Institute for Market Transformation Interview Brenna Walraven

Institute for Market Transformation Interview Brenna Walraven

Originally published by Institute for Market Transformation on 10/13/2022

What are the market opportunities you see that enable you to better serve clients as demand grows for better buildings?

The growing interest in ESG more broadly, to include high-performance, sustainable, healthier, safer, and more resilient buildings allows us to help organizations define for themselves what ESG and better buildings actually look like.  Because companies, communities, portfolios, and buildings are all unique, we see integration of sustainability/ESG best practices as an opportunity to not only create value but also have a meaningful impact environmentally, socially and financially.

How do you utilize and respond to building performance and climate policy in your work?

Mainly we’re helping our client navigate the complexity, particularly given that the level of change has been staggering.  Our clients appreciate our ability to not just provide insights, perspective, and expertise, but also expediency.  We help them move more nimbly, more quickly and yet do so with more confidence to work towards and achieve their goals.

How does collaboration drive your business?

Collaboration is critical.   One thing I love about the sustainability/efficiency/ESG space is that people are more than willing to share knowledge, lessons learned, and best practices – and this collaboration makes all the difference.  It’s the ability to connect with other leaders and partner with other organizations that allows us to scale and better serve our clients – too it’s what makes our work so rewarding and fun!

What industry trends are you most watching now?

Public policy, disclosure framework evolution and regulatory related changes are front and center for us and our clients.  Too, how these changes connect with decarbonization and our clients’ interest in carbon neutrality, has gone from “not interested” three years ago to “completely engaged” now.  The SEC’s proposed rule changes (and even additional rules being considered), the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD)… there are too many to name and for most of our clients, these present challenges with “how to understand and digest” and more importantly understand the right way to address and prepare for these changes.

What is one of the biggest untapped opportunities in your industry when it comes to addressing the climate crisis via buildings?

Better understanding of what climate related physical and transition risks actually are and mean for real estate investors, owners and operators.   It’s one thing to know there are growing risks, and even to have software solutions to assess those risks, but it’s quite another thing to know how to respond to the information and integrate into both business processes, execution, and properties themselves to garner greater resilience.

Institute of Market Transformation’s Ally Partnership to Increase Awareness of Building Performance Standards Requiring Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

Institute of Market Transformation’s Ally Partnership to Increase Awareness of Building Performance Standards Requiring Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

Corporate Sustainability Strategies joins Institute of Market Transformation’s as Ally Partner to increase awareness of building performance standards requiring energy efficiency in commercial buildings


HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., July 14, 2022 – Corporate Sustainability Strategies (CSS) has joined the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), a nonprofit that collaborates with building owners, tenants, governments, and others to promote energy efficiency in buildings.


“CSS is honored to be an IMT Ally Partner,” said Brenna Walraven, President and CEO, CSS. “Investors are increasingly requiring greater environmental, social, governance and resilience (ESG+R) transparency and performance benchmarking. We look forward to collaborating with IMT and bringing greater awareness of building performance standards (BPS) to address building efficiency as a means to reduce carbon emissions, and better community health, resilience, and economic opportunity.”


A BPS policy can include multiple standards, each targeted to increase performance for a different type and/or aspect of a building. These can include energy, gas and water use, as well as emissions and peak energy demand. These targets become stricter over time, driving continuous, long-term improvement in building stock. BPS complements and makes building energy codes accountable; the two work in tandem to improve building performance.



“ESG practices fall squarely into ‘the right thing to do’ category for not only a company’s ESG+R obligations but for their bottom lines,” Walraven said.





About IMT

The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) is a national nonprofit organization focused on increasing energy efficiency in buildings to save money, drive economic growth and job creation, reduce harmful pollution, and tackle climate change. For more information, visit


About CSS

Corporate Sustainability Strategies is commercial real estate sustainability consulting firm.  Services are client-centric, focused on driving enhanced financial returns by designing and implementing cost effective ESG+R strategies. For more information, visit



2021 Green Lease Leader Application is Open

2021 Green Lease Leader Application is Open

Get recognized for your smart leasing efforts and showcase your commitment to sustainability.


Building decarbonization is inevitable, and that makes green leasing more important than ever.


Green leases are a tool for improving occupant health and wellness, operating efficient and sustainable buildings, saving money, and much more. If you’re a landlord or tenant who is actively leveraging your leases to reach your ESG goals, don’t miss your chance for Green Lease Leader recognition.


Green Lease Leaders is the only national green leasing recognition program. Created by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Building Alliance and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), it celebrates and validates leading-edge landlords, tenants, real estate teams, and governments in the commercial office, retail, and industrial sectors that are driving higher performance in leased buildings by addressing energy efficiency and sustainability through smart and green lease clauses and corporate guidelines.


Read more about the program, apply for recognition, or quickly see if you qualify by visiting


About 2020 Green Lease Leaders

2020 Green Lease Leaders represented portfolios totaling more than 1 billion square feet and comprised a diverse range of buildings from large and small commercial offices to industrial buildings to data centers. Altogether, Green Lease Leaders manage nearly 3 billion square feet of commercial and government space, representing a huge potential for growth in green leases.