Publications

- June 1, 2021: Vol. 15, Number 6

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Lack of clarity on net-zero could lead to greenwashing

by Marek Handzel

An abundance of certifications, standards, targets and terminology, as well as the growing complexity involved in real estate, is raising the prospect of increased “greenwashing” by landlords and operators.

The claim, made by PwC and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in their joint Emerging Trends in Real Estate: Global Outlook report comes as more companies than ever before are putting climate change and decarbonisation strategies at the heart of the way they do business. PwC and ULI say that producing an effective net-zero strategy — let alone executing it — is difficult even for the largest companies and is becoming harder as more third parties emerge with products and benchmarks aimed at reducing real estate carbon emissions. There are currently no common definitions on what “net-zero” means and question marks remain over whether it only relates to emissions produced during the operation of a building or whether it also includes “embodied carbon”, wh

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