Insight Report

World Economic Forum Green Building Principles: The Action Plan for Net-Zero Carbon Buildings

8 Nov 2021

This Action Plan provides the
necessary steps to deliver net-zero
carbon real estate portfolios.


The World Economic Forum’s global real estate CEO community has set out a vision and roadmap for the future of buildings and cities to become more liveable, sustainable, resilient and affordable. To meaningfully reduce carbon emissions, the Green Building Principles, developed in conjunction with JLL, aim to support the transition of real estate portfolios across all industries, asset types and regions.

This Action Plan explains the market need for such an effort and outlines the Principles and implementation strategies in detail.

The Green Building Principles:

  1. Calculate a robust carbon footprint of your portfolio in the most recent representative year to inform targets.
  2. Set a target year for achieving net-zero carbon by 2050 at the latest, and an interim target for reducing at least 50% of these emissions by 2030.
  3. Measure and record embodied carbon of new developments and major refurbishments.
  4. Maximize emissions reductions for all new developments and major refurbishments in the pipeline to ensure delivery of net-zero carbon (operational and embodied) by the selected final target year.
  5. Drive energy optimization across both existing assets and new developments.
  6. Maximize supply of on-site renewable energy.
  7. Ensure 100% off-site energy is procured from renewable-backed sources, where available.
  8. Engage with stakeholders with whom you have influence in your value chain to reduce Scope 3 emissions.
  9. Procure high-quality carbon offsets to compensate for residual emissions.
  10. Engage with stakeholders to identify joint endeavours and equitably share costs and benefits of interventions.

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