Banking on Sustainability Commitments

A National Banking Client Case Study


One of the world’s largest financial institutions was faced with a problem. The problem did not involve the complexities of risk management or the concerns of governing regulatory policy; instead, the problem involved the operation of their real estate portfolio. How could their corporate facility management team meet public commitments announced by Senior Executives and the Board of Directors involving aggressive carbon emissions and water consumption reduction goals?

The challenge arose when the bank set a commitment of 15% carbon emission reductions and 20% water consumption reduction in facility operations from 2010 through 2015. Like most businesses, they also wanted to meet these sustainability commitments while saving money and earning an attractive ROI. What was needed was a comprehensive, data-driven energy and water consumption benchmarking and reduction tracking program.

To start, more than 15,000 facilities were placed into multiple peer groupings, ranging from ATMs to large office buildings. The massive amount of utility bills for all of these sites, containing the all-important baseline utility consumption data necessary to track reductions in use and corresponding emissions over time, was in need of data organization and a process for identifying anomalies and outliers for investigation, resolution, and action. Enter Burton ESP: the Burton Energy Strategy Platform.

Burton ESP has the ability to house national account utility data in a robust, secure SQL database that enables powerful queries and quick calculations to support client initiatives. With a dedicated team of software developers, energy analysts, and energy engineers, Burton provides ongoing services related to the importing and scrubbing of all utility data. Services provided to the bank included:

  • Anomalies are sorted out and impacts on cost and energy and water consumption are quantified. Possible underlying root causes are identified, and variance reports are created and issued to facility management partners for site level follow up.
  • Sites are ranked for energy efficiency using a customized methodology with some similarities to ENERGY STAR®, and are prioritized for capital investment programs that can reduce consumption and cost.
  • Available utility rebates are identified, enabling the bank to pursue any available utility rebates for which they might qualify.
  • Reports are generated that compare actual savings to projected savings to bolster confidence in making additional investments over time.
  • Each week, the bank and Burton work through a prioritized list of outstanding action items that assist the accurate measurement of carbon emission and water reductions.

Working in conjunction with the Bank to support their specific sustainability data needs, Burton ESP has become the tool of record for utility consumption and cost management. It is also a place to warehouse facility information including notes, pictures, and documents. The achievement of the bank’s aggressive sustainability targets is well on track, largely due to the powerful capabilities of the Burton ESP to house and manage utility information on a large scale and produce meaningful reports to assist in decision making.

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