Climate Action & Sustainability
Carbon performance certifications will permeate American and global real estate in the immediate future.
The world will follow Europe’s lead as it charts a course toward regenerative systems.
Recognizing that carbon reduction is only a first step in a long journey, much of Europe is embracing climate action strategies focused on low-tech design and regenerative systems. Such strategies will shift the focus from minimizing environmental harm (net zero) to actively benefiting local ecologies and generating renewable, clean energy (net positive).
Transforming existing buildings and materials with reuse strategies will supersede new construction.
As energy grids decarbonize, the embodied carbon associated with new construction will become more consequential. Adaptive reuse, which can reduce a building’s life cycle carbon by 40%, will be an important antidote to this dilemma, especially as forward-thinking governments and firms pledge to prioritize retrofits over new builds.
Certifications will emerge to better define and quantify socially responsible strategies — the ‘S’ in ESG.
While many prominent certifications programs exist to demonstrate environmental and governance commitments, the same cannot currently be said for social aspects of ESG. Funds are increasingly seeking clarity on equity, inclusion, and wellness. In coming years, we expect new evaluation systems for socially responsible strategies as companies look to prove their mettle to investors.