GreenTraks Helps Customers Conserve Water and Save Thousands During Worst California Drought

Through Initiative with City of Palo Alto Utilities, TIBCO and CBRE/Cooley Reduce Water Consumption by Over 5 Million Gallons and Save More Than $75,000

GreenTraks Logo

​​​​​Organizations throughout the Golden State have taken steps to reduce water consumption during what scientists have said is California’s worst drought in recorded history. Two such organizations located in Palo Alto, California, are TIBCO Software and Cooley LLP (Cooley facilities are managed by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE)).

These companies opted to participate in a pilot program initiative offered by the City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) and GreenTraks for building energy management and sustainability benchmarking services. Under the “CPAU-GreenTraks Commercial Benchmarking Program,” participating commercial CPAU customers receive services paid for by the City including a one-year subscription to the GreenTraks Energy Manager™, an industry-leading cloud-based energy management system, services to establish or update an ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account allowing businesses to benchmark building energy use against similar property types nationwide, and if applicable, receive ENERGY STAR ratings.

"Considering the average person in the U.S. uses about 48 CCF or 36,000 gallons of water per year. TIBCO and CBRE/Cooley saved a tremendous amount of water, and did so by taking relatively simple steps resulting in significant cost-avoidance, not to mention more engaged co-workers, increasing pride in their employers."

Kevin Cochran, Chief Operations Officer for GreenTraks

The goal of the pilot program is to enable commercial utility customers to view their energy and water consumption in a dynamic manner, allowing users to view trends in consumption patterns, identify leaks, high usage or other anomalies, and become active managers of their utility consumption.

GreenTraks and the City of Palo Alto began work on this pilot initiative under GreenTraks’ Climate Action Partners Program in October 2014. Since that time, TIBCO and CBRE/Cooley LLP have seen a significant reduction in water and energy consumption, as well as savings on utility costs. GreenTraks presented the results of these findings earlier this summer on June 21 in a Water Conservation webinar hosted by the Sustainability Management Association. A video of this webinar can be streamed from this link, with case studies beginning at 56:00 minutes:

In order to improve the efficiency of their buildings, both TIBCO Software and CBRE/Cooley LLP took practical steps to reduce water consumption without significant investments in capital development projects. Here are their steps taken and results achieved:

TIBCO Software – TIBCO implemented a campus-wide interior and exterior conservation plan to reduce the company’s water use at its Palo Alto offices. Living up to its designation as a Bay Area Green Business, TIBCO’s practical approach to reducing its water consumption can be a model for any organization, large or small.

In 2014, TIBCO installed new low-flow shower heads, toilet fixtures, faucet aerators, and café dishwasher water-sprayer. Outdoors, TIBCO replaced unused areas of lawn with mulch, installed an irrigation drip system, and drought-tolerant landscaping, while implementing a conservation system of measuring and monitoring landscape irrigation schedules. TIBCO modernized facility water fixtures and retrofit campus landscapes to reflect the natural surroundings, while considerably reducing water consumption and the associated costs.

·         TIBCO reduced its overall annual water usage by 37.0%

·         Total water usage avoided: 5,572 CCF (1/2014 – 6/2016)

·         Total water cost avoided: $59,984 (1/2014 – 6/2016)

CBRE/Cooley LLP – Short of investing in a capital investment project to conserve water at its Palo Alto offices, CB Richard Ellis and the property tenant, Cooley LLP, took practical steps to reduce water consumption during the worst drought in California history. CBRE/Cooley focused on reducing irrigation water consumption, representing 77% of its daily usage.

Beginning in 2014, CBRE/Cooley cut watering times by as much as 30%, removed and replaced existing foliage with drought-resistant plants, and ultimately ceased watering lawns altogether around the building periphery allowing some lawns to be replaced with river rock. In both a material and symbolic action, CBRE/Cooley shut off the water usage of its fountain, the centerpiece of its courtyard, while still maintaining professionally manicured green lawns at the property’s entrance.

·         CBRE/ Cooley reduced its annual irrigation water usage by 46.6%

·         Total water usage avoided: 2,097 CCF (1/2014 – 6/2016)

·         Total water cost avoided: $18,330 (1/2014 – 6/2016)

“Considering the average person in the U.S. uses about 48 CCF or 36,000 gallons of water per year,” said Kevin Cochran, Chief Operations Officer for GreenTraks. “TIBCO and CBRE/Cooley saved a tremendous amount of water, and did so by taking relatively simple steps resulting in significant cost-avoidance, not to mention more engaged co-workers, increasing pride in their employers.” According to Angela Casler, Executive Director of the Sustainability Management Association, “The water conservation efforts taken by TIBCO Software and CBRE/Cooley LLP made a massive impact. I’m so proud of what they accomplished.”

While cities in California often provide businesses incentives to conserve water, at the City of Palo Alto these have included new construction efficiency incentives, free landscape irrigation surveys, free high-efficiency toilet and urinal direct installation, and the CPAU-GreenTraks Commercial Benchmarking Program. The benchmarking program includes measurement and verification of water consumption as well as electricity, and natural gas, and other commodities, for which the individual organizations may purchase, such as waste diversion, fleet-fuels tracking, and other resources and sustainability metrics.

CPAU is considering offering this value-added energy management service to all its roughly 2,500 commercial utility customers in Palo Alto, so businesses can benefit from benchmarking facilities through ENERGY STAR and the GreenTraks Energy Manager™. Additionally, businesses that receive an ENERGY STAR rating in the City of Palo Alto can receive the “Mayor’s Green Business Leader Award”.

According to Bruce Lesch, Manager of Utility Program Services for CPAU, “The City of Palo Alto runs a variety of commercial energy efficiency programs, and the GreenTraks service has been a valuable program for our customers. The pilot program consists of serving 22 Palo Alto organizations that represent a diverse portfolio of buildings for small, medium and large commercial customers.”

The initial sample size of organizations will allow CPAU and GreenTraks to gain an understanding of how best to implement a comprehensive program. The City itself benefits by more effectively tracking performance to help meet efficiency and sustainability goals, and gaining insight on energy efficiency best practices among its customers’ building stock.

GreenTraks’ tools help organizations uncover opportunities and eliminate risks by providing the business intelligence required to prioritize project and purchase decisions, and make comparisons and projections on cost-effective and energy-efficient options. The CPAU-GreenTraks pilot program is a unique opportunity for the City of Palo Alto to continue to establish itself as a leader for City-wide energy and water efficiency.

GreenTraks is recognized nationwide as a value-leader in energy and sustainability management, offering public-private partnerships, educational programs and full-service data management services. GreenTraks solutions enable cities, universities, commercial businesses, and other organizations to identify and implement sustainability initiatives that increase operational efficiency and profitability, maximize brand and shareholder value, as well as mitigate risk. In addition to the City of Palo Alto, other sustainability-conscious cities that are clients of GreenTraks include the cities of Sacramento, Benicia, and Pittsburg.

About GreenTraks, Inc.

Headquartered in California, privately-held GreenTraks emerged from a national energy services company that supplies fuel and tracks energy usage of commercial fleets. GreenTraks runs sustainability engagement and educational programs and provides a cloud-based energy-efficiency management and reporting suite of subscription-based services, including Energy Tracking, Sustainability Marketing, and Advanced Reporting that can be used to measure any type of resource such as electricity, natural gas, fuel, water, waste, or other metrics. Through a trusted network of partners, industry vendors and suppliers, GreenTraks helps organizations save money and grow their business through positive behavior change, promotion of sustainability accomplishments, and a commitment toward environmental stewardship. Visit for more information.

About the City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU)

The City of Palo Alto is the only municipality in California operating a full suite of utility services. CPAU delivers water and energy efficiency services, including audits, rebates and conservation devices, to business and residential customers. For more information on CPAU and programs, visit

About Cooley LLP

Cooley has 900 lawyers across 12 offices in the United States, China and Europe. Clients partner with Cooley on transformative deals, complex IP and regulatory matters, and high-stakes litigation, where innovation meets the law. Visit for more information.


TIBCO Software takes businesses to their digital destinations by interconnecting everything in real time and providing augmented intelligence for everyone, from business users to data scientists. This combination delivers faster answers, better decisions, and smarter actions. For nearly 20 years, thousands of businesses around the globe have relied on TIBCO technology to differentiate themselves through compelling customer experiences, optimized assets, and innovative new business models. Learn how TIBCO brings data alive at

About Sustainability Project Management Workshop Series

Meet your organization’s strategic goals with clear target goals and key performance indicators by attending the Sustainability Project Management Workshop Series. The Sustainability Management Association invites you, your front line management team, and staff to attend free workshops to learn how to manage for sustainability. Your team will learn how to assess risks and threats and successfully plan new opportunities that are achievable and attainable.

For more information about SMA's Transforming Leadership Webinar – Sustainability Project Management Workshop Series, visit:

Source: GreenTraks

Related Media