Print Download PDF Embed

News Release

Report Highlights Retrofit Market as Key to Green Growth

Kai Bucher, Associate Director, Media, Tel.: +1 212 703 2377; Kai.Bucher10e978@ad1fe3386ef7145weforum.org

  • World Economic Forum report on the retrofit market outlines practical recommendations for policy-makers to stimulate energy efficiency investments in existing commercial buildings.
  • Key finding: Establishment of a national standardized energy consumption and efficiency rating system.
  • Recommendations from six in-depth country case studies: China, Japan, US, UK, Germany and Australia, with Australia highlighted as having the most mature market to date.
  • Click here to download the report.

A Profitable and Resource Efficient Future: Catalysing Retrofit Finance and Investing in Commercial Real EstateNew York, USA, 27 October 2011 – A new World Economic Forum report recommends practical steps government leaders can take to stimulate investments into energy efficiency upgrades in existing commercial buildings in order to enable job creation and green growth. The report, entitled, A Profitable and Resource Efficient Future: Catalysing Retrofit Finance and Investing in Commercial Real Estate, also describes the critical role that banks, insurance companies, institutional investors, utilities, energy service companies and real estate holders need to play in unlocking the potential of the retrofit market, which has been estimated at US$ 400 billion in the United States alone.

One of the key recommendations of the report is a government-mandated, standardized energy consumption reporting and efficiency rating system for buildings. When combined with additional policies such as tax incentives, loan guarantees or credit enhancements, the information generated by such a reporting and rating system can help would-be investors make better-informed decisions to invest in energy efficiency projects.

“This report offers a clear set of actions for policy-makers and industry, starting now, making the low-carbon economy a reality for all our futures,” said Chris Luebkeman, Director, Global Foresight and Innovation, Arup Group.

Among the six countries studied in-depth, Australia was found to have the most mature retrofit market as a result of a long-standing reporting and rating system, coupled with additional government-led action, including tax deductions and a third party institution to take on demonstration projects. Other markets examined included China, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. In total, over 100 interviews with experts, government leaders and business leaders from a cross-section of industries in these countries reinforced the findings and yielded 20 practical, action-oriented recommendations for the public and private sector to undertake immediately.

“Government and business share an interest in improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings,” said Colin Dyer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Jones Lang LaSalle. “Policies enabling and encouraging cost-effective building retrofits could reduce carbon emissions while driving economic growth through job creation, cost reduction and risk mitigation.”

“As the world’s population swells to 9 billion people by 2050, more buildings will be built than ever before. The recommended actions can help countries reduce the amount of resources needed to fuel such growth, avoid exposure to the risks of resource scarcity and help spur economic growth,” added Robin Ried, Senior Community Manager of the Infrastructure & Urban Development Industry at the World Economic Forum, and lead author of the report.

Notes to Editors
Become a fan of the Forum on Facebook at http://wef.ch/facebook
Follow the Forum on Twitter at http://wef.ch/twitter and http://wef.ch/livetweet
Read the Forum Blog at http://wef.ch/blog
Read Forum reports on Scribd at http://wef.ch/scribd
Upcoming Forum events at http://wef.ch/events
Subscribe to Forum News Releases at http://wef.ch/news


The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (www.weforum.org).