Join us for our installment of the Pacesetters Doing Business series featuring Boston Planning and Development Agency on December 7, 2023.
3:00pm - 4:00pm
Jenny Holaday will share her journey into leadership as President of Encore Boston Harbor and first woman to run a casino in Massachusetts.
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Encore Boston Harbor
Step into Winter Wonderland at our BIMA Holiday Gala. Gather your digital media and marketing peers for a night of networking and entertainment.
6:30pm - 9:30pm
Designed for mid-level managers and supervisors, this new certificate program addresses workplace well-being through unique, innovative, and actionable methods.
Join our Transformational DEI Certificate! Our comprehensive learning & development offerings are designed to connect and grow strong leaders who lead both inside and out of the office.
Our Women’s Leadership Program enables you to take your leadership to the next level by arming you with the most in-demand leadership toolkit.
Our Boston’s Future Leaders (BFL) program provides emerging leaders with a socially conscious and civically engaged leadership toolkit, as well as the opportunity to apply their knowledge through experiential assignments.
City Awake empowers young professionals in a variety of ways that encourages these rising leaders to stay invested in the region’s future success.
We are developing an ecosystem of corporations and partners with the influence and buying power to transform economic inclusion for minority business enterprises (MBEs).
The Fierce Urgency of Now Festival brings Boston’s diverse young professionals together with business leaders, organizations and their peers to build connection, advance careers and ignite positive change.
BIMA (the Boston Interactive Media Association) serves a vibrant community of like-minded professionals from agencies, brands, publishers, and ad-tech companies with business interests in the New England market.
For nearly 30 years, the Chamber’s Women’s Network has connected female professionals of all background and career levels. Today, our Women’s Network is the largest in New England, strengthening the professional networks of women each year.
The Massachusetts Apprentice Network convenes employers, training providers, and talent sources interested in developing and implementing apprenticeship programs in occupations across industries and statewide in fields such as tech, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and more.
We support small business through public policy initiatives, events designed to connect small businesses in Greater Boston to their peers and established business leaders, professional development offerings, and free small business advising.
Explore our mission and values to better understand how we are leading the business community forward.
Our member directory is your resource to discover, connect, and engage with Boston’s businesses from every industry and sector.
October 28, 2022
The Chamber supports efforts by the City of Boston to transition to a resilient and sustainable built environment that addresses the reality of climate change. We also recognize that such a transition will have a significant impact on development and building construction in the city. As the Agency explores requiring a net-zero emissions standard for new buildings during planning, construction, and operation, the Chamber urges the Agency to factor in the technical and practical challenges to achieving some of the Initiative’s recommendations, particularly in the near term and for the growing number of buildings subject to the new proposed requirements.
Compliance and Access to Onsite and Offsite Renewable Energy
The ZNC Building Zoning Initiative envisions the use of onsite and offsite renewable energy as a key component of compliance with proposed emissions intensity targets and comparative emissions reductions. Building owners must optimize buildings for onsite solar facilities, procure renewable energy through ownership of offsite facilities, power purchase agreements, or submit alternative compliance payments to offset operational emissions. Yet each of these methods often present significant challenges:
We appreciate the ZNC Building Zoning Initiative builds in flexibility for particular projects when confronting some of these challenges, but we urge the Agency also to factor in practical concerns when considering these recommendations and to maximize compliance flexibility. Our utility infrastructure must undergo a dramatic transformation to provide the clean, reliable power our long-term goals require. Moving forward with unreasonable requirements before widespread solutions are available will only add costs and discourage development without reducing emissions.
Interaction between ZNC Building Zoning and BERDO requirements
While the Agency contemplates net-zero building requirements, new regulations for the Building Energy Emissions Reductions Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) move forward. The Initiative attempts to align these two regulatory efforts, and we encourage the Agency to avoid conflicts or confusion between these significant new requirements on property owners in Boston. For instance, ZNC Carbon Emissions Intensity target categories should be consistent under BERDO and Portfolio Manager. New buildings approved under any new ZNC Building Zoning requirements should also be included in any organization’s building portfolio for compliance purposes. Consistency among these new mandates will make it easier for developers to navigate the city’s different emissions rules as projects move forward.
ZNC Carbon Emissions Comparative Emissions Reductions and Intensity Targets
We are concerned with the general feasibility of the aggressive comparative emissions reduction of 40% for most buildings envisioned under the ZNC Building Zoning Initiative and the 30% reduction target for hospitals. These targets will be difficult to achieve in many buildings, but they may be impossible in more energy intensive buildings like wet labs. At a minimum, wet labs should be held to the same 30% comparative reduction target as hospitals and other health care facilities. Given the importance of these facilities to the greater Boston region and the unique characteristics of their use, this is a small but reasonable adjustment to ensure new facilities continue to become available in the city.
Proposed projects are also required to be planned, developed, and managed to attain Best Practice Predictive Carbon Emission Intensity Performance Targets (pCEI). We encourage BPDA to adopt the same pCEI for both commercial and college or university office space at 1.8 kg CO2e/sf-yr as there is no operational difference between these types of facilities. Wet labs again should also at least be consistent with the requirements for hospitals at 7.4 kg CO2e/sf-yr.
ZNC building zoning recommendations apply to new construction of buildings greater than 20,000 sq ft or those that contain 15 or more residential units. The requirements may also apply to major renovations depending on the specific circumstances. The Agency should clearly define the thresholds when renovations will trigger new ZNC requirements and consider making allowances for major renovations that promote the goal of reducing emissions while confronting the practical limitations to achieve the same types of reductions as new construction. ZNC building zoning requirements should not discourage needed building renovation, particularly those that may achieve other public policy goals, like promoting safety, creating affordable housing, or advancing practical emissions reduction progress.
The Chamber supports the ambitious goals of achieving net-zero emissions in Massachusetts by 2050. However, we must balance the need to make progress towards that end with the practical and technical limitations of our build environment and the importance of a thriving economy in Boston. As we make the necessary transition to significant emissions reductions and clean energy resources, the Chamber encourages the Agency to focus on achievable solutions that we can build on over time.