Corporate Sustainability Strategies (CSS) is an independent commercial real estate sustainability consulting firm, passionate about results. Services are client-centric, centered on driving enhanced financial returns by designing and implementing cost effective sustainability strategies.
Companies may have dipped their toe in the water of sustainability and have achieved an ENERGY STAR Label or perhaps even LEED certification. These are great tactical actions and provide advantages. However, Corporate Sustainability Strategies takes sustainability to the next level by developing an over-arching strategy that integrates sustainability into the way organizations do business.
Brenna S. Walraven
BOMA Fellow, BOMI-HP®, CPM® , RPA®
President & CEO
Corporate Sustainability Strategies
Brenna Walraven is an internationally recognized leader in the commercial real estate industry and sustainability realm. She has excelled at leading large, diverse real estate organizations and has served some of the most discriminating institutional investors.
In 2014, Ms. Walraven founded Corporate Sustainability Strategies (CSS), a firm dedicated to providing best practice solutions for organizations by helping them develop and implement business case focused environmental, corporate social responsibility, and governance (ESG) strategies. After almost 17 years with USAA Real Estate, Ms. Walraven’s clients today represent both publicly and privately held real estate companies, representing approximately $100 billion in Assets under Management (AuM) throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
CSS helps clients develop and implement strategies in areas of real estate operations, asset management, investor engagement, and sustainability. Ms. Walraven has served in various executive-level roles, including Head of Property Operations and Portfolio Manager, providing strategic leadership for national, multi-sector real estate portfolio. In these roles, she regularly engaged with investors, joint venture partners, development partners, and over saw property management, leasing, national accounts’ procurement, sustainability, risk management, and insurance for assets in every sector (office, industrial, retail, hotel, multifamily, mixed-use, healthcare, storage, and development).
Ms. Walraven served on former California Governor Schwarzenegger’s Real Estate Leadership Council and has testified before Congress on issues of efficiency and sustainability. Ms. Walraven is former chair and chief elected officer for Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA), the first woman to serve as chair in the association’s 100-plus-year history. She is a founding leader and developer of BOMA’s Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP), which has trained over 35,000 real estate professionals since 2006. She also was part of the development of the Building Owners & Managers Institute (BOMI) High-Performance Buildings designation program, serving as an executive editor and now as an instructor.
As part of her leadership within BOMA, she partnered with Clinton Climate Initiative in 2007 to help develop a private sector approach to energy performance contracting (EPC) where retrofits are paid for over time out of the savings generated by large building retrofit projects. More recently, Ms. Walraven led the re-launch of the BOMA Energy Performance Contract (BEPC) model with new refined tools, case studies, and implementation partners.
To date, results include 22 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Awards and savings of over $50 million in operating costs. Also, led by Ms. Walraven’s expertise, USAA Real Estate and several other clients have had consistent top performance recognition with the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). Multiple funds have been awarded Green Star (top quartile performance recognition) and have ranked in the top five performers for nine of the ten years of GRESB’s existence. One client has been named GRESB Sector Leader (#1 ranking) for North America for leadership in sustainability strategy, management, and execution.
In addition to serving on several Advisory Boards, being an accomplished author, a sought-after speaker, and an instructor for over 25 years, Ms. Walraven thoroughly enjoys helping organizations and teams pursue excellence and do well by doing good. She is a BOMA Fellow, and she holds a B.A. in Economics and MBA, with an emphasis in finance and real estate, from University of Southern California.
Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International
- Former Chair & Chief Elected Officer – 1st woman in 100-plus-year history of organization
- Executive Editor and Subject Matter Expert, BOMA Green Lease Guide 2018
- BOMA Fellow
- Founding Member & Former Chair, BOMA Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP)
- Developed BEEP, BEEP 2.0, BEEP for Industrial, BEEP Plus: Renewables & Clean Technologies, and BEEP Plus: Advanced Metering & Monitoring
- Founding Member & Chair, BOMA Energy Performance Contract Model (BEPC) Task Force
- Developed BEPC and created industry toolkit
- Founding Member, BOMA International Sustainability Task Force
BOMI International, Property and Facility Management Education
- Executive Editor and Subject Matter Expert in development of High-Performance Sustainable Buildings curriculum and instruction
Real Estate Roundtable (RER)
- Board Member (2007/2008)
- Vice Chair, Sustainability Policy Advisory Council (SPAC)
- Member, SPAC Member (2000 to present)
Real Estate Forum’s 65th Anniversary
- Honoree for Next Generation of Leaders
Health & Wellness
- Fitwel Ambassador – ambassadors are well-versed in evidence-based connection between design and health (2018 to present)
- Chapman University
- Columbia University
- New York University, School of Professional Studies, Schack Institute of Real Estate
Advisory Boards, Affiliations, and Memberships
- Black Bear Energy, Advisory Board
- Blue Box, Advisory Board
- BOMA International, Fellow
- BOMA Orange County, Advisory Board Chair
- BOMI International, RPA® and BOMI-HP® (for high-performance sustainable buildings)
- Buildings, Advisory Board
- California State University, Fullerton, Real Estate Land Use Institute, Advisory Board
- Fitwel, Ambassador
- Genea, Advisory Board
- Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), Benchmarking Committee for North America
- Green Seal, Board of Directors
- Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), CPM®
- Real Estate Roundtable, Sustainability Policy Advisory Council (SPAC)
- Urban Land Institute (ULI), Responsible Property Investing Council
- US Green Building Council (USGBC), Member
- Waypoint, Advisory Board
University of Southern California (USC)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA), Finance & Real Estate
- Bachelor of Arts, Economics
Brenna participates in a variety of industry-related panel discussions and speaking engagements. She participated in the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) real estate industry working group to develop sustainability disclosure.