Washington – Lynn Thurber, chairman of JLL Income Property Trust and former Urban Land Institute (ULI) global chair, has donated $500,000 to support the efforts of the ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance’s Net Zero Imperative, a multi-year initiative to accelerate decarbonization in the built environment.
Thurber is a ULI trustee and a member of the advisory board and past chair for ULI’s Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance. The gift establishes Thurber as a member of the ULI Foundation’s Charles Fraser Society, which honors those with lifetime contributions to ULI exceeding $1 million.
She said her donation was motivated by the need to avert catastrophic climate change. “We must develop and implement the changes necessary to take each and every building on the journey to net zero carbon emissions if we want to leave our planet in a livable position for our grandchildren and for the generations to come after them,” she explained.
Thurber also cited the inspiration of Owen Thomas, a member of the ULI Foundation’s board of directors and chief executive of Boston Properties, who through his family foundation recently donated $1 million to launch the Net Zero Imperative. “When Owen Thomas shared with me his plan to launch a Net Zero Imperative at ULI with a very generous personal gift, I was thrilled and motivated to help,” Thurber said.
Thurber sees the program, which will organize technical assistance panels in cities to assist building owners in all categories and local governments in developing decarbonization strategies, as building upon ULI Greenprint’s prior work in improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon output. The Net Zero Imperative “will provide practical guidance to building owners, tenants, and residents on how to decarbonize effectively, efficiently and in a financially prudent manner,” she explained.
Panel recommendations for specific buildings will be repurposed to create reference materials that can be shared and utilized by building owners and communities worldwide. Thurber said that spreading information and expertise in that manner “will put us on the journey to achieving net zero carbon for our planet and our communities.”
“ULI is uniquely positioned to lead, connect, and inspire this project, totally aligned with ULI’s mission statement,” Thurber said. “And our members have the knowledge and skill to accomplish this huge and important undertaking.”