10 Ways Commercial Real Estate Can Build A Better World

With extreme weather events occurring on an increasingly regular basis and the COVID-19 pandemic still a serious and central concern, the integral connections between public health and the spaces where people live, work, and play has become apparent to those both in and outside of the buildings industry. However, transforming how buildings are constructed and operated offers a path to address both crises. Recognizing this, the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) has released the “BuildUp 2030 Framework for the Transformation of Real Estate” to explore how business leaders — real estate owners, operators, tenants, and investors — can lead a way to an economically robust, more socially just, and sustainable future. IMT is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to decarbonize buildings by catalyzing widespread and sustained demand for high-performance buildings. real estate

In announcing the new framework, Lotte Schlegel, IMT Executive Director, said, “Real estate has long served as a key pillar of American communities and today, the case for improving our nation’s buildings is stronger than ever. Each day, business leaders make decisions about their properties that give them an opportunity to create better buildings, whether it’s adjusting operational practices or deciding how and where to invest in systems upgrades. Our framework explores how these decisions and actions can evolve to not only boost financial performance, but also reduce carbon emissions, improve public health, build community resilience, and create greater opportunities for more people to thrive.”

The BuildUp 2030 Framework for the Transformation of Real Estate comprises 10 principles for action in real estate ranging from measuring environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts and transitioning to resilient, low-carbon practices to improving public health and better supporting communities. It was informed by months of discussion with a coalition of more than 20 real estate professionals representing a variety of building types, sizes, geographies, and ownership models from across the U.S. Participants included representatives from CBRE, Heitman, Kilroy Realty, and more.

“The business of real estate has a tremendous opportunity to lead a global transition to a regenerative economy and accelerate action on climate and social justice. The question isn’t whether real estate will change going forward, but rather how it will change and who will lead the transformation. The process of creating IMT’s new framework highlighted that many industry leaders are excited about laying a new course for doing business and the future of real estate, and I look forward to the next phase of putting the framework to practice,” says Lindsay Baker, a former Global Head of Sustainability and Impact at WeWork and now CEO of the International Living Future Institute. Baker participated in the framework’s coalition, helping moderate the discussions and co-draft the report with IMT prior to joining ILFI.

The framework’s 10 principles include a series of potential associated action steps, profiles of companies who are demonstrating leadership, and a sample of resources for others to get started. The full framework is available at imt.org/transformingrealestate.

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