About the Challenge for Sustainability

The Challenge for Sustainability was launched in 2009 to leverage the environmental leadership of Boston’s private sector. Since its inception, the Challenge has fostered over 1,500 sustainability projects and initiatives, helping participants reduce 18% of total greenhouse gas emissions to date, and save millions of dollars in energy and operational costs. Endorsed by the City of Boston, the Challenge works with the region’s top building owners, institutions and companies demonstrating that sustainable business is smart business.


  1. Offer participants integrated strategies to increase energy efficiency, reduce environmental impact and decrease operational costs.
  2. Achieve or exceed a cumulative average of 2.5% greenhouse gas reduction per year.
  3. Assist commercial real estate sector in meeting the “25% by 2020” goal of the Climate Action Plans of Massachusetts, and the cities of Boston and Cambridge.
  4. Enhance the visibility and recognition of Challenge participants as leaders in climate change and sustainability.
  5. Share successes and learn best practices.

Why Participate?

The facts show that sustainability is good for business.

  • Since 2009, our participants have reduced energy consumption by over 88 million kWh—for over $7 million in savings.
  • Through lighting, boiler, air conditioning and other improvements, Putnam Investments has received $250,000 in utility incentives.
  • The Marriott Copley installed 1,147 programmable thermostats, for $90,00 in utility incentives.
  • Through rainwater harvesting, Beacon Capital saves 68,000 gallons of water annually.

Challenge participants receive hands-on technical assistance and guidance, and have direct access to city, state, and private incentives and subsidies.

Participants Receive:

  1. Use of ABC’s online Sustainability Scorecard to benchmark their facilities
  2. Development of a comprehensive Sustainability Action Plan for their facilities
  3. Complimentary workshops and trainings
  4. Dedicated support from Challenge staff
  5. Free energy audits for facilities under 300kw
  6. Utility rebates and incentives worth more than 70% of the cost of implementation
  7. Discounted waste audits
  8. Best practices and information sharing within a network of trained professionals
  9. Access to the Online Sustainability Toolkit and resource directory
  10. Recognition of their achievements through annual awards

Learn more about the Challenge for Sustainability program by downloading the Participant Overview Packet!


Your Commitment

The Challenge for Sustainability was conceived with business owners and building managers in mind. While involvement may vary, the average participant spends just 2-4 hours/month engaging with the program.

Who Can Participate?

The program is designed for buildings over 35,000 square feet and large employers / tenants actively engaged in reducing GHG emissions and sustainability practices.
Join the Challenge!