International Council of Shopping Centers ICSC ICSC Property Efficiency Scorecard

Paladino began collaborating with the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) late last year to develop an online tool to help shopping center owners and their property managers assess and improve the performance of their existing properties.

Now in its pilot phase, the ICSC Property Efficiency Scorecard will allow subscribers to benchmark their property or portfolio performance anonymously against other users, provide a framework for sustainability improvements and create standardized reports to explain performance data to internal and external stakeholders.

Sustainability in Shopping Centers

ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. As part of its mission to advance the shopping center industry, ICSC is supporting member interest in sustainability as an opportunity to improve property operations and showcase their commitment to preserving the environment.

Shopping center owners face a number of challenges to achieve more efficient centers, due to the complex nature of their businesses. The wide variety of tenants, business structures and geographies makes it difficult to compare one shopping center with another to establish a baseline for metrics such as water and energy use.

With tenants, not owners, controlling much of the resource use, it isn’t easy to manage and track progress, and there is no single best practice for sub-metering and billing utilities.

Because of these complexities, retail landlords have been particularly challenged when trying to adopt systems like LEED or ENERGY STAR to the degree that commercial office buildings, educational institutions or even retail stores have.

Property Efficiency Scorecard

The ICSC Property Efficiency Scorecard is designed to alleviate these issues by creating a comprehensive shopping center-specific framework that fills the gap in the market and allow owners to compare their portfolio to an established, common baseline. The ultimate goal is to enable shopping center owners to capture cost savings through energy, water, waste and other operational best practices – cost savings that many owners are missing out on today.

The scorecard and supporting cloud-based data platform enables users to track information about building performance and create reduction targets for property waste, water use and energy use. The tool will also include a knowledge center of industry-specific tested strategies to help owners manage to higher performance, and standard reports for communicating green success to employees, tenants, investors and customers.

The Scorecard not only allows owners to compare their own properties with one another, but provides access to anonymized data from other users, allowing comparison between competing properties.

The ability to share data with competitors, while preserving anonymity, provides an industry-specific yardstick for performance. As Will Tiechman, director of sustainability at Kimco Realty, said in an article in Shopping Centers Today, “We may think we are doing well as measured against ourselves, but if we are operating in a bubble, we really don’t see the whole picture.”

The Scorecard Pilot

To develop the scorecard, the ICSC Board of Trustees formed a steering committee late last year, made up of approximately 25 of the leading shopping center operators in the US and Canada, representing open air and enclosed centers. The steering committee defined the functional requirements of the tool and is now working with its selected providers, Paladino and FrontRunner, to develop and test the Scorecard.

A small group of shopping center owners began piloting the Scorecard earlier this year. They will test the system and provide feedback before it is launched to a broader audience. Participants in the pilot include The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited, Equity One, Inc. GGP, Inland American Retail Management, LLC, Kemper Development Company, Kimco Realty Corp. Macerich, Oxford Properties, Primaris Management, Inc., and Vornado Realty Trust.

Pilot participants have provided data for representative centers that is being used to create the Property Efficiency normalization factors and benchmarks. In addition, the data is being used to shape data entry fields in the Scorecard tool so that they align with the data owners receive from utilities and bill providers. Pilot participants will be the first to test online versions of the performance-based scorecard to confirm that it is comprehensive and workable for shopping center owners.

Next Steps

The Scorecard is set to launch publicly to subscribers during the ICSC RetailGreen conference, December 3-4 in Phoenix, AZ. You can read more about the current status of this important initiative in the July 2013 issue of Shopping Centers Today.

Patrick Leonard is the leader of Paladino’s Portfolio Services practices that specialize in performance optimization of new construction and existing building portfolios.

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