Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn I recommend visiting to read:%0A%0A {0} %0A%0A {1}

Climate Positive, Proof Positive

Shaun Brodie • 28/07/2022
China Sustainability Climate Positive Report 2022

Selected Climate-Positive Approaches and Proof-Positive Rating and Benchmarking Systems for Sustainable Real Estate

According to an estimate by the United Nations, globally, the built environment is responsible for around 40% of energy and carbon emissions.
The built environment can reduce its emissions by going net zero, but some real estate enterprises today are looking to go climate positive, an initiative that goes above and beyond. Here, net zero carbon emissions are achieved and surpassed whereby an environmental benefit is produced by eradicating additional carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.
Once the total carbon footprint is calculated, as well as what needs to be counteracted to become carbon neutral, then an additional measurement number, such as an extra 10% for example, can then be tagged on to estimate what is needed to go climate positive.
How enterprises actually achieve climate positivity can differ. Usually, however, they meet the requirements via a mixture of:
  • Improving energy efficiency
  • Shifting to renewable energy
  • Using renewable materials
  • Cutting wastage
  • Backing local production to reduce transportation emissions
  • Utilizing electric transportation
  • Investing into offsetting projects, such as reforestation, that remove CO2 from the atmosphere 
  • Purchasing carbon credits
Buildings can realize climate-positive results in a number of ways, including:
  • Choice of building location
  • Choice of building design and energy modelling
  • Usage of eco-friendly, low carbon, reused or recycled materials
  • Minimization of material and operational wastage
  • Maximization of structural efficiency
  • Use of building insulation
  • Regular maintenance of plant, machinery, sensors and devices and ensuring these systems have the latest technology
  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction systems
  • Use of renewable energy
  • Use of intelligent energy management systems
  • Maximization of water use reduction
  • Reuse or renewal of the building upon current-use obsolescence
Rating and benchmarking systems that are used to positively prove how sustainable real estate is and how sustainable an enterprise is, (and if any are able to achieve a climate-positive outcome), are many. Two systems that have gained market traction recently, however, are:
  • At the enterprise level: The Task Force on Climate- Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
  • At the real estate level: The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB)
The TCFD system allows enterprises to recognize and disclose climate-related risks and opportunities so as to enable informed decision-making for investors, lenders, insurers and other related participants. The use of the TCFD system will aid enterprises as they ascertain and handle transition and physical climate risks.
GRESB assesses the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of real assets, which include real estate. In terms of environmental issues, the rating system encourages enterprises to reduce GHG emissions, lessen wastage, and conserve water and energy.
Our report begins by considering and explaining what climate positive is and means. Secondly, our report looks at a number of selected climate-positive approaches for sustainable real estate. Thirdly, our report examines two proven rating and benchmarking systems that can go some way to help enterprises achieve their climate positive goals.

Related Insights

Insights • Workplace

Seoul Office Tenants Profile Report

The demand for offices in the Seoul has remained high compared to major overseas countries even after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jinwoo Jung • 05/12/2023
Reworking the office
Research • Workplace

REWORKING the Office Asia Pacific

Our ‘REWORKING’ series examines decision-making for occupiers under four key considerations: Cost, Carbon, Culture and Community – under which the changing demands, needs and impacts on office spaces and strategies can be examined.
Anshul Jain • 03/11/2023

Related Stories

Cushman & Wakefield
Confidential Global Banking And Financial Services Client • Technology
Learn More
Existing Facility Refurbishment in Canberra
Existing Facility Refurbishment in Canberra • Government
Learn More


Get in touch with one of our professionals.
With your permission we and our partners would like to use cookies in order to access and record information and process personal data, such as unique identifiers and standard information sent by a device to ensure our website performs as expected, to develop and improve our products, and for advertising and insight purposes.

Alternatively click on More Options and select your preferences before providing or refusing consent. Some processing of your personal data may not require your consent, but you have a right to object to such processing.

You can change your preferences at any time by returning to this site or clicking on Privacy & Cookies.
These cookies ensure that our website performs as expected,for example website traffic load is balanced across our servers to prevent our website from crashing during particularly high usage.
These cookies allow our website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced features. These cookies do not gather any information about you that could be used for advertising or remember where you have been on the internet.
These cookies allow us to work with our marketing partners to understand which ads or links you have clicked on before arriving on our website or to help us make our advertising more relevant to you.
Agree All
Reject All