As one of the largest owners and developers of office properties in the United States, Boston Properties continually seeks ways to promote our growth and improve our performance by attracting and retaining tenants and controlling our costs. We believe that by embracing sustainability principles we promote our growth as responsible owners, developers, and managers of healthy and productive workspaces. Our sustainability strategy is broadly focused on the material economic, social, and environmental aspects of our activities. We strive to create healthy and productive workspaces while simultaneously mitigating operational costs and potential external impacts of energy, water, waste and greenhouse gas emissions. As a company with a core strategy of long-term ownership, we develop properties with high quality building materials and efficient mechanical systems to reduce utility demand, replacement and repairs, and to ensure our buildings remain flexible, competitive, and resilient for the long term. We focus our efforts on the areas we can control and where we can make significant impacts. These include the design and construction of our new developments and the operation of our existing buildings. 

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 occupied and actively managed office buildings represent 85% of our portfolio gross square footage. By concentrating on similarly situated buildings we are able to meaningfully benchmark performance and judge the effectiveness of our sustainability measures. Unless otherwise noted, energy, water, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions 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.

GRESB LogoBoston Properties is committed to measuring, managing, and reporting sustainability performance indicators.  Since 2012 we have participated in the annual Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (“GRESB”) survey. The GRESB survey is uniquely designed for commercial real estate and provides a dynamic benchmark used by institutional investors interested in sustainability performance. The survey disclosure covers a broad range of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) data, including energy and water consumption, green building and energy certification, sustainability risk assessments, and stakeholder engagement.

The success of the Boston Properties sustainability program is demonstrated by our GRESB results. Every year we have participated we have ranked in the top quadrant and were awarded the highest Green Star rating.  In 2014 Boston Properties ranked 2nd among U.S. office companies, 3rd among North American Real Estate companies, and 17th out of 637 global companies – among the top 3% of all participants. We also received the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) Leader in the Light ‘Most Improved’ special recognition award for year-over-year sustainability indicator performance.

Our Board of Directors supports our efforts to implement our strategy through our sustainability program.  Our Chief Financial Officer and our General Counsel, who oversee a Sustainability Committee with representatives from all of our regions, formally discuss our sustainability program with our Board of Directors annually and obtain their input. The Sustainability Committee has the following goals: 

  • to identify and execute new strategies for promoting sustainability in new construction, existing buildings and corporate operations;
  • to enhance the Company’s processes for collecting and reporting sustainability performance information;
  • to promote communication across the Company and share “best practices;” 
  • to assess the cost effectiveness of small and large scale projects and programs; and
  • to follow new regulatory requirements and cooperate with regulators to make new requirements meaningful.

This report reflects our ongoing commitment to the transparency of our sustainability program and its achievements. While we are proud of the results of our efforts to date, we will continue to assess where risk and opportunity lie in order to most effectively focus our sustainability initiatives.

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, fuel oil, and district heating and cooling using Energy Intelligence Software (EIS), EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager and energy audits. Our regional managers and heads of property management are accountable in their annual quantifiable performance goals for the success of their efforts to measure and improve our efficiency as measured on this system.  These goals are formulated starting with specific performance at the incremental building level which is consolidated by our property management groups to establish region-wide goals.

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.

Our buildings are primarily located in cities which are actively regulating building sustainability performance, particularly as it relates to energy efficiency.  By trying to keep ahead of regulatory requirements through addressing the sustainable operation of our buildings, we demonstrate leadership in our communities and mitigate the risk of being rushed into costly measures to catch up with new legal requirements.  In our regions we have developed relationships with policymakers so that we can better understand existing regulations and partner with policymakers going forward in formulating new requirements.

Energy Conservation Measures

We are committed to identifying and implementing energy conservation measures (ECMs) and capital improvements that reduce energy use. ECMs are reviewed and the projects that meet certain investment criteria are implemented. Since 2008, Boston Properties has reduced like-for-like site energy use intensity (EUI) 9.4%, saving 75,000 MWh per year. Over the past two years, energy conservation has saved an estimated $9.3 Million.

The following are example ECMs that have produced significant energy savings and reduced operating expenses: 

Lighting - We are installing higher efficiency lighting in public spaces, garages, stairways and elevators as well as installing motion sensors to control lighting in many of our hallways, restrooms, and health clubs. Additionally, we are increasing our reliance on natural light by installing photo sensors to control lighting in many common areas.

Central Plant Improvements - Modernization and reconstruction of base building mechanical systems save energy while maintaining and/or improving air quality and thermal comfort. Upgrades have been made to heating and cooling systems, including: boiler retrofits, compressor replacements, addition of variable frequency drives, optimization of ventilation air by adding airflow monitoring, installation of heat exchangers, improved filtration on cooling towers and digital control enhancements. We are also using high-efficiency fill and distribution pans at cooling towers and implementing programs to minimize use of water and reclaim steam condensate.

Energy Management Systems - We are replacing and upgrading our energy management, building automation systems and sensing equipment,

 including standard direct-digital controls, carbon dioxide sensors for demand control ventilation, temperature setpoints, and better user interface graphics. In addition to primary metering of energy and water at all of our properties, we have installed pulse meters that collect real-time interval data. The data streams into an EIS platform and is leveraged to achieve maximum value through analytics and economic demand response opportunities. Energy and water usage data is measured by 218 commodity meters across 99 sites in all four regions.  Once captured, data is available for any authorized user to view, analyze and use to take action. Each site engages in real-time electricity monitoring and utility bill management.  In addition, many sites engage in some combination of Energy Advisor Services, Demand Response, and Energy Procurement Services.  EIS has reduced annual like-for-like energy use by over 6,000 MWhs and saved $718,000 in 2014.

Energy Performance Indicators

Site Energy Use IntensitySite EUI is annual units of energy consumed per unit area. We calculate site EUI across our entire portfolio to benchmark our actively managed properties and monitor our energy efficiency progress. During the 2014 calendar year we reduced like-for-like site EUI by 3.5%.


We continuously monitor the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from the energy consumption of our actively managed properties and strive curtail emissions by implementing ECMs and renewable energy strategies. Emissions sources include: electricity, fuels, district heating and cooling systems. Our GHG inventory of scope 1 and 2 emissions is aligned with the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard. We monitor GHG absolute emissions (total metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) and GHG intensity (total metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per gross square foot). During the 2014 calendar year we reduced like-for-like greenhouse gas intensity by 4.0%.

We have committed to using the Portfolio Manager system to measure the results of our efforts to improve energy efficiency. All actively managed eligible buildings in our portfolio are continuously rated and benchmarked with the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager tool.  We believe that ENERGY STAR® is currently the best system for tracking and benchmarking energy performance because rather than basing results on absolute usage, it adjusts for factors which have a significant impact on relative performance, such as space use type, occupancy, runtime, and weather. Buildings with energy performance that is better than 75% of all similar buildings nationwide are eligible to apply for certification. In 2014, our 93 eligible buildings totaling 37 million square feet had an average ENERGY STAR® portfolio rating of 75. 

We earned our 50th ENERGY STAR® certification and were recognized by the EPA as Executive Members of the Certification Nation Program.

Certification Nation 2014








In 2015 Boston Properties will generate more than 1 million kilowatt-hours renewably onsite. 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. In 2014 we commissioned the largest garage-mounted solar canopy in New England. We are actively researching and pursing the adoption of alternative and renewable energy technology at our existing buildings and new development. 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.

Over the past four years, Boston Properties has upgraded plumbing fixtures across more than 33% of our portfolio. Since 2008, Boston Properties has reduced like-for-like water use intensity (gal/SF) by 19.8%.Water conservation measures implemented over the last two years have reduced like-for-like water consumption by more than 12%, producing an estimated water utility cost savings of $2.3 million. 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.

Boston Properties recognizes the growing importance of water conservation and is focused on implementing smart irrigation and water efficient landscaping practices at existing buildings and new developments. 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.

We use ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager to monitor and benchmark water usage in buildings where we have access to water meter data. In 2014 the portfolio had an average water use of 15.7 gallons per square foot, down 1.2% from 2013 and 5.7% from a 2008 baseline.

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, more than 58% of office waste by weight is recycled across our portfolio, a 22% increase from 36% in 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. 

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, sustainable “Green” buildings. The USGBC’s LEED certification follows a rigorous registration process which includes independent, third-party building evaluations. The LEED green building certification program recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices by awarding buildings Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum ratings. 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

Boston Properties evaluates each new development to determine whether it is physically practical and economically feasible to produce a LEED certified building. Barring unusual use, site, or design constraints, we target LEED-Silver or better on all developments. From 2008 through 2014, we completed 13 LEED certified new development projects totaling 5 million square feet. LEED green building certification of 7 new development projects totaling 2.7 million square feet is in progress. 



LEED for Existing Buildings

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. We have certified 14 of our actively managed properties totaling 9.7 million square feet. 



Green Building Education and Training

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.  As of January 1, 2015, 72 managers and staff across our development, construction and property management departments were LEED Accredited Professionals or Green Associates. 25 building engineers have received Green Professional (G-Pro) Operations & Maintenance building skills training, a program which is endorsed by the USGBC. In addition, across our regions our trained property management staff strives to make tenants more aware of energy codes and energy saving opportunities.  

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 across the Company 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.

More than 77% of the square footage of our properties is located in central business districts with ready access to public transportation. The following options and amenities are available within 0.25 miles of our buildings to support non-single occupancy vehicle transportation:n 77% of the square footage of our properties is located in central business districts with ready access to public transportation. The following options and amenities are available within 0.25 miles of our buildings to support non-single occupancy vehicle transportation:




Boston Properties collaborates with tenants to create sustainable workspaces. We recognize that operational sustainability cannot be achieved without sustainable occupant behavior and alignment of our sustainability efforts with our tenants.

Green Leasing - One of the ways we limit our environmental impact and improve the sustainability of our operations is through our leasing activity. Our master lease form includes: cost recovery for capital expenditures made to reduce operating expenses, cost recovery for certifications (including LEED and ENERGY STAR®), submetering of high intensity tenant equipment, and required tenant energy disclosure. In 2015 the U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings Alliance and Institute for Market Transformation named Boston Properties a Green Lease Leader.

Green Cleaning - All Boston Properties regions have formalized a “Green Cleaning” requirement with their cleaning vendors to minimize the impact of cleaning products on the environment. Aspects of this requirement include using GreenSeal approved cleaning products, HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuums, dry cleaning for carpets and restroom supply products made from recycled materials. Utilizing a 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 cleaning chemicals that can cause respiratory and dermatological problems. Indoor air quality has also improved as a result of the use of high efficiency particulate arrestor HEPA vacuums.  The cleanliness of our properties is maintained by over 1,000 janitors and porters who are trained in green practices and use GreenSeal certified products.

Greening 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.


Through financial contributions, in-kind donations and volunteerism, Boston Properties and its employees make a positive impact on its communities, examples of which are described below.

As a supporter of the United Way, Boston Properties sponsors Community Care Days and other fundraising campaigns.  We take great pride in partnering with our employees for fundraising efforts.  Our employees and Boston Properties have contributed to relief funds for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, the devastating tornadoes in the Midwest, the Haiti Earthquake, the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami, Superstorm Sandy and the Boston Marathon Bombing.  Boston Properties also provided office space free of charge to the Boston One Fund, the charitable organization established to raise funds for the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing.

Across all of our regions, Boston Properties is committed to making charitable contributions to organizations specifically benefitting the environments in which our buildings are located. Examples of these organizations include: the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Open Space Land Trust and Guadalupe River Park and Garden Association in San Francisco; Titus Sparrow Park, the Esplanade Association, Blue Hill Observatory and the Boston Harbor Association in Boston; Friends of the Shore in New York; and in Washington DC, the DC Preservation League and American Forests, the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country.

In our Washington, DC region, employees compete annually in the JDRF Real Estate Games, an Olympic-style sporting event raising money to fight type 1 diabetes. The 2013 event was hugely successful, raising over $415,000 to help find a cure for the disease.


Hoops for Hope   

Boston Properties was instrumental in the founding of Spanish Education Development, a non-profit organization dedicated to designing and implementing educational programs for low income residents of the Washington, DC metro area and their families.

As part of this commitment to supporting education in the DC Metro area, in 2013 Boston Properties participated in the first annual Hoops for Hope event, benefiting the Washington Middle School for Girls.


Spanish Education Development


Boston Properties is a supporter of Reston Interfaith, a local grassroots non-profit organization offering support with dignity to those in a transitional part of their lives.  Boston Properties’ efforts in supporting this and other non-profit programs in Reston, Virginia resulted in the Company being awarded Best of Reston in 2011.

In New York we light up our buildings in pink to promote breast cancer awareness in the days leading up to the Susan G. Komen New York City Race for the Cure.  Each December as part of its 31 Nights of Light program, Boston Properties lights the top of the Prudential Tower in Boston in different colors to shine a light on the work of numerous charitable organizations.

The Gallery at Atlantic Wharf in Boston provides exhibit space to support the work of local artists and is currently programmed by The Fort Point Arts Community, Inc., a non-profit community organization run by neighborhood artists and volunteers.


                        Atlantic Wharf Art - 1     Atlantic Wharf Art - 2 


At 601 Lexington Avenue in New York, we support the work of community artists through exhibitions in the Galleries in the upper and lower levels of the Atrium Shops and Cafes.

In San Francisco we support Jumpstart, a learning program for disadvantaged children, which utilizes the holiday ice skating rink at Justin Hermann Plaza for a day of ice skating, face painting, arts and crafts and literary activities.


Ice Skating Rink 2


The Prudential Center in Boston hosts a weekly farmer’s market from May to October to provide fresh produce, meats, cheeses and breads to our tenants and the community and support the efforts of local farmers.


                        Pru Farmers Market 1     Pru Farmers Market 2


In Princeton, New Jersey Boston Properties holds an annual Thanksgiving food drive for HomeFront New Jersey, an organization that provides food each month to over 800 needy families with children in Trenton.  The 2013 drive raised over 2,300 pounds of non-perishable food and 6 Thanksgiving baskets.

Carnegie Center in Princeton, New Jersey hosts the Carnegie Center 5K for The Parkinson Alliance. In 2012 there were 825 participants raising a total of $88,000 in revenue for Parkinson’s research. Boston Properties also held a charity clothing drive in 2012 for the Rescue Mission of Trenton, which resulted in 1,220 pounds of clothing collected.


Carnegie Center Run


Boston Properties is working with the City of Boston and the Green Ribbon Commission to support the Greenovate Boston Campaign by raising awareness of collective sustainability efforts throughout the City to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Boston Properties has posted signs in its buildings and distributed literature to its tenants featuring green tips and best practices. We also include a “Seeing Green” section in our quarterly tenant newsletter in Boston highlighting our green programs, successes, and tips.

Each year at The Shops at Prudential Center we host a Volunteer Expo featuring over 50 non-profit groups who distribute information about volunteer activities for doing positive things in the community. 

In Boston and New York during the spring and fall each year we support Lights Out in our towers to encourage tenants to turn out all lights at night to assist the migration of birds through the area.

Boston Properties is proud that our commitment to environmental stewardship was recognized in 2011 in the City of Boston by the prestigious EPA Environmental Award for Commitment to Sustainability in our buildings and our contributions to the community.

Diversity and Commitment to Quality Workplace

The commitment of each of our more than 750 employees is vital to our success.  We believe that a quality workplace and comprehensive benefit programs are central to establishing and maintaining this commitment.

Boston Properties is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer.  We are committed to fair and impartial treatment in all of our relations with employees, as well as applicants for employment, to recruit, upgrade, train, and promote in all job titles without regard to race, color, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, protected veteran status, genetic information or any other legally protected characteristic.  In addition, Boston Properties complies with applicable state and local laws prohibiting discrimination in employment in each jurisdiction in which it maintains facilities.  Managers base employment decisions on the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity, including but not limited to decisions concerning recruiting, hiring, upgrading and downgrading, discharge, training, promotions (in all job titles), compensation, benefits, layoffs, returns from layoffs and social and recreational programs.  The intention behind our policy is to provide an equal employment opportunity program that will simultaneously serve the requirements of society, the law, sound business practices, and individual dignity.  By this program, Boston Properties wishes to ensure that all employees have the opportunity to make their maximum contribution to Boston Properties and to their own career goals.

We are also committed to maintaining a respectful workplace which includes a working environment that is free from sexual harassment and other types of discriminatory harassment.  To reinforce this commitment, the Company has developed a policy against harassment and a reporting procedure for employees who have been subjected to or witnessed harassment.  This policy applies to all work-related settings and activities, whether inside or outside the workplace, and includes business trips and business-related social events.  In addition, we have developed a comprehensive ethics training program and regularly train employees regarding their obligations under our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.  The training is designed to reinforce the ethical standards we are committed to and our employees understand their responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest, fraud, financial reporting, and dealing fairly in our business relationships, among other matters.

The Boston Properties benefits program is designed to support the changing needs of our diverse workforce and offers valuable resources to protect and enhance financial security and to help balance work and personal life.  Our program is comprehensive and competitive and offers flexibility and choice in coverage.  Some of the benefits that we offer our employees are:

  • Health and Dental insurance to allow employees to obtain the care they need and to stay healthy.
  • 401(k) plan with a generous matching contribution to help our employees achieve their desired standard of living in retirement.
  • Health Care and Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts, to provide tax-free funds for out-of-pocket medical, dental and vision care, or child and elder care expenses.
  • Income protection through our sick pay, salary continuation and long term disability policies to protect our employees if they cannot work.
  • Employee Stock Purchase Plan for the opportunity to acquire ownership interest in the Company and share in its growth and success.
  • The Boston Properties Scholarship Program, a scholarship fund for the children of our employees to help reach their higher education goals.;
  • Commuter Subsidy to support the use of public transportation and the opportunity to pay for additional monthly transportation and parking expenses using pre-tax dollars;
  • Tuition Reimbursement to assist our employees in advancing their careers and encourage professional development.
  • Vacation, holidays and personal days help our employees to balance work and personal life.

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% have worked at Boston Properties for more than 10 years.

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 abut 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.