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It Can Be Done: Real Estate Companies Slash Carbon Emissions And Keep Asset Values High


A sample of 9,000 buildings across the world has managed to cut carbon usage and increase asset values, according to a new report from the Urban Land Institute.

Research from ULI’s Greenprint Centre For Building Performance found that in the past 10 years, the buildings owned by its members cut energy intensity by 17%. Energy intensity is annual energy consumption divided by total floor space of the properties being measured.

The Greenprint Centre said the current rate of reduction meant its members were on track to meet their target of reducing carbon emissions from their buildings by 50% by 2030, in line with the recent goal published by the United Nations.

And this was done while maintaining asset values.

The Greenprint Centre said that big financial investors are becoming much more focused on the environmental performance of all their investments, with real estate at the sharp end of this — the sector contributes 39% of all global carbon emissions.

It said this trend is combining with increased regulatory pressure from national and city governments, which are imposing new rules seeking to reduce carbon emissions from building owners and operators.

“As the race against climate change’s various impacts on our cities picks up, the focus of global fiduciaries has become sharpened,” said Daniel Cashdan, HFF Securities president and chairman of The Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance.

The report added that real estate companies are increasingly adopting circular economy principles in order to reduce their carbon output.

Greenprint Centre members include some of the world's largest property owners, among them Tishman Speyer, Lendlease, Heitman, BlackRock and CalPERS.