International partnership announced to finance sustainable buildings

Green Forum
The UK-based Building Research Establishment (BRE), Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced an international alliance to unlock the sustainable finance needed for the built environment to play its role in meeting global climate goals.

This collaboration will entail the three organizations pooling their efforts to provide investors, property owners, developers, and governments with essential insights to catalyze significant transformations within the built environment.

A pivotal aspect of this initiative involves highlighting the indispensable role played by verification and certification schemes in supporting Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting. Central to this will be raising awareness regarding the foremost green building rating systems globally - BREEAM, Green Star, and LEED - within the real estate and finance sectors. These sectors are pivotal in propelling the requisite changes to address the climate crisis. Presently, these rating systems collectively facilitate hundreds of thousands of buildings and projects worldwide in progressing towards net-zero emissions and ESG objectives.

This alliance is particularly significant against the backdrop of the UN Global Stocktake report released last year, which underscored that the international community is falling short of the goals outlined in the 2015 Paris Accord. Even if nations meet their current Paris targets, the UN projects a rise in temperatures by 2.5 to 2.9 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, exceeding what scientists deem safe thresholds.

The inaugural milestone in this alliance will be the release of a practical guide during London Climate Action Week in June 2024. This guide will delve into sustainable finance instruments available to the real estate market, such as green loans and green bonds.

Furthermore, the sustainable finance guide will expand upon an initial document introduced by GBCA to the Australian market in 2023. The updated version aims to heighten awareness of sustainable finance mechanisms within the real estate sector and illustrate how rating systems like BREEAM, Green Star, and LEED ensure compliance with various sustainable classification frameworks utilized globally, including EU and UK green taxonomies.

Gillian Charlesworth, Chief Executive Officer of the Building Research Establishment, remarked, "In a time where environmental sustainability is not merely a responsibility but a necessity, we acknowledge the imperative to deepen understanding of sustainable finance's role in addressing global challenges, particularly climate change."

Davina Rooney, Chief Executive Officer of the Green Building Council of Australia, expressed, "This global alliance underscores that the world's major sustainability rating systems are in sync not only regarding climate science but also in facilitating the transition of all buildings to a decarbonized future."

Peter Templeton, Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Green Building Council, emphasized, "The green building community has demonstrated that buildings can accelerate global decarbonization while advancing critical human health, climate resilience, and social equity imperatives."

Established in 2002 with support from BRE and USGBC, the GBCA operates as a crucial player in advancing sustainable building practices. Both BREEAM and LEED, the most widely utilized green building systems, were developed and are managed by BRE and USGBC, respectively.

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Green Forum  |  20 June, 2024 at 8:04 AM