With companies net zero targets rapidly approaching the 2050 mark, the necessity for the real estate sector to decarbonize has become increasingly apparent. Christian Ulbrich, President and Global CEO of JLL, stipulates that a push for green building developments or retrofitting old brown buildings is what is needed. More demand for green buildings will lead to more investment. This demand can come from institutional investors, all the way down to tenants. In fact, green leases are creating additional value for investors. According to a survey done by JLL, they can carry a premium on average of 6%. On the other hand, brown buildings are starting to trade at discounts. It is difficult to finance these buildings, due to lack of demand, and in turn this has boosted the demand for new or retrofitted buildings. From a financial perspective, it makes sense to invest in green buildings or to turn existing stock into green buildings.
A lot of attention has been placed on new, state of the art buildings that achieve the best sustainability certifications. However, "70% of buildings that exist today will still be here in 2050" - this underlines the importance to repurpose and retrofit buildings by installing new technologies that can help the push to more sustainable real estate globally. It is now possible to create renewable energy on site or close by which increases the pressure on companies which don’t currently include this to do so. Companies that are purpose driven find it easier to attract or retain talent, as well as appealing to investors. Therefore, for both environmental and economic reasons, the drive to ecological real estate is essential.
Real estate drives approximately 40% of global carbon emissions, making it a key priority in the race to reach net zero.