Strategy

As one of the largest owners and developers of office properties in the United States, Boston Properties actively works to promote our growth and operations in a sustainable and responsible manner across our five regions. Our sustainability strategy is broadly focused on the economic, social, and environmental aspects of our activities, which include the design and construction of our new developments and the operation of our existing buildings.

Boston Properties is a real estate company with a strategy of long-term ownership. By understanding the externalities of our business, we aim to make a positive impact and reduce risk. This report highlights the execution of our sustainability strategy, and is organized into three themes: Environmental Impact, Health & Wellness, and Community Involvement.

Through our efforts we demonstrate that operating and developing commercial real estate can be conducted with a conscious regard for the environment and wider society while mutually benefiting our tenants, investors, employees, and the communities we serve.

To download the complete 2015 Sustainability Report, please click here.

 

Reporting Methodology

This report is focused on the aggregate performance of our occupied and actively managed office building portfolio. Occupied buildings have less than 50% vacancy. Actively managed buildings are buildings where we have operational control.

Our 94 occupied and actively managed office buildings represent 85% of our portfolio gross square footage (SF). By concentrating on similarly situated buildings we are able to meaningfully benchmark performance and measure the efficacy of our sustainability measures. Unless otherwise noted, data presented in this report relate to these types of office buildings. Over time we will continue to assess available data and determine when to expand this report to address other property types and information.

 

Stakeholder Engagement

We develop our understanding of the views and priorities of our stakeholders by engaging our supply chain, tenants, employees, communities, and joint venture partners throughout the life-cycle of our activities. We work closely with our tenants, vendors, and service providers to gather knowledge, plan, and implement design solutions, technologies, and programs that drive key performance indicator improvement. We regularly convene public forums during the development process to seek community input, and use green building rating system criteria to manage our supply chain.

The operation of our properties is heavily dependent on the behavior of our tenants. Our goals cannot be achieved without effective engagement of our building occupants. We have integrated sustainability into property management practices, tenant improvement guidelines, and our routine meetings with existing and prospective tenants. We believe that by developing green buildings we maximize the likelihood of sustainable performance, and that through effective stakeholder engagement we can assure operational success.

 

Materiality

Boston Properties has conducted a materiality assessment to identify the significant economic, social and environmental issues that impact our business and are important to our stakeholders. The results of the materiality assessment have been used to establish and confirm sustainability-related performance indicators for our organization, prioritize resources, and to determine the contents of this report. Material aspects that matter most to our business and stakeholders include economic performance, resource use, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water, waste, customer satisfaction, public transportation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, green building, local community impact, and the health, safety, and wellness of our customers and employees. 

 

Recognition

Recognition

 

Goals

Goals

 

Key Performance Indicators

Energy

Water

Waste

Emissions

Certifications

 

Green Building

Boston Properties is a corporate member of the U.S. Green Building Council® (USGBC) and has a long history of owning, developing, and operating properties that are certified under USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design™ (LEED®) rating system. The LEED green building rating system is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard of design guidelines for high performance and sustainable buildings. Since 2008, Boston Properties has certified over 15 million square feet of our portfolio, of which 80% is certified at the highest Gold and Platinum levels.

LEED for Building Design and Construction
We target LEED Silver certification or better on all developments. Between 2008 and 2015, we completed 14 LEED certified new development projects totaling 6 million square feet. The entire 4.5 million square feet of new development pipeline is pursuing LEED certification.

LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB)
Green building certification of our existing properties is an important component of our strategy to achieve operational sustainability. Boston Properties continues to actively explore the LEED-EB certification across our portfolio and has a company-wide task force dedicated to sharing best practices. Currently, we have certified 14 of our actively managed properties totaling 9.7 million square feet.

Education
Maintaining and strengthening Boston Properties’ internal green design, construction, operations capabilities, and knowledge base is a key aspect of the Company’s overall environmental strategy. Ongoing training and education of our employees is essential to sustainable operations and growth. We have made a concerted effort to train and accredit our managers and staff in green design, construction, and operations. 72 managers across our development, construction and property management departments were LEED Accredited Professionals or Green Associates representing 63% of employees in these departments. 47 building engineers have received Green Professional (G-PRO) Operations & Maintenance building skills training, a program which is endorsed by the USGBC. Our trained property management professionals are equipped to effectively engage tenants to promote more sustainable tenant behavior and discovery of opportunities.

Building Materials
As part of our commitment to developing LEED projects, sustainability criteria informs the building material selection process. These criteria, aligned with the LEED rating system, support sustainable construction material procurement, green building delivery, conservation of natural resources, waste reduction, and occupant health. Project teams review vendor disclosures and aim to cost-effectively procure building materials that are:

  • Extracted, harvested, recovered, and manufactured within 500 miles of the project site;
  • Composed of the maximum possible recycled content;
  • Third-party validated sustainably harvested wood products; and
  • Non-toxic and support healthy, productive indoor environments containing no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), urea-formaldehydes, and/or other chemicals of concern.

 

Green Leasing

We strive to limit our energy and natural resource consumption through active management at our properties and leasing activity. In order to align our sustainability efforts with our tenants, our Master Lease form includes: cost recovery for capital expenditures made to reduce operating expenses, cost recovery for certifications (including LEED and ENERGY STAR), sub-metering of high intensity tenant equipment, and required tenant energy disclosure (benchmarking). Our internal legal counsel and leasing team actively negotiates our leases with the intent of preserving green lease clauses without alterations or exceptions. The vast majority of our executed leases today are written without any changes to our model green master lease.

 

Energy & Emissions

Energy Management
Managing energy consumption and implementing energy conservation measures aligns with our objective to provide the greatest benefit to our tenants and investors. We continually measure and manage the usage of electricity, gas, and steam using Energy Intelligence Software (EIS), EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® and energy audits. Our regional managers and heads of property management have annual performance goals with energy, emissions, water, and waste targets. These goals are formulated at the asset level and roll up to regional and company-wide targets.

Energy Intelligence Software
Since 2011, Boston Properties has strategically partnered with EnerNOC to deploy EIS and real time energy monitoring infrastructure across our actively managed office portfolio. As active managers, Boston Properties leverages EIS, interval data, and increased energy use awareness to optimize facility operations by adjusting Building Management System (BMS) programming, verifying nighttime shutdowns/setbacks, holiday scheduling, peak load shedding, optimizing equipment runtime, and executing strategic demand response events. Using interval data to optimize energy performance yields approximately $785,000 in savings per year. Interval data is also used to execute demand response events. Revenue from demand response program enrollments has exceeded $1.8 million over five years.

Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs)
We are committed to identifying and implementing ECMs and capital improvements that reduce energy use. ECMs are reviewed and the projects that meet certain investment criteria are implemented. Since 2011, energy projects have cut annual use by 15,500 MWh, saving approximately $2.3 million per year. ECMs include lighting retrofits, HVAC upgrades, and building management systems and controls improvements.

Renewable Energy
In 2015, Boston Properties generated more than 1 million kWh renewably on-site. At specific sites, distributed generation technologies, like solar photovoltaics, are capable of producing energy more cost-effectively than traditional technologies. We are pursuing renewable energy projects where these utility cost discounts are evident. We are actively researching and pursuing the adoption of alternative and renewable energy technology at our existing buildings and new developments. Over half of our new development projects are either studying or implementing alternative and renewable energy installations, including solar photovoltaics, vertical axis wind turbines, and/or cogeneration systems.

High Performance Tenant Improvements
Tenant Improvement guidelines have been developed by Boston Properties to support sustainable design and construction of fit-ups and to strengthen a more sustainable Tenant-Landlord relationship. By following these guidelines during the design and construction process, we share common goals of creating workspaces that reduce environmental impact, improve indoor environmental quality, and promote occupant health, wellness, and productivity.

 

Water

We recognize the growing importance of water conservation. Over the past five years, Boston Properties has upgraded plumbing fixtures across more than 33% of our portfolio. Since 2008, Boston Properties has reduced water use intensity (gallons/SF) by 16%. We use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to monitor and benchmark water usage in buildings where we have access to water meter data. Over the last five years we have been focused on implementing smart irrigation and water efficient landscaping practices at existing buildings and new developments. We prioritize the oldest, least efficient fixtures for improvement, and focus our efforts on some of our largest properties to ensure that we are maximizing our conservation efforts. Implemented improvements include smart controllers, low flow sprinkler heads, rain sensors, and infrastructure improvements. In addition to retrofitting existing irrigation systems, Boston Properties is landscaping with drought-tolerant plants and using captured rainwater for irrigation systems when irrigation is required.

 

Climate Preparedness

We are preparing for environmental impacts, including increased flooding, severe storms, and water scarcity. We are adapting by implementing measures to improve the resilience of our existing properties and new developments. Across our portfolio we are assessing vulnerability, modeling future sea level rise scenarios, and developing infrastructure improvements and emergency response plans. We understand the importance of climate preparedness and are working proactively to protect our investments by improving resilience. 

 

Waste

In partnership with our vendors and tenants, Boston Properties has implemented best waste management practices, including single stream recycling, composting, and e-waste programs for tenant solid waste in all of our regions. As a result, 59% of office waste by weight is recycled across our portfolio, which is a 23% increase since 2008. We also work closely with our vendors and tenants to promote responsible waste management practices, including haul trip optimization and composting at cafés and restaurants.

Single-Stream Recycling
We have worked across our portfolio with our tenants and waste haulers to transition to single-stream recycling programs. Single-stream simplifies recycling. Commingled materials are collected in one container and sorted off-site at a material recovery facility. The advantages of single-stream recycling include increased customer participation and potentially higher waste diversion rates.

Composting
Our integrated composting program diverts roughly 2,000 tons of organic material from landfills. We work with our tenants to ensure that they have signage and receptacles, and our buildings have designated central compost bins with frequently scheduled pickup. Composting produces valuable nutrient-rich soil and reduces the frequency of waste hauls required, saving an estimated $180,000 in hauling fees annually.

 

Transportation

More than 77% of the square footage of our properties is located in central business districts with ready access to public transportation. Within 0.25 miles of our buildings, the customers and communities we serve have access to over 3,000 alternatives to non-single occupancy vehicle (SOV) transportation, including bike spaces, bike sharing stations, bus stops, subway stations, commuter rail stations, car share spaces, hybrid spaces, van pool spaces, and electric car charging stations.

Boston Properties promotes the use of mass transit by its tenants through on-site events for tenant employees, newsletters, and one-on-one meetings with tenant contacts. Our employees support alternative transportation programs by working with local transportation management authorities and supporting the use of car pooling. We encourage our employees to use alternatives to single occupancy vehicles by subsidizing the purchase of transit passes and enabling employees to fund many of their additional commuting expenses, such as vanpools and parking at public transportation stations, by using pre-tax dollars through our Commuter Benefits Program.

 

Health & Wellness

Indoor Environmental Quality
Thermal comfort and air quality are fundamental to healthy and productive workplaces. Boston Properties assures thermal comfort by continuously monitoring space temperature set points across the portfolio with advanced building management systems. Air quality is routinely and proactively tested for volatile organic compounds, mold, and carbon dioxide concentration. We understand that the creation of great space requires careful consideration of the lives inside our buildings. We strive to create these great places by incorporating principles like biophilic design, connecting occupants with the natural environment, and developing supporting restaurant, retail, and service amenities that nourish and delight our customers.

Green Cleaning
All regions have formalized a Green Cleaning requirement with cleaning vendors to minimize the impact of cleaning products on the environment. Aspects of this requirement include using Green Seal Certified cleaning products, High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuums, dry cleaning for carpets, and restroom supply products made from recycled materials. Our Green Cleaning program benefits both the janitorial workers within our buildings and our tenants because the cleaning methods and products used do not include toxic chemicals that can cause respiratory and dermatological problems. Indoor air quality has also improved as a result of the use of HEPA vacuums. The cleanliness of our properties is maintained by over 1,000 janitors and porters who are trained in green practices and use Green Seal Certified products.

Employee Health and Wellness Program
Our financial performance depends on healthy and productive employees. Our employee benefit programs are designed to meet the needs of our diverse workforce and support our employees and their families by offering comprehensive programs that provide flexibility and choice in coverage. Our Employee Wellness Program, established to encourage employees to improve their health and well-being, offers wellness activities facilitated through an engaging and personalized approach. Incentives for enrollment include a health care coverage premium credit and smart fitness gadgets.

The Boston Properties benefits program is designed to offer valuable resources to protect and enhance financial security and to help balance work and personal life. Some of the benefits that we offer our employees include health and dental insurance, a 401(k) plan with a generous matching contribution and an employee stock purchase plan, health care and dependent care reimbursement accounts, income protection through our sick pay, salary continuation and long term disability policies, a scholarship program for the children of employees, a commuter subsidy to support the use of public transportation, tuition reimbursement, and paid vacation, holiday, and personal days to balance work and personal life.

Quality Workplace
Maintaining a quality workplace is central to demonstrating our commitment to each of our employees. As an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer, Boston Properties is committed to fair and impartial treatment of all employees and maintains a respectful workplace free from all types of discriminatory harassment. Employees undergo regular training to understand our policy against harassment and their responsibilities under our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics with respect to conflicts of interest, fraud, financial reporting, and dealing fairly in our business relationships. Our quality workplace ensures that employees have the opportunity to make their maximum contribution to Boston Properties and to their own career goals, while simultaneously serving the requirements of society, the law, sound business practices, and individual dignity.

By providing a quality workplace and comprehensive benefit programs, we recognize the commitment of our employees to bring their talent, energy and experience to Boston Properties, which allows us to lead the industry in every facet of our operations. Our continued success is attributable to their expertise and dedication. The success of our efforts in the workplace is demonstrated by the long tenure of our employees and union workers, over 40% of whom have worked at Boston Properties for more than 10 years.

 

Community Involvement

We are a leading property owner and developer in all four of the major markets we serve.  As a result, our local teams are very engaged in their local communities, not only seeking entitlements, but also determining how our projects can enhance neighborhood amenities and quality of life. Our community involvement was strengthened in 2015 by our ongoing commitment to volunteerism and philanthropy. Throughout the year we donated 4,300 service hours to over 100 community events and charitable activities.

31 Nights of Light

31 Nights of Light
Since 2009, 31 Nights of Light has become a Boston holiday tradition. Each night of December, the top of the Prudential Tower is lit with a different color in support of that night’s partner, using a state-of-the-art LED lighting system on the 51st floor. 2015 saw the highest number of applications to date, with 57 nonprofits vying for the available spots, which shows the success of the event for the organizations that are able to participate.

United Way

United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley
A longtime supporter of the United Way, Boston Properties sponsors annual fundraising campaigns across our offices, and participates in United Way Community Care Days. In 2015, over 40 employees contributed 300 hours to a childhood intervention center that serves the Mystic Valley and a community art center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

United Playaz

United Playaz
United Playaz (UP) is a multi-generational and multicultural violence prevention organization serving young people across San Francisco. UP is committed to improving the lives of youth surviving in vulnerable environments. The clubhouse is situated in the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood, where the majority of our new development is occurring. Boston Properties has partnered with Clark Construction Group, Hathaway Dinwiddie, GCI General Contractors and Peacock Construction to remodel the UP Clubhouse and provide new furnishings.

Salvatori Center

The Salvadori Center Charrette
The Salvadori Annual Student Design Charrette brings together 100 students from schools across New York City to participate in an all-day design challenge. Students are encouraged to express their creativity. At the conclusion of the charrette, design solutions are presented and tested.

Spanish Education Development Center

Spanish Education Development Center (SED)
Since 2006 we have contributed to the construction and operation of this child development center which provides free child care and development services for approximately 160 disadvantaged children in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, DC.

 

 Case Studies

888 Boylston, Boston's Most Sustainable Building

As Eataly, Under Armour, Tesla and others open their doors for business, we're transitioning from developing to operating a building that has been called Boston's Most Sustainable. Read the case study to learn more about why 888 Boylston Street is our greenest building.

A Golden Performance at 100 Federal Street

Boston Properties becomes an early adopter of LEED® Dynamic Plaque, a building performance scoring and monitoring platform.

Thinking on the Bright Side

Cutting edge LED lighting technology has been adopted at the Prudential Center garage, reducing operating costs and carbon emissions.

Greening an Architectural Landmark

Simple systems tweaks lead to big cost savings at Boston’s most iconic building.

Home Grown Clean Energy at Bay Colony

Bay Colony shines with the largest garage-mounted solar canopy in the Northeastern United States.

Urban Bee Keeping

Find out what all the buzz is about at Atlantic Wharf!

Weston Corporate Center Deep Water Source Cooling System

See how we took advantage of the natural resources at Weston Corporate Center to create a state of the art deep water cooling system.

Harvesting Rain at Atlantic Wharf

Harvesting rain at Atlantic Wharf has helped to save over 12.5 million gallons of water annually-that’s 19 Olympic sized swimming pools! 

701 Carnegie Center

701 Carnegie Center achieves LEED Gold Certification with careful development strategies.

Democracy Tower

High-performance glass and occupancy sensors help reduce the energy usage in this LEED CS Gold building in Reston Town Center.

 

GRI Index

STRATEGY AND ANALYSIS

G4-1

Annual Report 2015, page 11

ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILE

G4-2

Annual Report 2015 Form 10-K, page 23; Sustainability Report 2015, page 3-18

G4-3

Boston Properties Inc., Boston Properties Limited Partnership

G4-4

Annual Report 2015 Form 10-K, page 1

G4-5

The Prudential Center, 800 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02199-8103

G4-6

Annual Report 2015 Form 10-K, page 1-2

G4-7

Annual Report 2015 Form 10-K, page 1-2

G4-8

Annual Report 2015 Form 10-K, page 1-2, 30-34

G4-9

Annual Report 2015 Form 10-K page 1, 30-34, 39-42

G4-10

Annual Report 2015 Form 10-K, page 1; Sustainability Report 2015, page 3

G4-13

Annual Report 2015 Form 10-K Page 1-5

G4-15

Sustainability Report 2015, page 5

G4-16

Sustainability Report 2015, page 9

IDENTIFIED MATERIAL ASPECTS AND BOUNDARIES

G4-17

Annual Report 2015 Form 10-K, page 1-2

G4-18

Sustainability Report 2015, page 4, 10, 13-14

G4-19

Sustainability Report 2015, page 4.

G4-20

Sustainability Report 2015, page 3, 10-17

G4-21

Sustainability Report 2015, page 3, 10-17

STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT

G4-24

Sustainability Report 2015, page 4

G4-26

Sustainability Report 2015, page 4

REPORT PROFILE

G4-28

Fiscal year ended December 31, 2015

G4-29

July, 2015

G4-30

Annual (for Annual Report)

G4-31

Ben Myers, Sustainability Manager at Boston Properties, Email: bmyers@bostonproperties.com

G4-32

This report contains Standard Disclosures from the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines

G4-33

Report not assured

GOVERNANCE

G4-34

Annual Report 2015 Form 10-K, page 11, 169

ETHICS AND INTEGRITY

G4-56

Sustainability Report 2015, page 3; Annual Report 2015 Form 10-K, page 10-11; Website, Corporate Governance, Code of Conduct and Ethics, Policy on Political Spending

CATEGORY: ECONOMIC

MATERIAL ASPECT: ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE

G4-DMA

Annual Report 2015 Form 10-K, page 1-2, 11, 13-29, 23, 39-42, 103-167, 162, 169; Sustainability Report 2015, page 9-13; Website, Sustainability, Community

G4-EC1

Annual Report 2015 Form 10-K, page 39-42, 103-167, 169; Website, Sustainability, Community

G4-EC2

Annual Report 2015 Form 10-K, page 23; Sustainability Report 2015, page 9-13

G4-EC3

Annual Report 2015 Form 10-K, page 162

CATEGORY: ENVIRONMENTAL

MATERIAL ASPECT: MATERIALS

G4-DMA

Sustainability Report 2015, page 4, 10

MATERIAL ASPECT: ENERGY

G4-DMA

Sustainability Report 2015 page 4, 6-7, 11-12

G4-EN3

Sustainability Report 2015, page 7

G4-EN4

Sustainability Report 2015, page 7

G4-EN5/CRE1

Sustainability Report 2015, page 7

G4-EN6

Sustainability Report 2015, page 7, 12

G4-EN7

Sustainability Report 2015, page 7, 12

MATERIAL ASPECT: WATER

G4-DMA

Sustainability Report 2015 page 4, 6, 8, 13

G4-EN8

Sustainability Report 2015, page 8

G4-CRE2

Sustainability Report 2015, page 8

MATERIAL ASPECT: EMISSIONS

G4-DMA

Sustainability Report 2015 page 4, 6-7, 11-12

G4-EN15

Sustainability Report 2015, page 7

G4-EN16

Sustainability Report 2015, page 7

G4-EN19

Sustainability Report 2015, page 7

MATERIAL ASPECT: EFFLUENTS AND WASTE

G4-DMA

Sustainability Report 2015, page 4, 6, 8, 14

G4-EN23

Sustainability Report 2015 page 8, 14

MATERIAL ASPECT: PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

G4-DMA

Sustainability Report 2015 page 4, 6-14

G4-EN27

Sustainability Report 2015 page 4, 7-14

MATERIAL ASPECT: COMPLIANCE

G4-DMA

Website, Corporate Governance, Code of Conduct and Ethics

MATERIAL ASPECT: TRANSPORT

G4-DMA

Sustainability Report 2015, page 15

MATERIAL ASPECT: OVERALL

G4-DMA

Sustainability Report 2015, page 4, 6-9, 11-14

CATEGORY: SOCIAL

SUB-CATEGORY: HUMAN RIGHTS

MATERIAL ASPECT: NON-DISCRIMINATION

G4-DMA

Sustainability Report 2015, page 17; Website, Sustainability, Diversity and Commitment to Quality Workplace

SUB-CATEGORY: SOCIETY

MATERIAL ASPECT: LOCAL COMMUNITIES

G4-DMA

Sustainability Report 2015, page 18

MATERIAL ASPECT: ANTI-CORRUPTION

G4-DMA

Annual Report 2015 Form 10-K, page 11; Sustainability Report 2015, page 17; Website, Corporate Governance, Code of Conduct and Ethics

MATERIAL ASPECT: PUBLIC POLICY

G4-DMA

Annual Report 2015 Form 10-K, page 12; Sustainability Report 2015, page 17; Website, Corporate Governance, Code of Conduct and Ethics, Policy on Political Spending

MATERIAL ASPECT: COMPLIANCE

G4-DMA

Sustainability Report 2015, page 17; Website, Corporate Governance, Code of Conduct and Ethics

SUB-CATEGORY: PRODUCT RESPONSIBILITY

MATERIAL ASPECT: PRODUCT AND SERVICE LABELING

G4-DMA

Sustainability Report 2015, page 4, 8-9

G4-CRE8

Sustainability Report 2015, page 8-9

MATERIAL ASPECT: COMPLIANCE

G4-DMA

Sustainability Report 2015, page 17; Website, Corporate Governance, Code of Conduct and Ethics

 

Sustainability Reports

2015 Sustainability Report   2014 Sustainability Report   2013 Sustainability Report

 

 

Logo