Leslie Cook, Program Manager, ENERGY STAR Commercial Buildings, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Leslie Cook works for the US Environmental Protection Agency and manages the operation and development of ENERGY STAR tools, including EPA’s Portfolio Manager, the industry standard for benchmarking over 500,000 buildings across the US. She has an education in environmental science and sustainable development and works with ENERGY STAR partners to promote climate protection through increased energy efficiency in new and existing buildings.
Eric Duchon, Global Head of Sustainability, LaSalle Investment Management
Eric Duchon is responsible for partnering with and advising senior leadership on sustainability initiatives for the private and public equity and private debt businesses, as well as property-level debt for the real estate portfolio. Eric chairs the firm’s Global Sustainability Committee, collaborating with the European and Asia Regional Sustainability Officers and the Global Securities Sustainability Officer in order to define global sustainability policies, processes, and priorities. He provides oversight of organization guidelines and processes related to ESG, ensuring consistency with broader organizational goals and industry standards. He oversees global and regional reporting on performance through various firm-wide, fund, and client reporting initiatives – including GRESB, Greenprint, and UNPRI.
In North America, Eric establishes and implements processes to evaluate sustainability characteristics of all managed assets and assets being acquired. He collaborates with the asset management team to create sustainability business plans for each asset with the goal of maximizing return on investment and long-term value. He develops programs to ensure LaSalle’s sustainability initiatives and plans are appropriately executed by service providers, particularly third party property managers. Eric ensures sustainability data is collected, analyzed and used for determining appropriate improvements.
Eric was previously at Cushman & Wakefield for 10 years as Director of Sustainability Strategies. He received a Master degree in Sustainable Real Estate Development from New York University - Schack Institute of Real Estate. Eric is an active Alumnus and a former Chair of the Institute’s Center for the Sustainable Built Environment (SBE) Student/Alumni Advisory committee. He received a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from Emory University - Goizueta Business School.
Sara Neff, MBA, LEED AP
Vice President, Sustainability, Kilroy Realty Corporation
Sara Neff oversees all sustainability initiatives at Kilroy Realty Corporation such as the implementation of energy and water efficiency projects throughout the 13 million square foot portfolio, the recycling and green cleaning program, all LEED certifications, electric vehicle charging station installations, and the greening of building and construction standards. In her four years at Kilroy, she took the company from having no sustainability program to being named the #1 real estate company across all asset classes on sustainability in North America by the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark. Prior to joining Kilroy, Sara worked at Google and in solar at Idealab, participated in irrigation and soil erosion work in India, and led green consulting projects in Brazil and Argentina. Sara was awarded BOMA’s Generation BOMA Professional of the Year in 2011, USGBC-LA’s Greenspeak Award in 2012, was named a Northern California Woman of Influence Rising Star by the San Francisco Business Times in 2013, and won the USGBC Orange County Individual Leader in Sustainability Award in 2014. She holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BS from Stanford University.