Since the emergence of green buildings a decade or more ago, our understanding of sustainable construction and building management has evolved quite significantly. Green building certification systems such as LEED or BREEAM have systematically defined which sustainable features are most effective and, slowly, such building distinctions have helped to redefine Grade A buildings in some of the larger real estate investment markets.
While green certifications have popped up across the globe in their thousands for new completions, the financial challenge in ‘greening’ existing stock and in actioning even some of the more obvious energy efficiency initiatives has meant slow progress. In this issue of the Global Sustainability Perspective we look at some of the more innovative retrofit finance approaches and tools, and how they work in the United States. We will also provide some insights into how to make the business case and estimate return on investments for LEED certifications.
As sustainability is not only limited to individual buildings, our guest contributor for this issue and co-founder of the World Future Council, Herbert Girardet, provides his view on how entire cities, in challenging environments such as the Gulf States, are tackling their futures.
In parallel with the rise of significant volumes of sustainable building investments, we have seen the introduction of benchmarking tools at enterprise levels. They are helping to track the impact that sustainability strategies are having on property companies and to what extent they are following their commitments in greening their assets. Two recent sustainability benchmarking results publications, EPRA and GRESB, show you who the leaders are and who is still catching up.
We hope that this issue again provides enriching perspectives on sustainable real estate across the globe and we thank you for your continued readership and feedback.
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Director, Energy & Sustainability Services