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Catalyzing Market Transformation: Audi Banny

Published: Jul 11, 2017 Finance & Real Estate | Blog Post

IMT is laser-focused on unleashing the potential of energy-efficient buildings to improve bottom lines and property value, drive economic growth and job creation, and reduce harmful pollution to create healthier, resilient cities. Collaborating with building owners, tenants, governments, and other city and corporate stakeholders, as well as NGOs and strategic partners, IMT’s expert staff strive to catalyze collective and permanent market change. So, who is IMT? Get to know our subject matter experts in this blog series.


Audi Banny, IMT Associate Director for Market Engagement, brings expertise in corporate sustainability to IMT's Landlord-Tenant Energy Partnership.

How do you cut retail construction costs by 40 percent? Ask Audi Banny, IMT’s Associate Director of Market Engagement.

As the former manager of global store design at Aveda Corporation, Audi deployed sustainability throughout the company’s development process for new retail locations.

From the start, her updates were systemic: Establishing new connections between her vendors and suppliers, for example, reduced average construction time by five weeks. Within the newly accelerated supply chain, she sought out higher-quality building materials that shrunk costs by increasing both lifespan and energy performance.

Beyond finishes, the new stores invested in energy-efficient products including LED lighting, daylight, and occupancy sensors. In existing store locations, Audi worked to convert all light fixtures to LED at little to no cost. Combined, the new, efficient building guidelines and procedures reduced the cost of building a new retail location by about 40 percent.

“I was given carte blanch to test ways to improve the durability of the stores and the efficiency beyond just design,” Audi recalls.

Broadening her scope, Audi worked to scale efficiency throughout Aveda’s global real estate portfolio by developing a Sustainable Design Guide for retail and salon locations that were already in operation. The new direction cultivated a community of company executives who understood the value of incorporating sustainability into standard business practices.

Seeking to expand to other brands, Audi moved to Aveda’s parent organization, Estee Lauder Companies. As Director of Corporate Sustainability Initiatives, she led seven global initiatives that produced a 22 percent reduction in energy consumption. The company’s 2015 sustainability report highlighted a 7.4 percent decrease in overall emissions attributed fully to energy efficiency projects.

Success Stories Become Best Practices

Now at IMT, Audi is helping companies access the benefits of sustainability and efficiency through the Landlord-Tenant Energy Partnership. Launched by IMT in 2016, the growing community supports over 30 businesses that are actively addressing their buildings’ energy use with the ultimate goal of reducing their energy demand in leased spaces by 20 percent by 2020.

The Partnership capitalizes on Audi’s understanding of common roadblocks facing efficiency programs—and where to find solutions. As a corporate leader, for example, she recognized that a disconnect between companies and valuable existing resources can obstruct energy and dollar savings.

To address this gap, Audi now develops pragmatic resources for Partnership participants such as the Participant Roadmap, a customizable two-year strategy for a building owner or tenant looking to jumpstart action on efficiency in their spaces. The roadmap, along with complementary, hands-on support from Audi and other IMT experts, highlights opportunities for companies to build a business case for new energy-saving programs, adopt energy management solutions, and market their results.

Through the Partnership, participants share their success stories and proven results with one another. These takeaways are often essential when earning buy-in from senior management or engaging landlords and building managers.

“It’s important for the landlords to hear from their tenants that they are interested in efficiency, and it is equally important for tenants to continually ask for more efficient buildings,” Audi says. “This is the only way to move the market forward.”

Comprehensive communities such as the growing Partnership, supported by actionable resources, are key to IMT’s overarching goal of transforming all buildings to be resource-efficient and cost-effective.

Thanks to her business background, Audi understands the impact of personalized guidance and resources when implementing successful sustainability initiatives. Through the Partnership, she develops the best practices and applicable tools she would use as a corporate leader and actively deploys her established expertise to help others accomplish their financial and environmental goals.

“Initially impacting the private sector requires a personal touch and one-on-one guidance with landlords, tenants, and developers to engage them on efficiency,” Audi adds. “We are moving them toward making energy efficiency a standard practice.”

To learn more about how Audi is deploying her expertise in corporate sustainability through the Landlord-Tenant Energy Partnership, click here.

To meet more of IMT’s subject matter experts, visit imt.org/about/staff.