Investment in Green Buildings Pays Off

June 23, 2015

Sustainable design tied to strong financial performance.

While the energy efficiency benefits of green designs are well-documented, a comprehensive new study has shown that sustainable facilities pay off financially as well. The research used information from the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) survey which includes data from 56,000 buildings with an aggregate value of $2.1 trillion.  

The study found that higher sustainability rankings were strongly correlated with higher financial performance, with both returns on assets and equity outperforming the results of facilities with lower GRESB scores.  The results also show a link between real estate portfolio sustainability indicators and stock market performance, as well as improved operational performance and lowered risk exposure and volatility associated with green designs.

Opportunities for increased profitability and green performance are still plentiful, with the median score of real estate companies coming in at 58 out of 100, meaning there is untapped potential to optimize sustainability and increase building value. The study, The Financial Rewards of Sustainability: A Global Performance Study of Real Estate Investment Trusts, was commissioned by Carbon War Room, a non-governmental organization, to the University of Cambridge.

 “This study complements thought leadership and direct industry engagements that prove time and time again that what’s good for the environment is good for business, and that sustainable buildings offer higher returns for real estate investors,” says Jose Maria Figueres, chair of the board for Carbon War Room. 

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