Comerica Banking Center Two Time Biggest Loser in Financial Institution Category

Comerica Incorporated is a financial services company strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, helping people and businesses achieve success.

Comerica has found a home with the Michigan Battle of the Buildings competition, building on its 2016 First Place finish in the office category by landing both the First and Second Place positions this year. Last year’s winner with a 21.3 percent reduction in energy usage, Comerica’s Stadium Pauline Banking Center in Ann Arbor again achieved the leading position, with additional reductions of 28.2 percent. Comerica’s Jackson Main Banking Center in Jackson secured second place, with a reduction of 22.3 percent.

“To win back-to-back awards with the same facility is a tremendous accomplishment,” admits Scott Beckerman, Senior Vice President and Comerica’s Director of Corporate Sustainability, “but to secure the second position in the face of a large and competitive field is even more rewarding.” Comerica attributes its success with both locations to a combination of employee engagement and the implementation of building management systems. “These systems have really allowed us to reduce unnecessary energy use while maintaining comfortable conditions for our colleagues and customers,” Beckerman notes. “We’ve also used EPA’s Battle of the Buildings materials to engage our colleagues through webinars and our company intranet site.”

Last year’s win and the significant energy reduction achieved at its Stadium Pauline office confirmed the positive impacts of better managing the company’s energy use. This led Comerica to move forward with a national program to install enhanced building control systems at over 300 of its sites in 2017. “Additionally, we will be moving more colleagues into a new flexible working space at our Stadium Pauline site later in 2017,” Beckerman says. “The collaborative workspace will help improve business productivity and collaboration, while further leveraging the efficiency of this building.”

Comerica has established a series of 2020 Environmental Sustainability Goals focused on reducing emissions, water, waste and paper usage. The company will publish updated data on its progress as part of its comprehensive corporate sustainability report later this year. Comerica believes that enhanced building controls and other initiatives should help it to meet and even exceed its 20 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal.

“Participating in the Battle of the Buildings is a great way to engage everyone around energy efficiency, which isn’t always easy to see or appreciate,” says Beckerman, “Battle of the Buildings provides great motivation and validation to our team of facility managers, building engineers and colleagues.”

Pictured from left to right: Scott Beckerman-Comerica Incorporated, Cathy Moretto-CBRE.

When it comes to learning and sharing best practices, Comerica likes to contribute to the energy efficiency conversation. “By sharing our story, we hope to help move energy efficiency and sustainability forward here in Michigan and across the country,” Beckerman says. “The events hosted by organizations like USGBC Chapters are great ways share and learn.” He says companies shouldn’t be afraid to start small, so long as they get started. “Focus on one thing at a time, and don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s okay to start with simple changes, but keep your long-term ambitions high.”

For Comerica, energy efficiency is just one of the ways the company is working to broadly address sustainability. “We recognize that to have thriving Michigan communities, we need to protect and preserve our environment,” Beckerman acknowledges. “When we reduce our energy use, everyone wins.”

Published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal
Written by Mark Zoeteman of Fishbeck Thompson Carr & Huber