Design and Construction, Green Building, Sustainability/Business Continuity

Green Building Groups Launch Global Alliance on Sustainable Finance

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

According to the green building certification groups, the international alliance will work to ensure investors, property owners, developers, and governments have the information they need to enact transformational change in the built environment.

A major part of this will be demonstrating the critical role that verification and certification schemes play in supporting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting. The groups said this will involve raising awareness of their respective green building rating systems—LEED, Green Star, and BREEAM—in the real estate and finance sectors, communities that will help drive the change required to tackle the climate emergency head-on. Currently, the three rating systems collectively help hundreds of thousands of buildings and projects drive towards net zero and ESG goals worldwide.

This alliance comes against the backdrop of last year’s U.N. Global Stocktake report, which found that the international community is not on track to reach the goals of the 2015 Paris Accord. Even if all nations achieve their current Paris targets, the U.N. forecasts warming of 2.5° to 2.9° C over pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, far beyond what scientists consider safe levels, according to the alliance.

The first in a series of milestones in the alliance will be the publication of a practical guide at London Climate Action Week in June 2024, exploring the sustainable finance instruments currently available to the real estate market, such as green loans and green bonds.

“The green building community has proven that buildings can accelerate global decarbonization while advancing critical human health, climate resilience, and social equity imperatives,” said Peter Templeton, CEO of the USGBC. “Increasing the flow of capital to buildings and portfolios delivering these outcomes is essential to expanding the scale and impact of this work.”

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