Supervalu, Walgreens sign on to Obama's Better Buildings Challenge

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday announced nearly $4 billion in combined federal and private-sector energy upgrades to buildings over the next two years. These investments will save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence, and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector.

As many as 60 CEOs, mayors, university presidents, and labor leaders on Friday committed to invest nearly $2 billion of private capital into energy efficiency projects; and to upgrade energy performance by a minimum of 20% by 2020 in 1.6 billion sq. ft. of office, industrial, municipal, hospital, university, community college and school buildings. This included retailers Best Buy, Kohl's, Supervalu and Walgreens, which made the commitment in June.

The commitments were announced by President Obama and former President Bill Clinton, along with representatives from more than 60 organizations as part of the Better Buildings Challenge. The challenge is part of the Better Buildings Initiative, launched in February by President Obama, and is spearheaded by former President Clinton and the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to support job creation by catalyzing private-sector investment in commercial and industrial building energy upgrades to make America’s buildings 20% more efficient over the next decade, reducing en