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The built environment takes center stage as Mass. climate bill advances

The R.W. Kern Center at Hampshire College in Amherst, seen under construction in this January 2016 file photo, generates its own energy.Matthew Cavanaugh for The Boston Globe

Commercial real estate leaders committed to meeting 2050 target

As leaders of the commercial real estate industry in Boston, we have a long record of advancing sustainable development and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. We support the recent efforts to advance climate policy, including many of the concepts and provisions of the climate bill under consideration (“Legislature returns climate action bill vetoed by Baker,” Metro, Jan. 29).

For years, our industry has been at the forefront in promoting and implementing the most current energy-efficient green building designs, equipment, and technologies. As members of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission, a broad group of business and civic leaders focused on ending climate change, we are committed to developing and implementing high-performance green buildings that are more energy efficient, adopting on- and off-site renewable-energy generation, installing the latest energy conservation technologies, and engaging our tenants to support these efforts. We remain committed to doing our part to meet the ambitious target of carbon neutrality by 2050.

To achieve that goal, we need more engagement of the commercial real estate sector, electric and natural gas utility providers, and the broader business community to define compliance pathways that are technically and economically feasible. Issues related to electric distribution capability, renewable energy integration, and best practices on post-pandemic healthy-building indoor air quality must be fully understood and considered in this planning.


This legislation is a strong starting point, and with additional input from key business sectors, it can make the goal of carbon neutrality a reality.

Alan Leventhal

Chairman and CEO

Beacon Capital Partners

Bryan Koop

Senior vice president

Boston Properties

Dan Egan

First vice president, investments

Equity Residential

Scott Kinter

Senior vice president

AvalonBay Communities


Developers dragging their feet stand in way of forward-thinking policy

Jon Chesto’s article last month reporting that some real estate groups pushed for Governor Baker to veto the climate bill shows that unfounded fears continue to sabotage forward-thinking policy. Every aspect of the economy is poised to move to clean energy, and those who drag their feet will play catch-up.


“Net zero” building, at competitive rates for commercial and residential projects, is being done. If we don’t make it central to Massachusetts policy, we will be disadvantaged in the future.

Affordable housing for lower-income residents should not box them into higher energy costs under carbon pricing. It should not result in lower appreciation (because their homes will have to compete with net-zero homes).

Real estate and developer groups should be the leading champions of net zero. “If you build it, they will come.”

James Lagomarsino