News Article BuildGreen CEE ESG Europe Răzvan Nica sustainability trends
by Property Forum | Report

Sustainability will continue its massive growth, as stakeholders demand more action on environmental and social issues, and businesses and governments respond to stricter demands imposed by politics and climate pressures, finds a BuildGreen report.

Companies are already asking for more complex strategy and consultancy services, mostly related to decarbonization and finally carbon neutrality goals, according to Răzvan Nica, BuildGreen’s Founder and Managing Director.

"2024 seems to be the icebreaker in setting exact decarbonization criteria and regulations. Major changes are already visible in green certifications (soon upgrade for both LEED and BREEAM) and ESG ratings, which took the role of undisputable evidence when auditing companies. This also brings more stringent and higher sustainability targets – a trend that expands beyond the classic real estate segments and requires more complex aspects," said Nica.

One of the main drivers worldwide is decarbonization. Every industry is transitioning to a low-carbon economy and the real estate market is among the top drivers. GHG reductions or elimination, nZEB pillars, net-zero energy solutions, renewable energy or smart building technology, recycled and reclaimed materials, increased use of sustainable materials and more green building solutions through nature are expanding.

At the same time, ESG ratings are becoming a pivotal element in corporate strategy. This trend influences design, procurement, finance, and marketing practices. The publication of non-financial reports almost became a must, as well as the use of third-party verification to provide assurance on sustainability performance.

Meanwhile, the role of green building certification is changing. We are moving from certifications as the final strategic target, to certifications as a starting point and management tool in implementing decarbonization or sustainability strategies.  

AI is becoming a tool for sustainable building. These solutions can help real estate companies monitor and reduce carbon emissions across their portfolios by analyzing energy usage, transportation patterns, and supply chain activities. 

Finally, regulations boost corporate climate transparency and the EU made a big step by setting the first jurisdiction in the world for ESG ratings starting February 2024. This agreement will facilitate progress towards achieving the net-zero objectives by 2050 while leveraging private finance into activities in line with the objectives of the Green Deal. The regulation is set to take effect on the EU ESG ratings market 18 months after its entry into force.