Green Building & Sustainable Development
Citi Celebrates New LEED Certified Office Park in Irving, Texas
Today Citi announced that it has reached a significant milestone in its "green" building program by earning Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the first time. The designation from the U.S. Green Building Council was awarded in a ceremony today at Citi's newly constructed office park in Irving and Las Colinas. The sites, which opened in August, are home for 6,800 employees.
Citi has committed to achieving environmental certification globally (LEED in the United States) for the construction of all new office buildings and operations centers and evaluation of existing larger facilities. This is a critical part of Citi's pledge to embed eco-friendly practices into its everyday business and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 10% by 2011 at its more than 14,500 facilities worldwide.
As part of this program, Citi has designed a newly opened 15-story office tower in New York City and a data center in Germany, which is still under construction, to achieve LEED Gold certification. Citi also expects to open LEED-certified retail branches in 2007.
"At Citi, we are banking on green," said Jorge Bermudez, CEO of Citibank Texas and Citi's Commercial Business Group. "Green business is good business and our approach is to embed sustainable business practices throughout our operations all over the world. For us, it is an important part of being a responsible corporate citizen."
Bermudez said Citi's commitment at the two Irving sites is evident from the floors, to the fixtures, to the footprint, which was significantly reduced when employees were consolidated from 13 locations into two.
"The goal of 'green' design is to create high-performance buildings, the results of which are a reduced environmental impact, reduced infrastructure, and reduced building operations" said Michael Kawecki, Chairman of the North Texas Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. "Citi has done a great job in achieving that goal and these sites will increase facility assets, worker productivity and lessen risk management"
A tree-planting ceremony commemorated the honor and Citi officials, along with Irving Mayor Herbert Gears, planted a 32-foot tall, 18,000-pound live oak tree to mark the milestone.
Eco-friendly features that were designed into the buildings include reflective roofs that deflect the heat to keep each building cooler; native and draught tolerant plant species and a satellite weather station controlled irrigation system that reduces water usage by 50%; and restricted flow fixtures and infrared controlled faucet valves that result in a 30% reduction in on-site water consumption.
LEED certification is the benchmark for "green building" in the U.S. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
In May, Citi
announced a $50 billion commitment over the next ten years to address global climate change, including $10 billion toward real estate. The company has also partnered with the Clinton Climate Initiative, a project of the Clinton Foundation, to retrofit older buildings and reduce energy usage. Citi committed $1 billion and will provide expertise and financing for the first generation of projects in this landmark program. A number of Citi units, including Citi Cards, Citibank and Smith Barney, encourage customers and clients to help reduce paper waste by enrolling in online statements and by making donations to plant a tree on their behalf.
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