When you think of big polluters, you probably think of smoke stacks and tail pipes. But an office building? A department store? The numbers might surprise you.
According to the US Department of Energy, commercial buildings account for almost a fifth of the nation's energy consumption. They also contribute 18 percent of our carbon dioxide emissions.
To help reduce and reverse this trend, the DOE has formed the Commercial Real Estate Energy Alliance. Some of the country's top commercial real estate owners and operators have volunteered to work with DOE to improve the energy consumption of commercial buildings. The new program will link building owners and operators with applicable research and technologies being developed at DOE's Labs.
The Retailer Energy Alliance launched last year aims to achieve zero-energy commercial buildings by 2025. Members include Wal-mart, Target and Macy's.
The DOE says these partnerships will help speed up the adoption of high-performance, energy-efficient buildings. This will help reduce CO2 emissions that contribute to climate change.