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JLL Defines 5 Ways Real Estate Will be Greener in 2025

JLL Defines 5 Ways Real Estate Will be Greener in 2025
24 August 2021

Dr. Marie Puybaraud from JLL looks at five areas where real estate leaders expect to see big shifts in the next few years.

Addressing climate change directly is now an essential part of any real estate strategy, and it shows no sign of slowing as we approach net-zero targets globally.

Commercial real estate's role on the climate emergency cannot be underestimated. The energy we use for heating and powering commercial buildings is responsible for around 12 per cent of the UK’s emissions, and the built environment in general accounts for 40 per cent of all carbon emissions.

Industry executives expect significant changes as soon as 2025, according to JLL’s "Decarbonizing the Built Environment" report, which surveyed nearly 1,000 senior leaders across 20 countries. With rising demand for sustainable spaces, going green is increasingly making business sense.

Dr. Marie Puybaraud, Global Head of Research for JLL Corporate Solutions, identifies five areas where real estate leaders expect to see changes.


“Leadership, right up to the c-suite, knows this is no longer a nice-to-have part of a corporate strategy. The pace at which this is moving has picked up significantly in just the last couple of years, and companies that are lagging need to get plans in place or risk being left behind.”

–Dr. Marie Puybaraud

Global Head of Research, JLL Corporate Solutions


1. Carbon Reduction in Real Estate Strategy


In JLL's survey, 56 per rcent of respondents said that their corporate real estate strategy specifically addresses reducing carbon emissions. By 2025, 85 per cent expect it to be a part of the strategy. 

“Leadership, right up to the c-suite, knows this is no longer a nice-to-have part of a corporate strategy,” says Dr. Puybaraud.

“The pace at which this is moving has picked up significantly in just the last couple of years, and companies that are lagging need to get plans in place or risk being left behind.”


2. Net-Zero Carbon Targets Moving Into the Mainstream


Right now, 28 per cent of those surveyed said their organization has adopted a net-zero carbon target. But an additional 38 per cent said that anticipate doing so by 2025. 

While some net-zero commitments have room for manoeuvre through measures such as offsetting, other initiatives such as science-based targets have stricter criteria. Today 39 per cent of firms have taken that extra step, with a further 30 per cent anticipated by 2025.


3. Building Performance Through Accreditations 


FMs and building managers are able to measure and demonstrate a building’s performance through various standards and accreditations, and such credentials have become more common. Accreditations exist for everything from indoor air quality, energy efficiency to the implementation of smart technology.

45 per cent of occupiers in the survey said they prioritize buildings with green credentials. That’s set to rise to 85 per cent by 2025.


4. Retrofitting and Refurbishment


73 per cent of those surveyed said that by 2025 they will be retrofitting assets to comply with net-zero targets, up from 34 perc ent today.

“Retrofitting buildings is critical to meeting carbon-reduction targets,” Puybaraud says. “We cannot simply build our way out of the issues we face. We need to deal with what already exists.”

When it comes to carbon emissions from a building’s entire life cycle, only 36 per cent of respondents said it’s a focus today, although that’s expected to rise to 71 per cent by 2025.


5. Technology to Drive Progress


Technology will play a key role in the journey towards net-zero. The continuing growth of electric vehicles and renewable energy is helping to wean the world off fossil fuels while emerging fields such as carbon capture, utilization and storage, and negative emissions technologies could even help reverse decades of emissions. 

The survey respondents identified priorities such as cutting water use (65 per cent), reducing waste to landfill (61 per cent) and using sensors to optimise building performance and support maintenance (58 per cent). As tech evolves and uptake grows, reducing operational energy use through the likes of smart heating, smart lighting and tracking platforms is expected to increase to 90 per cent by 2025.

Picture: a photograph of people working in a meeting room. The meeting room has glass walls

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 24 August 2021


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