Seeing is Believing: Unlocking the Low-Carbon Real Estate Market

Leaders of the Urban Future (LOTUF) in partnership with Systemiq (Amy Paterson, Mike Batley, Isha Patel and Pippi Durie, with support from Julie Hirigoyen and Jeremy Oppenheim)

The paper sets out what LOTUF believe is needed to unlock a low-carbon real estate market – one aligned with a 1.5°C future.

We need a real estate market where carbon and energy data are shared and used like financial data to inform decision-making.

Transparency on carbon and energy performance – using consistent metrics, comparing against industry-backed pathways, and supported by third-party certifications and ratings – enables the market to properly identify, price, and demand low-carbon buildings and portfolios. This in turn gives external valuers the evidence to reflect carbon in their models, boosting real estate owner confidence to transition their building stock.

However, today the market is not demanding and supplying consistent carbon and energy performance data, and many of the certifications and ratings being used do not yet provide the necessary transparency nor have targets consistent with emerging 1.5°C pathways.

This is muddying demand signals, making it near-impossible to establish a clear link between carbon and value.

To bridge these gaps, in this paper we present specific, actionable solutions for real estate owners and others across the system that could in combination amount to a real breakthrough in the space, kick-starting the low-carbon real estate market.


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