Cushman & Wakefield Finds Decarbonizing Existing Real Estate Vital to Addressing Climate Change; Defines Business Case for Net-Zero Buildings

C&W Green Buildings assessment tool to enable real estate owners and investors worldwide to reduce carbon emissions

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#CRE–Commercial real estate services leader Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) has defined the global business case for net-zero buildings, finding that retrofitting existing property to be energy efficient can help reduce carbon emissions.

Based on estimations that approximately 80% of the buildings that will exist in 2050 already have been built,1 Cushman & Wakefield’s research – which analyzed one million assets that totaled 6.6 billion square meters across 143 countries – shows that the reduction of carbon emissions is a vital component to preventing irreversible climate change. The firm’s analysis shows the cost to decarbonize the global real estate market to be approximately $18 trillion. Addressing decarbonization would see the commercial real estate industry achieve 6.2 gigatons, or 75%, of carbon reduction annually.

“Not only is decarbonizing existing real estate essential to addressing climate impact, but it also offers an environmentally responsible way to reduce the cost of owning and managing commercial property,” said John Forrester, CEO, Cushman & Wakefield. “As building regulations for energy consumption and emissions rightly become more stringent, needs to reduce or offset carbon emissions will increase. Cushman & Wakefield aims to empower our clients to increase energy efficiency with economic and social benefits for their investments, businesses and communities.”

To enable this essential change, Cushman & Wakefield has launched C&W Green Buildings, a proprietary digital software assessment tool that identifies custom decarbonization, retrofitting and cost savings opportunities for real estate investors and owners. Created through an exclusive partnership with CFP Green Buildings (CFP), a consultancy with a mission of making buildings and homes more sustainable, the tool offers Cushman & Wakefield clients a fast, cost-effective, accurate and auditable way to estimate energy consumption and create a roadmap to greener real estate assets.

The C&W Green Buildings tool filters 120 building characteristics to assess current carbon emissions and energy efficiency at a property. From country, climate and location to the cost of energy, materials, labor, local emission factors, carbon prices, building age, size and more, the tool uses the data to advise clients on improvement opportunities to reduce the environmental footprints of their real estate portfolios. The tool is now being rolled out in markets within North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

“CFP has an unwavering commitment to reduce carbon emissions profitably and at scale through actionable insights,” said Mr. Bram Adema, CEO at CFP Green Buildings. “Our digital tool has enabled large, decentralized institutions around the world to make data-informed decisions that are lessening energy consumption. We are delighted to build on this success with Cushman & Wakefield’s data and world-class clients.”

To learn about Cushman & Wakefield’s approach to sustainability, please visit our website.

About Cushman & Wakefield

Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) is a leading global real estate services firm that delivers exceptional value for real estate occupiers and owners. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest real estate services firms with approximately 50,000 employees in over 400 offices and approximately 60 countries. In 2021, the firm had revenue of $9.4 billion across core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, and valuation and other services. To learn more, visit or follow @CushWake on Twitter.

Cushman & Wakefield envisions a world of healthy, sustainable buildings that put the wellbeing of people and the planet first. The firm aims to take bold action to advance environmental, social and governance (ESG) within its operations and for its clients, the commercial real estate industry and society. As part of Cushman & Wakefield’s commitment to achieving net zero across its entire value chain (scopes 1, 2 and 3) by 2050, the firm plans to engage its clients to set their own science-based targets aligned with climate science.

About CFP Green Buildings

Making all buildings and homes sustainable: that is CFP Green Buildings’ mission. Using its on-site consultancy experience of improving more than 30,000 buildings, CFP has developed online tools for everyone to use. This enables anyone to make buildings more sustainable. Working with major banks, large investors, corporates and government bodies, over 1,500,000 buildings are influenced by CFP annually.

The online tools and (data) consultancy provided by CFP make sustainability transparent and accessible, using big data, custom algorithms, and AI. This has advantages for every stakeholder and allows our partners to gather and share actionable insights to generate value, inspire change and create real impact.

1 Source: McKinsey & Company


Mike Boonshoft

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