World Economic Forum

Net Zero Carbon Cities

Accelerating decarbonization of buildings requires a shift in how value of investment is perceived and defined

The construction and operation of buildings generate 38% of global greenhouse gas emissions. While numerous technical solutions exist to help decarbonize the sector, investment and finance remain significant barriers to achieving a greener and more sustainable built environment. According to the World Green Building Council, green buildings will represent a $24.7 trillion investment opportunity by 2030, demonstrating tremendous demand and potential to drive sustainability in urban built environment.

To help address this challenge, the World Economic Forum’s Net Zero Carbon Cities program has developed the Building Value Framework with collaboration and input from cross-industry experts and leaders across the built environment sector. The initiative aims to shift how the value of decarbonization investments are perceived and defined – to consider the social, environmental, and system performance outcomes – in addition to traditional financial measures.

The framework is intended to support key decision makers, such as building owners, asset managers, real estate developers, and investors, to decarbonize buildings using a more holistic approach. It incorporates a detailed description of financial and non-financial value outcomes from the investments, as well as a practical checklist for future-proof investments in buildings.

The briefing paper presents the Building Value Framework concept and key insights gained from case studies conducted to date. Additional content including case studies and updates to the operational checklist will be developed and posted to this site in the coming months.

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