center (Tenant)
  • Levenfeld Pearlstein
  • Mayer Brown LLP
  • McGuire Engineers, Inc.
  • Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
  • Messe Dusseldorf North America
  • Peace Corps
  • PepsiCo Chicago
  • Perkins+Will
  • SeatonCorp
  • Shaw Environment
  • Simple Truth
  • Thornton Tomasetti
  • VOA Associates
  • Weston Solutions

Leadership in Property Manager Excellence Award:

  • CB Richard Ellis
    555 West Monroe Street
  • Hines
    101 North Wacker Drive
    One South Dearborn Street
    321 North Clark Street
    333 West Wacker Drive
    Three First National Plaza
  • Jones Lang LaSalle
    200 East Randolph Street – The Aon Center
  • MB Real Estate
    50 West Washington Street- Richard J. Daley Center
  • Prime Group Realty Trust
    330 North Wabash Avenue
  • Tishman Speyer
    30 North LaSalle Street
    222 North LaSalle Street
  • Urban Innovations, Ltd.
    222 West Hubbard