Green Building Accomplishments and Initiatives
CalPERS is a steward of conservation and is committed to being a leader in sustainable operations. Our headquarters buildings, Lincoln Plaza, are a testament to this by operating as highly-efficient and environmentally-responsible facilities. Lincoln Plaza has two nationally recognized and award-winning buildings sized over one million-square feet combined: Lincoln Plaza North (LPN) and Lincoln Plaza East/West (LPEW).
Lincoln Plaza's green operations are maintained by utilizing clean energy, purchasing green technology, and implementing conservation measures while upholding sustainable best practices.
Green Building Certifications
Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED®)
The LEED® Green Building Certification Program is one of the most widely used green building rating system globally and its certifications symbolize that a building is sustainable. In 2018, LPEW earned LEED Platinum® and LPN earned LEED Gold®. Platinum is the highest-achievable LEED® rating, with Gold being the next highest.
Energy Star is an energy and water benchmarking program for existing buildings led by the United States Environmental Protection Agency that provides a snapshot of a building's energy performance. Annually, buildings receive an Energy Star score between one and 100 based on energy performance in comparison with buildings nationwide with similar construction and size.
In late 2018, Energy Star updated their performance metrics with the most up-to-date market data. On average, office building scores were predicted to drop 12 points, however neither LPN or LPEW dropped more than 10 points.
In 2019, Lincoln Plaza continued to exceed the mandated Energy Star score of 75: LPEW scored 87 and LPN scored 77.
In August 2017, we were the first state agency to participate in Sacramento Municipal Utility District's (SMUD) SolarShares program. The program is a partnership between SMUD and its customers to provide a community solar option that will improve the regional power mix and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This program will save us an estimated $3.7 million in energy costs over the 20-year agreement and will deliver 50% of Lincoln Plaza's electrical energy from a local solar field.
Though drought restrictions have been lifted, we continue to take water conservation measures, such as recapturing water from cooling towers to use for irrigation and maintenance purposes. This water would normally go to the combined sewer/storm drain system. We have two water recapture tanks that each hold 2,000 gallons. It has been estimated that it would be possible to recapture a total of 1.8 million gallons of cooling tower blowdown a year.
Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Charging Stations
We have 33 light-duty fleet including: One pure EV and six hybrids, with plans to replace more internal combustion engine vehicles with hybrids and plug-in hybrids as they age.
The Lincoln Plaza garages offer Level 1 and Level 2 EV charging stations. Providing charging stations and having light-duty EVs in our fleet also helps to reduce GHG emissions. In 2019, we completed the installation of all Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations and now have a total of 70 EV charging stations, including five compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A Level 1 charging station only requires an outlet for employees to plug in their own charging cord and takes approximately 16 hours to charge for an 80-mile battery and 40 hours for a 200-mile battery. We provide infrastructure from ChargePoint® to offer Level 2 charging stations with cords taking approximately 3.5 hours to charge an 80-mile battery and eight hours to charge a 200-mile battery.
Bike Share Program
Our Bike Share Program supports alternate transportation and encourages a healthy lifestyle by offering eight bicycles at no charge for team members to use for personal and business trips during work hours. Established in 2012 through a partnership between our Sustainable Operations and Wellness programs, it continues to be frequently utilized by team members.
The Sustainability Committee, formerly Green Club, launched in September 2012 and is comprised of volunteer team members from all levels of the organization. The Committee meets quarterly to increase sustainability awareness by educating and engaging team members.
The Climate Registry (TCR)
We continue to go above and beyond by being one of the few state agencies that voluntarily completes third-party verification of its GHG through TCR. This verification ensures that the reported values have an accuracy of plus or minus 5%. TCR is a nonprofit governing body that maintains the standards that allow agencies to measure, report, and verify their entity-wide GHG.
We're taking action to reduce our GHG by at least 20% by 2020, as measured against a 2010 baseline.
TCR Gold Status Certificate
In 2019, TCR recognized us for our commitment to sustainability by reporting and verifying GHG emissions with them.
In 2017, our entity-wide GHG emissions were reduced by 79% as compared to the 2010 baseline; surpassing the target to reduce our GHG by at least 20% by 2020 for the fifth year in a row. We had the second-highest reduction in entity-wide GHG emissions as compared to other state agencies.
As one of the few state agencies that completes this third-party verification, we're pleased to share this accomplishment and will continue to lead the way towards a more sustainable future.
Renewable Energy Leadership Award
We were one of only 12 recipients of the 2018 Renewable Energy Leadership Award at the Green California Summit and Exposition for our participation in SMUD's SolarShares program.
Excellence in GHG Management
We were selected as a recipient of the Climate Leadership Conference (CLC) 2018 Excellence in GHG Management/Goal Achievement Award based on our 76% systemwide reduction in GHG emissions in 2015 compared to 2010.
The CLC connects sustainability leaders throughout the world to address climate change and discuss solutions.